By Ada McKenzie
The definitions of relationships vary from generation. In the younger generations, coffee dates are substituted into facetimes. Letters of affirmation have turned into 2 am messages. Grand gestures of love have turned into posting a photo on Instagram or making a TikTok dance.
To the adolescences
To the adolescences, break the stigma. Have the self-respect to understand you don’t deserve for your love to be belittled with gestures that make you feel underwhelmed. Don’t settle for facetimes, 2 am messages and posts on Instagram. It’s okay to want more. Self-respect is something that I still work on every day. Eliminate your self-criticisms and embrace positive affirmations. The dating culture you live in is not okay and you don’t have to be another puppet in your generation’s dating society. The decisions you make now can have a detrimental effect on your future. Use social media wisely and honestly just be a nice person. You deserve to be treated with the utmost respect but that is up to you.
To parents, your children are undergoing immense social-emotional, physical, intellectual, and psychosocial development. Depending on your relationship they might not want to disclose information regarding their relationships. However, it is important that they know they can go to you. It is also essential to speak opening regarding topics and reiterate the negatives and the consequence of mistakes whilst also being understanding. Yes, it may seem hard to take this in. How much is too much? What can I ask? There are so many questions and honestly not any concrete answers. At times as a parent, you might feel like you are in the dark about your child’s relationships. The most important advice l can give you is to allow open and honest conversations from a young age about the safe use of social media, respecting your body, embracing identity and sexual health. You are such a big influence on your child’s life whether they admit it or not.