One of the best things for anyone hoping to avoid addiction is to have a strong support network. For a growing teenager, this often comes in the form of healthy friendships. Unfortunately, not every teenager has an easy time making friends.
In this article, we’ll explain how you can help your teenagers make healthy friendships. In doing this you will help them improve their mental health and reduce their chances of needing a San Diego addiction treatment center during adulthood!
Why Relationships Are Important
Relationships play a strong part in an individual’s likelihood to develop an addiction.
Strong, healthy relationships can bolster a growing individual’s self-esteem and self-image. These benefits will help them approach life with confidence and assurance. They will be less likely to rely on drugs or alcohol to feel good about themselves.
On the other hand, toxic relationships can encourage substance abuse. Relationships that damage an individual’s sense of self-esteem or apply peer pressure may increase the risk of addiction.
Encouraging Good Relationships In Teenagers
There are many ways that you can help encourage your teenagers to develop healthy relationships. Here are a few common examples.
- Encourage honesty. Honesty is the cornerstone of any relationship. If you’re not honest with yourself or with the people that you’re spending time with, how can you expect to build a relationship that reflects your true values?
- Encourage them to seek out positive qualities. It’s a good idea that you show your teenagers what to look for in friends. The best way to do that is to set an example and discuss why these qualities are healthy and beneficial in the long-run. This means being trustworthy, listening, not being judgmental, supporting without enabling, and encouraging respect.
- Be supportive. The worst thing that you can do as a parent fails to support your teenager. Support their hobbies and give them encouragement as often as you can. This will help them develop self-confidence and seek out people who share similar interests that they can build strong relationships.
- Encourage healthy discernment and judgment. You want your teenager to be a good judge of character. Make sure that they know you’re there to talk with if they ever have any questions about friends or relationships. Remind them that strong friendships don’t happen immediately and require time and nurturing.
- Use your own friendships as an example. Assuming that you have your own healthy relationships, you can use these as a model for your teenager. Allow them to engage with you and your friends so they can learn more about what healthy, mature relationships look like.
Relationships are one of the most important preventatives against addiction. Teaching your teenager how to develop strong, healthy relationships can provide them with a supportive foundation to fall back on in times of emotional need.
In doing this you will provide an alternative to substances like drugs and alcohol. Remember to set a positive example and let your teenager know that they can rely on you to be supportive in any situation. If you’re still worried, don’t hesitate to contact a San Diego addiction treatment center to learn more about addiction prevention.