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Children and Healthy Relationships

24-Hour Domestic Violence Hotline: 208.343.7025 24-hour Rape Crisis Hotline: 208.345.7273 (RAPE)

Emina Delic- Childcare Manager

Healthy relationships like all other subjects come in many forms. There are familial, platonic and romantic relationships all around us. They are first seen in our family circles. As children get older that circle expands with each developmental stage. In a perfect world, each of these extensions would be positive. However, our world isn’t perfect, and as adults, we must be aware that as children grow, they will need support to create their own healthy relationships.

Children learn mostly through play and practicing what is modeled for them. As adults, we need to provide and present children with positive traits like love, kindness, patience, acceptance and perseverance. They need a lot of guidance in all aspects when learning to navigate the world of emotions, language and socialization. To build healthy relationships, they need to see them.

Children do not stop learning when they get to their teenage years. In fact, it’s the opposite! Teenagers need even more support in the new hormonal battles they are up against. Including, forming their first romantic relationships. Science shows that teenagers revert to rapid brain development (the toddler stage), and during this period are mastering the ability to handle their emotions. Consider supporting your teens by talking and listening to them, believing in them, upholding consistent boundaries and rewarding good choices. It’s important to give teenagers more independence while still modeling good traits.

Our Childcare team knows that domestic violence has played a role in the way that the children we serve perceive relationships. However, we work to provide a good example of what platonic relationships can be like (mentoring, and friendships with other children). It is never too late to start forming healthy relationships. As my teenage (now adult) daughter told me, “Mom, we kids are just adults in training.”

So, please do your part in training them well.

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