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Types of relationships

For your child, being able to have healthy relationships begins with learning about the different types of relationships.

Introduction

For your child, being able to have healthy relationships begins with learning about the different types of relationships. This will also include learning some simple rules about the types of touch involved in different relationships.

Understanding these differences will help your child know how they should behave in different situations with different people.

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  • Strangers: These are people you do not know. This includes people on the bus or people walking down the street
  • Acquaintances: These are people you only know a little bit. This includes the shopkeeper at the local supermarket, or your neighbour from down the road.
  • Professional helpers: These are people whose job it is to help you. This includes people like doctors, teachers and support workers
  • Friends: These are people you like and know well. This includes friends from school or sport
  • Family: This includes people like mum and dad, brothers and sisters, grandmothers and grandfathers.
  • Intimate partners: This includes boyfriends and girlfriends, husbands and wives.

It is important to emphasise that all relationships are different, and that different people have different relationships.

Conversation Starters

You seem to get along well with the new student in your class. What type of relationship do you think that might be?
Do you see those two people over there? Do you think they know each other?
Those characters seem to know each other well. What type of relationship do you think they have with each other?

Strategies for you to try

Who's in my orbit?

Use the worksheet provided and photos of people in your child’s life to create a profile of your child’s relationships. Ask your child which relationship circle each person belongs in. You could do this as a craft project with your child.

Put the completed worksheet on your child’s wall and refer to it during conversations with your child. Use it to remind them if they forget what type of touch they can use with a person they know.

When your child meets new people, you can add that person’s photo to the worksheet too.

Teachable moments

Introduce people to your child with their name and relationship to you.

trying to make friends

Resources

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Introduction to puberty for girls
Types of relationships

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Introduction to relationships
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