High School 2/9/22: Making respectful relationships matter to teenagers

In last week’s newsletter we looked at ‘Respect’ and how it plays a key part in all areas of life. Respect is the act of valuing and having regard for others despite our differences.  It is the glue that holds individual relationships and civil societies together.

William Carey’s biblical approach to healthy and respectful relationships, is based on an understanding of the dignity and value of the human person, as created by God, in His own image (Genesis 1:27). Healthy relationships flourish when based on Godly wisdom; valuing others, being trustworthy and honest, making shared decisions, having good communication and conflict resolution skills.

Positive and respectful relationships are a very important part of growing up, and they will lead your child to having a deeper capacity for caring, empathy and communication. Your support is vital to them being able to understand what a respectful relationship looks like, and how to create one.

The most influential people in a teenager’s life are the adults around them. The single most important thing you can do is to be a positive role model, by having respectful relationships with the friends and family that you yourself care about. Reflect on the principles outlined below and think about how they can be applied in your own relationships with other adults, and with your child.

What does a respectful relationship look like?

  • Communication. It is never assumed that our partner knows what we are feeling or thinking, or that we know what is in their head. The only effective way to know and to be understood is to talk often, talk calmly, and talk openly.
  • Recognising the effects of our actions. We think about the effects of our actions and choices on our partner. Will it cause someone to be hurt, or create conflict?
  • Respect. We are always respectful of each other’s feelings and choices. If we’re not sure how someone feels, we ask, we don’t assume. If we truly care about someone, we will want to see them happy and supported in the choices they make about themselves and their lives.

How to talk to your teenager about respectful relationships.

Having conversations about relationships and communication from a young age makes it possible for your child to feel comfortable talking with you about their feelings and relationships in their adolescence.

  • Encourage conversations about feelings, friendships and family relationships. This will help them understand and look for important qualities in relationships.
  • Practice active listening. Listen to what your teenager says and ask them open questions (“What are you feeling about him?”). Repeat back some of what you have heard or what you think they mean, to check you understand.
  • Ask if they want your opinion. Don’t tell them what you want them to do. Tell them how you see the situation. For example, say “It sounds to me like you really like this person, but they don’t listen to you very much. You could also direct them to the following resources:

God Bless, 

Mr Anthony Hudson
High School Deputy Principal

William Carey has partnered with a company, Wellio, this year to provide some information for students and parents and carers on wellbeing issues. Last term, parents were given access to an online webinar on Phone Addition and Social Media. This term, the topic will be around developing resilience. Students often struggle to bounce back from setbacks. This webinar provides you with tools and strategies that you can use at home to help your children build mental toughness.


What being resilient looks like:

We go beyond the buzzword to give your real world examples of what productive resilience looks like for young people.

Redefining Failure
How to help your children see failure as an opportunity for growth rather than a negative thing.

Internal vs External Mindsets
How elite performers like Michael Jordan use the power of an internal mindset to take control of the emotions.


At Home Webinar

On Tuesday 13th September, Term 3 Week 8, parents and carers of Years 5-12 students have access to an online webinar, Resilience and Setbacks, at 6:30pm. This webinar is provided by Wellio and is attended online in your own home. Those who register but are unable to attend will be sent a link to a recording of the webinar.

To register and gain access to this webinar, please register here. The content is for parents and carers of students Year 5 or older. Parents and carers of Year 5 and Year 6 students are directed to use the Year 7 button when registering.