Oklahoma Marriage Initiative (OMI): Starting Early: How the Oklahoma Marriage Initiative Helps Schools Prepare Young People for Healthy Marriages. Connections: Dating and Emotions

06/06/2008

The Dating and Emotions curriculum is designed to help teens recognize and understand healthy dating practices and learn to regulate the intense emotions that often accompany dating during adolescence. The interactive lessons explain what healthy dating is all about, prompt youth to understand their interest in dating, help them identify signals of abuse and unhealthy behavior, and guide them on how to handle jealousy and anger, determine whether a relationship is working, and how to end it when appropriate. PREP® content focuses on clarifying expectations, dispelling myths, and establishing relationship guidelines.

The Dating and Emotions curriculum is organized around groups of lessons roughly corresponding to the typical adolescent relationship trajectory. The first three lessons focus on helping teens identify whether they are ready to start dating, and how to ask for, accept, or decline a date. The next set of three lessons explains how relationships grow and develop, including the importance of trust, self-disclosure, and communication. Five subsequent lessons focus on managing feelings of loneliness and identifying problem people and abusive dating behavior. Determining whether a relationship is working and how to end it when it is not working is the emphasis in the following three lessons. The curriculum ends with three lessons on how to start over when dating relationships dont work out.

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