If a parent thinks their teen is in an unhealthy relationship, one of the key things parents can do is to to help their teen discern the difference between healthy and unhealthy teen relationships; simply telling the teen that the relationship isn’t good for them isn’t going to provide lasting learning.
When youth speaker Greg Speck is in this position, he asks the teen 5 questions about their relationship:
• What do you do?
What are you involved in, what kind of choices are you making? Do these choices honor or dishonor God?
• What comes out of your mouth?
Is there profanity? Is there slander? Is there gossip? Are you building up or are you tearing down?
• How do you feel about your parents and authority?
Are you breaking the law? Are you lying to your parents? Are you being deceptive?
• How is it impacting your self-esteem?
When you look at yourself in the mirror do you like who you’re becoming? If you continue in this direction where are you going to be 5 months from now, 5 years from now?
• How is it impacting your relationship with Christ?
Are these people drawing you closer to Christ or pushing you farther away?
Greg tells teens that if the answer to any one of these questions is negative they may be in an unhealthy relationship. If the answer to two or more of the questions is negative — they can be pretty sure they have an unhealthy relationship and should end it.