Changing Relationships

Part of growing up is learning to juggle many kinds of relationships –family, friends and others.

Every person has many different kinds of relationships. Some relationships are more personal than others. As you grow up, your relationships with your family and your friends are different from when you were a young child. You may find that people, including those you know, start to treat you differently too.


Friendship is one of the most important kinds of relationships. As you get older, your relationships with your friends can feel just as important, or even more important than your relationship with your family. You may want to fit in with a certain group, make new friends or drift away from friends you’ve outgrown.

Healthy relationships have...

  • respect
  • trust
  • honesty
  • equality
  • some shared and some different interests


In the next few years, you will experience many new types of relationships. Some of these situations may feel awkward. Just be yourself! Others should like you for who you are and respect the choices you make. Dating allows people to practise developing personal relationships with someone they like or care about.

Every family may have different ideas (values) about dating including the age when parents/guardians will allow you to start dating. These values may be influenced by culture or religion. If you are not sure if you are ready to start dating, talk to someone about it – an older sibling, parent/guardian or an adult you trust.


No one family is the same. Look around and you will see all kinds of families who have different values, rules and expectations. As you get older your relationships with your family might start changing too. Even though you are growing and changing, your family or caregivers are still an an important part of your life and a good place to go when you need help.

You’re growing up. Enjoy it. It might seem like everything is changing, and changing fast, but remember that the most important thing will always stay the same – you will always be yourself.


The information contained in this section of the site is from the booklet Growing Up Okay! 
Reprinted with permission from Healthy Child Manitoba Office, 2013.