YA: Teaching your kids about relationships

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CHEYENNE, Wyo - In our bi-weekly series with Cheyenne Youth Alternatives, we stressed the importance of teaching your kids about happy and health relationships.

Here are some ways you can make sure you are getting the point across.

With Valentine's Day coming up relationships are heavy on our minds. Of course we want our children to grow into healthy, positive relationships as they grow older but how do we do this?

Because they don't always listen to our advice or heed our warnings these are some other ways you can start instilling healthy relationship styles into your kids.

-It's not about telling it's about showing

Kids are imitators, what they see you do they will do themselves. How they see you treat your relationship and your partner sets the stage for their future relationships. It gives them a foundation that they will carry with them into adulthood. So if you are able to demonstrate positive practices in your relationship then they are more likely to repeat these in their own. This includes the way you and your partner treat each other, the way you communicate and interact, how you listen to each other, everything. Kids will notice these patterns so don't underestimate how much they take in.

-Do it by yourself

Even if you don't have a significant other right now you can still teach your kids about relationships. Remember you're showing your child how to maintain standards when they see you waiting for a trusting and positive relationship. So don't discount the value of your influence as a single parent.

-Teach through your relationship with your child

Some of the most important lessons your child will take away is from their relationship with you. The way that you interact with your child now tells them how they should view themselves, which is going to influence the relationships they will choose for themselves down the road. It really is their main example. So by building them up and reminding them of their worth and capabilities you're telling them to maintain their standards and not sell themselves short. If they believe they are worth it then they will in turn look for a partner that’s worth it.