Talking to teens about dating doesn't have to be awkward - FOX 35 News Orlando

Talking to teens about dating doesn't have to be awkward

Posted: Updated:
ATLANTA -

It's an uncomfortable moment for any parent. It's the moment you realize your teen is dating. One expert says talking to your teen about healthy relationships is important, but it doesn't have to be awkward.

Dr. Melissa Kottke, the Director of Emory University's Jane Fonda Center for Adolescent Reproductive Health, says talking to your teens about dating doesn't have to be scary.

"What do we all want? We want our teens to be happy and we want our teens to be safe. So there's a good opportunity to help young people understand and build healthy dating relationships that can actually help us accomplish both," said Kottke.

She says conversations should start well before the teen years. Studies show that kids are beginning to date at younger ages, and dating just means engaging in relationships, not necessarily having sexual relations.

"We want to teach kids what they should be expecting in relationships with other people. And what they should be delivering in their relationships to other people at a very, very, very young age," Kottke said.

Dr. Kottke says to talk to your teen about what a healthy relationship looks like.

"Is there acceptance in that relationship of who you are? Do you have good communication skills? Are you able to disagree respectfully and safely? Those things are all really important components of healthy relationships," said Kottke.

Kottke says talking is great, but parents should model that good relationship behavior. Kottke also suggests using the media that bombards your teen to your advantage. When watching TV with your teen, use that moment to pick their brain about relationships.

"What a great opportunity to say hey, what did you think about that? Do you think that those two just showed each other respect? Do you think that that was demonstrating caring or honesty? How might you do that differently? What would you do if that happened in your relationship," explained Kottke.

February is Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention Month, so there's no time like the present to start this conversation. For more information on teen violence prevention, click here!

Resources for teens and parents: http://startstrongatl.org/what/ and http://ww.loveisrespect.org

  • Good Day ArchiveMore>>

  • Recipe: Blissful Lowcountry Boil

    Recipe: Blissful Lowcountry Boil

    Friday, April 18 2014 6:05 PM EDT2014-04-18 22:05:26 GMT
    Blissful Lowcountry Boil Ingredients
    Blissful Lowcountry Boil Ingredients 4qts Water ½ cup Old Bay ½ cup Lemon Juice 1tbsp kosher salt 2 sliced shallots 8 garlic cloves 1lb Andouille sausage 1lb of New Potatoes 6 ears of corn shucked and
  • Pike Nurseries

    Spring Container Gardens

    Spring Container Gardens

    Friday, April 18 2014 10:21 AM EDT2014-04-18 14:21:54 GMT
    Container gardens are just as unique and diverse as gardens.
    Container gardens are just as unique and diverse as gardens.
  • Improve your commute with the "One Bus Away" app

    Improve your commute with the "One Bus Away" app

    Thursday, April 17 2014 9:03 AM EDT2014-04-17 13:03:23 GMT
    Don't you hate when you're waiting for mass transit and have no idea when that train or bus will show up? Now, there's an app for that and it's saving people time and money.
    Don't you hate when you're waiting for mass transit and have no idea when that train or bus will show up? Now, there's an app for that and it's saving people time and money.
Powered by WorldNow

35 Skyline Drive
Lake Mary, FL 32746

Phone: (407) 644-3535
News Tips: (866) 55-FOX35

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices