Join Tamara and Sheena as they talk about Teaching Children To Have Good Relationships in this episode of Les Talk About It.
7 of 12 of the Relationship Season
Listen to this episode
In this episode:
- Define and Model a good relationship
- Explain what an unhealthy relationship is
- Teach them to communicate
- Teach them to love and know themselves
- Defining boundaries
- Making them aware of digital abuse
- Asking for help
Les Talk About It Series: Relationships
Relationships are important for humans. We need them to survive, never mind thrive. In this series we delve into relationships and break down some statistics and realities because, let’s face it, most us just muddle through and don’t necessarily have the skillset to rally make a relationship work.
please note this transcript has not been edited and is automatically generated meaning certain words will be incorrect
welcome to les talk about it I’m Tamara and I’m Sheena and today we’re talking about how to teach kids to have happy relationships well it’s a great skill to have frankly I was never taught this no neither was I and I don’t think it’s something that’s generally taught people I lived to muddle along and figure it out for themselves which leads to disaster I think people have higher divorce rates now than ever before yeah and the thing I was like wink children on little we teach them how to be friends we teach them how to share with others we teach them how to be good with others we also teach them how to stay away from sexual predators and then when they’re teenagers there’s more sex talk on you know how to have C well my heart to have sex but probably should fix safe sex that kind of throw babies or creators yes but the the emotional side of it’s the romantic side of it is never actually delved into if you think about it right you spend most of your adult life in some form of relationship even if it’s not a romantic relationship you have to be friends with people you have relationships with family members and you are never taught these skills yeah even relationships with your own children so I mean there’s a lot of aspects of relationships which is just more taught and I think you’re left to figure out from those people around you your parents to other caregivers but but if they don’t have healthy relationships then your modeling your relationship soft unhealthy relationships exactly or even if they do I mean there can be married for 50 years and you could end up getting divorced five times it doesn’t necessarily correlate what’s true okay because it’s what happy in the relationship is a skill as we’ve discovered absolutely I mean if the series is done nothing else it’s shown you that yes okay so how the psychologist Richard Wiseman conducted a survey on kids and I feel all about this between 18 to 25 years old your ancient young adults and he found that 70 percent of them what did he be taught for their parents to talk to them about romantic sides of relationships okay I mean for the 65 percent wanted to learn about the emotional aspects of relationships so kids actually want to know the stuff they actually do and they feel like there’s so much information put out there about sex but nothing about being a relationship and if you think about it your first relationship you have all these questions what is okay what am I expected to do in this relationship how should I behave yeah and I mean all of this leads to a lot of dysfunctional behavior if it isn’t addressed I mean there’s huge problems with teenagers when it comes to sex there’s a lot of sexual harassment of girls or boys I suppose even there’s a lot of girls feeling like they have to have sex or do other sex acts to be liked and I mean all of that is part of not knowing how to be in a relationship because if you only taught that relationships are about six yes and you’re not having sex then how can you yeah if your man’s ego sex if you’re not having it you’re not showing that a person that you love them you’re not showing them that you’re romantic relationship and a whole lot of effect stuff oh yeah okay let’s get into it okay so the first thing is the most obvious is to define model and give examples of healthy relationships now this means that you as a parent have to be in a healthy relationship and a lot of the season has spoken about that mm-hmm okay so it’s not just telling your child to look for XYZ it’s actually showing them what that looks like okay so let’s go back a couple of episodes and there’s talk about a love language for example all right so you and I we discovered have different love languages when we did the taste your love language is you like to be touched yes so not in necessarily a sexual way but like you like it when I hold your hand or when I give you caresses our boss you just sitting next to each other if we’re like slightly touching for me that’s very so that makes you feel like I love you yes and it makes you feel like you’re cherished and it makes you it sort of fills up your love tank it’s right for me my love language is acts of service service thank you I couldn’t remember I was like expiration coffee is desperation so acts of service so for me I take notes if you do the dishes or if you do my laundry for me yeah or if you do something that I consider a chore and you do it for me specifically if you if that makes sense so that makes my my love tank feel like it’s been fold up yeah here’s the catch though that’s what this everybody seems to have different love languages and you don’t necessarily know what the other person’s love languages and it can be very confusing mm-hmm but I think you know part of this is teaching your child through your own actions how to take note of other people and yes too because I mean a lot of it is observation and actually taking the time to discover the other person and what they like imagine if your child understood about the five love languages and understood what was happening when you went and made me a cup of coffee when I was holding your hand or giving you a hug yes you know that’s a huge thing so then there’s become a way that this exists mm-hmm okay completely the next thing that you would teach a child is you explained what an unhealthy relationship is and how to identify it a problem is with a lot of people and they don’t have successful relationships is because the relationships and cells are unhealthy okay so an unhealthy relationship is one that’s has an imbalance where one partner tries to exercise control and power over the other one through threats emotional abuse physical abuse and it can include name-calling insults it can include gaslighting it can include actually hitting or whatever it is but teaching a child what is and what isn’t okay and more importantly with an unhealthy relationship you can actually model this with friends as well it does not just have to be a romantic relationship so if your child has a friend in their circle who does anything of these manipulation tactics or they’re continuously putting them down or calling their names you can show already in that situation that this is a form of unhealthy relationship so that they know how to identify it but they also have the ability to then when they are in a romantic relationship to get out of it because they know that it is unhealthy and that’s not the way I should be treated that’s interesting I have witnessed teenagers we one will say something nasty to the other but in this kind of Jase t way master oh you’re such a idiot yes hahahahaha right this comes down to EQ though yes ultimately it comes down to if you have high emotional intelligence you can see this coming now exactly and understand yes but I mean if you don’t or you aren’t taught to actually trust your instincts on these kinds of a thing because oh that’s fine he is my boyfriend or she’s my girlfriend whatever it is and so it’s okay it’s a form of love it’s not a form of no so if you’re in a relationship we you feel judged you feel shamed do you feel continuously discouraged you filled a priest that is not a safe and happy relationship if you don’t feel good being in that relationship there is not a good relationship and the thing is even good relationships have bad times but you will never feel awful about being in the relationship you might feel awful in that moment because you just feel upset angry discipline and whatever it is but you don’t feel like miserable about being in the relationship yeah so I mean an example would be you feel ashamed because you like wearing red lipstick for example and your girlfriend or boyfriend keeps making fun of you or calls your when you’re a red lipstick that is a dangerous relationship yes that’s just an example but yeah okay so do you think what you need to do then is have discussions with your kids about the relationships in their lives that are important and what happened at school and that kind of thing how do you encourage teenagers to open up to you about this sort of thing there well I think it’s also trying to have that dialogue and relationship with your teenager where you can do that right so that they are opening up to talk to you but I think maybe even talking about your own past relationships or trying to show them what is not okay behavior I mean from when they’re small I mean it doesn’t have to be when they’re just a teenager but if you’ve been doing this their whole lives hopefully they’re able to realize that when they’re in the relationship so this can start you know when you’re teaching kids with that thing we they draw the happy face the sad face the whatever it is that’s teaching kids to recognize emotion on expressions so at that point already you can start improving their EQ and their ability to understand their own feelings and to handle their own feelings in terms than other people and their relationship I mean it can even be as simple as you know and I’m sure we’ve all had at the kid in school who bites you or who is continued nasty and what is the solution I’ll make friends be nice if at that point you get taught actually that is not okay behavior and we do not want that child as a friend because they are being bullies or that is not a healthy way to behave towards other people it’s true cuz in especially for girls it stops excusing bad behavior stops making you feel like it’s your job to bridge that gap yeah I mean it’s not okay for like you know growing up in the time that I did like you know if a boy makes fun of you it’s because he likes you right you know I mean he was just being an awful exactly and you know there can be for anyone like but you also teaching boys then it’s okay to be assholes to girls because you don’t know how to deal with your own feelings yes it doesn’t serve anyone know so teaching children at those times that it’s not okay behavior it’s okay to feel bad about us because you shouldn’t be treated this way okay here’s the rabbit this is all grand and dandy but if you don’t understand how to deal with these feelings yourself if you don’t have a high EQ yourself you’re gonna struggle with this I sure but if you’re having like you don’t have an eye high EQ you’re probably not even gonna go do this exercise well that’s true but there’s so many resources and so much help out there that you can find the answer to these things right now you can look we’ve done podcast on how to identify what your EQ sort of label is and how to improve it and so but the thing is with EQ is you have to want to go and improve it yeah any of this with any of them but the thing is when you have a child you can you’re supposed to be a guide to them and before they even know what an EQ is they already have a pretty okay ones as they grow up like you know kind of isn’t as fantastic it’s true it’s true okay yeah so it’s like teaching them and guiding them to actually trust those instincts and to make sure that that EQ stays at a healthy level and not to excuse bad behavior I like this okay what’s next okay the next is communication we know how important communication is to relationship right just the last episode we were talking about how the gender roles in relationships seem fairer in homosexual relationships rather than heterosexual relationships just because of the communication yes so teaching children to communicate effectively is important this is going to vary from family to family but teaching kids to communicate effectively from when they’re little so if they’re not feeling great about something how do they communicate that in words and how do they explain it to you and how’d you come to a solution together ripping your kid out of the supermarket when they’re having a tantrum is not the way to do this no it’s not like okay should kids have tantrums but that’s okay they have tantrums because they don’t know how to communicate how they’re feeling yes so you know it might be easier it might be the least embarrassing option and in a moment but working with them to show them how to communicate their feelings helps I think a big part of that though is also listening so if they do communicate their feelings if you are paying attention and listening and understanding I’ve seen kids where parents and I understand and I’m not judging okay parents get exhausted I get it but I’ve seen times when kids are trying to talk to their parents and their parents just is not paying any attention to them at all yes so yes I mean communication is a two-way street yeah you can’t expect a child to communicate to you but you know to communicate with a child you need to treat them as a fully formed human being not necessarily as an adult because they’re not adults and should be taking on adults issues and problems but you should be communicating to them in a way that is mature right because that’s how they learn to do it yes exactly okay okay you’re listening to the lesbian talk show the lesbians will choke on your hub of podcast information the next step is teaching them to love themselves and to know themselves okay so we spoken about this in a previous podcast about becoming a whole person and most of us had to get into our 20 30 40 years parties whatever to learn about ourselves how great would it be if we were in love at the head of the game if we were taught to know who we are from when we were kids be amazing your whole life would be different mm-hmm so I mean this is nating kids explore their interests it’s letting them feel what they feel and letting them be who they think they are whether that’s something you understand as a parent or not so for those of us who have children who are queer or who if we’re queer they stressed whatever it is letting children experience their lives and supporting their minutes and letting them be okay with that okay okay but you have to I mean big appearance is probably one of the hardest things because you have to juggle the whole thing of letting them explore stuff with boundaries so for example this week your kid might want to try karate next week it might be ballet and the week after that it might be fencing and you just don’t have the money for Russian of course of course of course I mean within reason but this is what communication comes in you know and it’s like okay I understand that you want to do this but this is the reality and how do we go ahead and do this do you know what I mean and I know it’s easier said than done but it’s not impossible when I was a kid we were like really poor mm-hmm like so poor that we couldn’t afford to buy me jeans for example we bought me like cheaper pairs yes okay and I remember understanding we didn’t have the money to go and buy a brand-new stuff mm-hmm and it wasn’t a hardship for me but because my parents explained it to me I understood it yeah but I mean it can be as general as you have a son and your son is interested in fashion letting him explore that whatever however that might be it you know you don’t have to go buy him a sewing machine and a professional I don’t know design kits and fancy tablets to draw on you don’t have to go that far but you can support it absolutely yeah so and why it’s important that kids know themselves and nothing sells before the interrelationship because we if you get into relationship that’s unhealthy you are confident enough in who you are and knowing what you want to know that this is an unhealthy relationship so for example with a lot of girls there’s an expectation or people talk about weight and if a girl knows enough that actually my weight is not your issue you know they know that this is an unhealthy relationship or a girl who is very athletic and yet you know someone comment on how yes even that she’s gained weight you know what I mean I know exactly what you mean the self-love and knowing yourself well will see you through the hard time even allow you to form the healthy relationships that you know you weren’t in your life yeah I mean if it’s a relationship where someone says that you’re bad at something whether it’s like drawing or whatever it is or underestimate your abilities but you’ve been brought up to know that you’re a very capable person and then anything you do and I’m not saying you give everyone participation trophies or to you know genuinely support and help someone grow in an area but so that they’re confident in themselves when they’re in the relationship you know it’s so funny like I get people you try to discredit the Lisbon review right and they say things like over anti-trans and where this and there’s no rumors but because I’m I know that this is complete rubbish I don’t even pay them on mind other people get upset on my behalf which is actually very funny I just don’t even like it just water off a duck’s back because I know it’s complete rubbish yes and this is exactly it’s yes another issue that you just spoke about briefly is helping them to define boundaries so important yeah so it’s something that every kid needs to know how to do and every adult needs to know how to do so whether it’s setting up sexual boundaries so hey I’m 16 and I’m not ready for that you know if that’s the case or actually no I don’t want to be out at this party until midnight you know whatever it is like if your kid is able to sit at the boundaries for their relationships whether they’re a teenager when they may a 20s it’s going to serve them well absolutely especially girls especially girls mm-hmm boys are not raised to have as many problems saying no as girls this and the previous point it’s very important in terms of you know keeping your sense of self because I think sometimes people in relationships and they lose who they are as an individual and if you know who you are and you’re able to set boundaries I think you’re able to keep that more easily I agree with you what’s the next point okay the next point is something that’s relevant today is digital abuse mmm so it’s teaching kids to deal with the illimitable yeah so yeah like cyberbullying being sexually harassed online all of that you know so you know had how do you deal with that I have a simple rule of thumb you don’t engage with cyber harasses you block them because every single platform has blocking capability isn’t yeah but it’s teaching kids to like how to deal with the pressure I have to deal with the bullies how to you know if someone wants something sexual of you online and it’s something sexual online is just as bad as something sexual in the real world cyber bully is also particularly good at kind of gas lighting you yes so understanding when that’s happening and when a comment goes from being constructive criticism to when it goes to being complete mm-hmm you know and teaching them to be open with the parent about what’s going on in the online life because it’s so easy for it to become this secret little cesspool so you know being able to keep some sort of eye not in a prying way but just to make sure that they’re safe is important it’s trust I think with appearance is very important in this particular thing and fortunately we’re seeing a rise in teenage and children suicides because of cyberbullying and you’re right that’s absolutely something that has to be top of mind yeah and I mean a lot of people nowadays also start off relationships online and they do go offline sometimes but if you are involved in it online relationship it can be quite dangerous because firstly you don’t even know if the person you’re speaking to is who they say that all you know there are a lot of predators out there it’s something you need to think of also you know there could be some sort of weird imbalance of power and when it comes to girls I’m specifically when they’re in heat relationships there’s a lot of sexual manipulation where girls ask to send photos videos and you know teaching girls that actually they shouldn’t do this because revenge porn is something real Oh completely so we’ve seen it with movie stars and even Rachel Woods is one of the more recent examples and it’s just horrifying no it’s horrifying and I mean you know you put yourself in this vulnerable position with someone who you trust and this is how you get treated and I mean offline that’s one thing but now with the internet it’s you know completely yeah okay okay and then the last thing is teaching a child how to ask for help okay okay so in a case we the relationship is not good teaching them how to get help from someone else how to get out I think that’s super important because sometimes you feel completely trapped in that space and you feel like there’s no way that you can come out especially if you’re in an abusive relationship mm-hmm it takes monumental efforts to get out it does so you know teaching kids about how plans that could possibly help you and teaching them about things like sexual health clinics their kind of thing if teaching them that they can come to you as a parent you know what I mean setting up a support structure that supports them through their life not just you know the things that are easy to support them so basically you have to teach your children all the skills you wish you had right from the start pretty much well that’s a thing I mean we’re all trying the base we can do and look let’s get real most grown-ups don’t have it together not they’re trying to learn how to deal with life as it is but when you bring children in the equation you need just like you’re trying to still like figure out your own life but now you but other person to think of and I think if you know you’re taking parenting seriously you should be trying to help them even though you didn’t have that I mean we see it with parents all the time they try to get their children better education have better access to things that they didn’t have his children so why not in this realm as well and this is not something common and it’s not something easy but it’s definitely possible completely well I’ll give you a personal example my mother had a terrible relationship with my father mm-hmm my father is not a good guy but she got out of it and she tried her best to teach me to have better relationships you know and because I saw my grandparents have a really great relationship they never they very purposefully because they saw their parents fighting all the time never what in front of the kids so as far as I was concerned I grew up with like this peaceful home where there was never any fighting or any of that sort of stuff and so I think I’ve evolved into a person who can have a healthy relationship than what my mother could yes yes so it is it’s a lot about modeling but imagine if we had had the understanding and skills that we have now and then passing it on to the next generation they’ll have an even better chance yes I like this this is good it’s a great plan I think that’s all for this week okay so thanks for listening let us know your tips on how you help your children grow up what did you do what was important for you as a parent mm-hmm it’s yours yes and you can let us know on the lesbian talk show chat group on Facebook or email us on podcast at the Lisbon talk show calm mm-hmm you can also share this podcast with your friends with your friends children and if you like this podcast and you want exclusive content which we do for patrons join up be a patron and help us grow it’s all a good thing get exclusive content you can do that on patreon.com forward slash the lesbian talk show that’s it and razors on every podcast yes it helps other people find us that’s all first week [Music]