Raising Good Men: How parents can talk to boys about relationships

In the second part of a "GMA" series that looks at raising respectful men, a child psychologist shares how parents should talk to preteen and teenage boys about relationships and dating.
6:14 | 12/19/17

Coming up in the next {{countdown}} {{countdownlbl}}

Coming up next:



Skip to this video now

Now Playing:


Related Extras
Related Videos
Video Transcript
Transcript for Raising Good Men: How parents can talk to boys about relationships
We turn now to our series "Raising good men." Paula had a chance to sit down with a group of boys. We'll call them young men between 12 to 16 years old for an important conversation in wake of the me too movement. You remember what it was like to be 12 years old. Yeah, trying to forget. Boys in that age range starting to have crushes and date but that territory comes with so many questions for both kids and their parents so we're trying to get some answers. I'm dawn. I'm 12. Reporter: They are six boys from the Denver area. I'm Sebastian, I'm 15. I'm Giovanni and I'm 14. Reporter: All at a critical age when relationships come to the forefront. We ask what it's like to be a teenage boy. How many of you have crushs? I have a girlfriend. Reporter: Their parents watching and listening in but the boys don't know that. Do your parents know you guys Dr. Crushes and/or girlfriends? Yeah. No. Try to keep it like on the down low. Exactly. Keep them out of your business, you know. Reporter: Dr. Stephanie dowd, a child psychologist from the child mind institute also watching our interview says parents need to make it their business and convey what a healthy relationship looks like right from the start. Having a healthy romantic relationship requires both partners to have empathy and see it from the other person's perspective. Reporter: As the newness of dating sets in for these boys. You go places together, hold happens in the hallway. Our school is really close to panera so on Fridays we walk to panera and a lot of times we walk together. That's where the magic happens is at panera bread. They have good soup and salad. That is true. Reporter: At this age experts say parents should expand that, quote, sex talk with boys and create a dialogue about romantic feelings, emotions and consent. This is specifically how you ask for concept. Are you okay with this? Does this feel comfortable to you? It's as simple as that. Parents just need to model that for their kid. What does it mean to have concept? Both people that are doing something want to be doing it. Let's say you are in class and notice one of your classmate, a male puts his hand on one of your female classmate's legs and doesn't have permission. Is that okay? No. No. If it's sexual harassment you can't do that. When someone tells you to be a man, what does that mean. You have to be mature. Can't show emotion, just got to be like manly. Do you feel in order to be a man you have to hide your emotions? That's a part of it yes. That's part of it. Yeah, definitely. And you should be able to show your emotions no matter what and not have people think worse or lesser of you. These messages are very rigid for boys and men and they're dangerous. Parents have to expand the definition of what it means to be a man. You know, your parents weren't in the room but they heard everything you said. What? No, they didn't. The parents taking to heart the importance of their own behavior. When they touched on what it meant if someone said be a man was telling because I think sometimes we can send the wrong message. I loved how much they wanted to respect everybody else. It was pretty incredible. I got to say I don't think we give these boys enough credit. The moment that stuck out when I asked what does it mean to be a man. You could tell that, you know, they want to be able to express themself but because of societal expectations they're not allowed to and can't express their emotions. They expressed it well there. Very well spoken. I want to bring in Stephanie dowd. Dr. Dowd. You were in the piece and we talk all about not having just -- these boys 12 to 16 so starting to have relationships, it's not just about having the sex talk, you want to broaden it out, what it means to be a strong relationship. How do you do that? The thing to remember is that teens really love to talk about love. So when you're a parent you want to approach your teens with a compassionate curiosity. You want to ask them questions, find out what they think about relationships. Ask them questions about what dating is like at your school. How do you know if two people are interested in each other. So get them talking. And then the other thing you want to do is you want to help them distinguish between a healthy, romantic relationship and an unhigh-techy one and one that's healthy there's mutual respect, compromise and caring between two people. This series has generated so much interest on social media. Big platform for kids nowadays and here's something we got in on Twitter. Teach them that each person's body is his or her own, full stop. Show him respectful treatment of all every day. Social media as I said is big for this group. Everybody is on it so as a parent how do you teach your kid how to respect and promote being respectful on social media? Right, social media is really tough. You know, it's important that parents tell their teen that anything they post could be posted anywhere and it could last forever so you want to tell your teen that if you post something, imagine that it could be posted on a billboard in the middle of many times square for everyone to see including their grandmother and so that will get them -- Shy they got when they heard their parents -- It's a way for them to be mindful and aware what they put online could be seen by anyone. The thing to remember also with teens is that they tend to act based on instant gratification and react without thinking. So you want to make sure you tell your teen, listen, before you post something, pause, think, maybe even walk out of the room and come back and then post what you want to pote. But it's important that when they post, they're imagining a person behind the screen that they don't want to just post to a computer. It's actually a person on the other end so you want to really encourage that empathy. Lasts forever like you said. Dr. Dowd, thank you so much and thanks for the guidance. Hard to have conversations with boys but I love the advice just about having strong relationship, what a good and bad relationship is. Tangible things we can take back to our homes. Thank you.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

{"duration":"6:14","description":"In the second part of a \"GMA\" series that looks at raising respectful men, a child psychologist shares how parents should talk to preteen and teenage boys about relationships and dating. ","mediaType":"default","section":"ABCNews/GMA","id":"51874952","title":"Raising Good Men: How parents can talk to boys about relationships ","url":"/GMA/video/raising-good-men-parents-talk-boys-relationships-51874952"}