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Because our understandings of love are vague and varied, young people may confuse love with infatuation, lust, idolization or obsession.
They may think, for example, that they are in love with someone because they can’t stop thinking about them.
It’s not enough to have the sex talk, we have to have the love talk, too.
Without it, we risk our kids being in abusive, manipulative relationships, or missing out on a truly wonderful aspect of life.
Teens are often interested in our experiences, partly because they’re sorting out how they’re like or unlike us. What attitudes or behaviors would you change if you could?
Think about what your relationships have taught you. Share with your teen any lessons you’ve learned about the skills, attitudes and sensitivities that it takes to maintain a healthy romantic relationship.
Without conversations about healthy relationships, parents are also neglecting to teach their children about misogyny and sexual harassment. And 65 percent said they wanted guidance about it in a sex ed or health class at school.
But both parents and educators seem to focus on abstinence, how not to get pregnant or how to avoid a sexually transmitted disease.
According to a report released today by Harvard Graduate School of Education’s Making Caring Common Project, parents worry a great deal about the hookup culture, but ignore the fact that young people are unprepared to learn how to love and develop caring, healthy romantic relationships.