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Let’s face it—figuring out what’s happening in your preteen or young teen’s life and relationships can be very challenging. The use of technology makes this especially true.

It is also very difficult for a preteen or young teen to recognize – and break free of – and unhealthy relationship.

But, you can help your young teen decide if the relationship he or she is in is healthy.

Quiz: A Healthy or Unhealthy Relationship?

If you think your child may be in an unhealthy relationship, ask your young teen to take this quiz to help him or her know if his or her relationship is healthy.

Does your boyfriend or girlfriend…

  • Communicate openly with you when there are problems?
  • Give you space to spend time with your friends and family?
  • Support and respect you?

If your son or daughter answered YES to these questions, it is likely that he or she is in a healthy relationship. Encourage your preteen or young teen to trust their instincts about the relationship to stay safe and comfortable.

If your son or daughter answered NO to these questions, ask your preteen or young teen the following questions:

Does your boyfriend or girlfriend ever…

  • Try to stop you from seeing or talking to family or friends?
  • Call you derogatory names, put you down, or criticize you
  • Threaten or scare you?
  • Hit, slap, push, or kick you?
  • Pressure or force you to do something sexual when you don’t want to?
  • Humiliate you when you are alone or in front of others?
  • Control where you go, what you wear, or what you do?

If your son or daughter answered YES to any of these questions, their health and safety may be at risk. Seek advice or help from a school counselor, pediatrician or family physician, the National Teen Dating Abuse Helpline or local domestic violence prevention organization.

Know the Warning Signs

The reality is that your young teen might not share everything that is happening in his or her life. Do your part – know the warning signs of an unhealthy relationship. Be on the lookout if your child displays any of these potential signs:

  • Excessive text messaging, phone calling, emailing or visiting with boyfriend or girlfriend.
  • Stops hanging out with friends or participating in family activities
  • Starts having declining grades or missing school
  • Seems afraid to disagree with his or her boyfriend or girlfriend; always does what partner wants
  • Has injuries he/she tries to cover up or can’t explain

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