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Boone Center for the Family Educates Local Christian School Community About Teenage Dating and Relationships

Kelly Haer - Pepperdine UniversityIn spring 2021, the Boone Center for the Family at Pepperdine University partnered with Oaks Christian School—a college-preparatory, non-denominational 5–12 Christian school in Ventura County—to launch a three-part webinar series focused on providing psychoeducation to parents interested in empowering their children to engage in healthy relationships. The series, which incorporates lessons from the Boone Center’s Relationship IQ program, highlights the importance of parents learning to ask meaningful questions, sharing their stories, and modeling healthy behaviors to strengthen the relational health of their children. The discussions also address changing relational dynamics in a COVID-19 and post-COVID-19 world. 

“Parents are often fearful around teenage dating and relationships, and are concerned their children will experience undue emotional pain, fail to develop other friendships, or miss out on quality family time,” shares Kelly Haer, a licensed marriage and family therapist and director of the Boone Center’s Relationship IQ program. “I hope parents are empowered to connect well with their students by learning to ask good questions and share their own experiences to help support their student's healthy relationship growth.”

During the inaugural webinar, “Empowering Students to Build Healthy Relationships,” hosted on February 13, Haer explained to parents how to help students develop intentional friendships, manage disappointments, uncover the interpersonal roots of conflict, and apply a practical conflict resolution model.

On April 13, the second installment of the series, entitled “How to Help Your Student Date the Best,” will examine the foundations of healthy dating and romantic relationships through a Christian lens, challenge students to establish a healthy identity rooted in Christ, and determine the most appropriate ways to share themselves with others. Parents will also be educated on how to communicate with their teenagers about physical intimacy and the ways in which intimacy influences relationships. 

The third session, “Help Young Adult Clients Redeem Their Relationships with Social Media,” scheduled for May 13, will address whether technology has positive or negative influences on relationships and examine the biological and psychological impacts of continual social media engagement.

For additional information about Relationship IQ, visit the Boone Center for the Family website.