It’s August, which means that kids are headed back to school! Whether they’re going into elementary, middle, high school or college, everyone deserves to have safe, healthy relationships. As adults, we may underestimate the difficulty that young people may have navigating relationships. To us, it may appear obvious that a friend is taking advantage or a dating partner is pushing boundaries. But for a child, teen or young adult it may not be so clear. We can set examples of healthy relationships and model these behaviors for our children, but that doesn’t always guarantee that they will not experience an unhealthy or abusive relationship. So what can we do as adults to support the children and teens we care about:
- Do your research! Plenty of adults have lots to learn when it comes to relationships. Make sure you understand the differences between healthy and unhealthy relationships before talking to a child or teen about it.
- Start the conversation! Even as early as elementary school, it is important for adults to instill the belief that every person deserves to have healthy relationships.
- Know your resources! It may be that a young person you care about has already experienced harm or abuse. Know what resources are available in your community and how to access them.
This school year, make sure the children in your life know that they deserve to have safe, healthy relationships with their friends, peers and everyone else in their life!