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  • Feb 15, 2017

Is Your Teen In An Unhealthy Relationship?

It’s important for kids to be able to identify unhealthy relationships and to know what to do if they’re in one, or if they have a friend who is in one.

By Alexandra England, NP, Cambridge Teen Health Center.

In most cases, there’s a progression of aggression or control to violence. Seeing the warning signs and doing something can prevent future physical harm.

Cambridge Teen Health is here to provide support to your teen and can echo the conversations you’re having at home.  Here are five warning signs of an unhealthy teen relationship.   Brainstorm with your teen about how they can step in if they see any of these behaviors. If they’re experiencing them first hand, they may need your help getting out of the relationship. We’re here to provide further support services for your teen if necessary.

Unhealthy teen relationships:

  • Out of balance. Spending every waking moment together doesn’t leave space for family and friends.  It can lead to feeling isolated.
  • Fighting. When arguments happen frequently and include putting each other down. Often times, the attempt is to make the other person feel bad about themselves.
  • Sexual aggression. Expecting sexual relations without any communication establishes an unhealthy power dynamic.  Non-consensual sex is rape.
  • Controlling behavior.  When a partner starts telling the other person how to dress, who to be friends with, where they can or can’t go.  These are warning signs that often progress to abuse.
  • Constant digital monitoring. Sending too many texts or messages can be stifling. When a partner asks for a password, he or she is indicating they don’t trust their partner.

It’s critical, now more than ever, to talk with your teen about what’s healthy and what’s not.  They’ll have some great ideas how to handle situations, but it takes thinking ahead to be able to act. It’s also best to identify warning signs right from the beginning to avoid a bad relationship. Help them practice and be prepared to recognize and respond. Click here to learn more conversation starters about possible dating abuse.

Contact the Cambridge Teen Health Center at 617-665-1548 for primary care, immunizations, urgent care, sick visits, reproductive health services, counseling and mental health support for your teenager.

This articles provide general information for educational purposes only. The information provided in this article, or through linkages to other sites, is not a substitute for medical or professional care, and you should not use the information in place of a visit, call consultation or the advice of your physician or other healthcare provider.

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