How Do I Recognize If My Child Is in An Unhealthy Relationship?

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It's really hard to determine what's a healthy versus an unhealthy relationship in teenagers because very often the relationships are a rife with conflict and intensity and that's part of being a teenager. The truth is that there are some hallmark things you want to consider and watch for with your teen.

If they're involved in a relationship where their partner, boyfriend or girlfriend, is texting them all the time, demanding to know where they are all the time, really needs to be in control of where they are all the time that's a red flag, you really want to think about that.

If they can't spend any time with any of their other friends because their boyfriend or girlfriend demands that they only spend time with him or her, that's another red flag. If your daughter or son is really making excuses for their boyfriend or girlfriend, another red flag. So you want start to watch what the behaviors are within that relationship and what might make you concerned, and again if you're having that feeling in the pit of your stomach you want to be having conversations.

Be prepared for there to be some denial, but be prepared to step in and protect your child because that is ultimately what needs to happen. And they may not think that this is a problem, they may think oh, they love me because they are texting me 100 times a day, when exactly it's much more about the control and being in charge than it is about promoting a healthy relationship.

Truth of the matter is middle schoolers are recording more and more unhealthy abusive relationship than ever before, so you need to start having conversations about what a healthy relationship is and what it looks like and fifth and sixth grade, not waiting until seventh and eighth grade because you may miss the boat and it may be too late.