Healthy relationships are an important part of life, and it’s vital that teens learn how to maintain them. Learning how to draw and respect boundaries and communicate effectively are skills that will last a lifetime.
While it can be challenging to maintain healthy relationships, it’s worth the effort. Teenagers with solid and supportive relationships are more likely to do well in school, have higher self-esteem, and be happier overall. By relationships, we don’t just mean romantic relationships but also friendships, family relationships, and any other kind of positive connection with others. If you feel your child could benefit from teen relationship counseling, call Imagine Boise today at 208.487.8260.
Teen Relationship Counseling
No one expects teenagers to be safe drivers without driving lessons or to get straight As without doing their homework. Yet somehow, society expects teenagers to grow into adults who automatically understand how to build healthy relationships. Healthy relationships for teens and adults don’t just magically happen. They require perspective, patience, and interpersonal skills that are not always easy to learn.
It’s normal to think of relationship counseling as therapy between a married or romantically involved couple, but professional relationship advice for teens goes beyond romance. Teen relationship counseling is an opportunity for young people to learn the techniques that will help them create healthy relationships with friends, family members, employers, teachers, and romantic partners. It is an evidence-based, therapeutic approach to assisting young people in functioning more successfully in all aspects of life.
Teens who need the most support are those who are already struggling with:
- Grief and trauma
- Mental health disorders
- Behavioral disorders
- Substance use disorders.
The symptoms of these wellness challenges can make it even harder to form healthy bonds with others. One goal of teen relationship counseling is to improve communication throughout the family system. Stronger family relationships provide the safe foundation adolescents need to practice interpersonal skills.
More Ways to Support Healthy Relationships for Teens
Professional counseling is the best approach for many families, but successful therapy isn’t something that only happens in a therapist’s office. Parents can help their teens practice the skills they learn in counseling with the following steps:
- Model healthy relationship habits
- Set boundaries with your teen
- Respect their healthy boundaries
- Be supportive in discussions about relationships
- Avoid using terms like “puppy love” or other comments that suggest their feelings aren’t important
- Don’t assume your child is developing healthy relationships
- Communicate your concerns in a respectful, supportive way
- Help your teen define what a healthy relationship looks like
You can help your child think about healthy relationships by asking them questions about their beliefs. Some options include:
- “What qualities do you think a good partner/friend should have?”
- “What does an unhealthy relationship look like to you?”
- “How do you tell someone that they crossed one of your boundaries?”
You can also speak to your teen about abuse in relationships and encourage them to come to you or another trusted adult if they experience mistreatment. Make them aware of what to watch out for by explaining the types of abuse, including:
Not all parents have the skills to help their teens build healthy relationships. There’s no shame in admitting you can do better and need professional guidance.
Imagine Boise Offers Teen Relationship Counseling
Asking for professional help is not a sign of failed parenting. Finding the right resources to help your child shows them that you are willing to join them in the journey to building happier, healthier relationships. Contact Imagine Boise today at 208.487.8260 if your family could benefit from improved communication skills and the professional support of caring, experienced family therapists.