Relationship Skills

Family Resources on Entering Adulthood

Project and Purpose

Adulthood can a be a time of drastic change, students will learn about adulthood from a video clip and participate in a discussion about important values to consider before entering an intimate relationship with another adult.

Essential Questions

What should be expected in an intimate relationship as an adolescent enters adulthood?

If this lesson was used in the classroom: Students considered becoming adults and how romantic relationships change in adulthood. In class students discussed the way their lives will likely be different as adults compared to adolescents. In groups students discussed what they should look for in an intimate partner as an adult.

Getting Ready for the Conversation

The main character in the video is Lauren, a young adult who has completed school, works full time and lives on her own. Lauren discusses how her life is different now compared to when she was a high school student. She also shares how dating and friendships are different.

Conversation notes:
Adolescents are often excited by the prospect of growing up and being more independent, but they also may not always have a realistic understanding of how life will chance once they enter that stage of life.

Betty Ray article on helping young people transition to adulthood at Greater Good Magazine:

Editorial by Eugene Roehlkepartain on the quandary between protecting and empowerment for teenagers at the Search Institute blog:

Constructive Conversation Starters

The first item is for follow-up after participating in class activities.

In class, groups came up with a set of questions they would like answered by a potential romantic partner, what were some of the questions your group came up with? Why do you think those were good questions? What would you hope to find out about a prospective partner early in a relationship? Why would you want to learn this?

What are the different considerations an adult (say someone who is 25) would have before deciding whether to become romantically involved with someone compared to what someone your age might consider? Why do adults have different considerations for dating and romantic relationships compared to teenagers?

School to Home Resources on Entering Adulthood


  • Preview film short “Early Adulthood Part 1”
  • Index cards (either 3 x 5 or 4 x 6)
  • Writing utensils


Review and restate session norms. These should remind students how to interact and communicate respectfully. The topic involves intimate relationships and should be discussed appropriately. Essential question should be prominently displayed.
[2-3 minutes]

Activity 1

Watch the CWK documentary film clip “Early Adulthood” Part 1.

[10 minutes]

Activity 2

Individual Reflection
Ask students the following questions. Give students time to think and possibly write down some answers or thoughts.

  • In the film the Lauren discusses that while she felt prepared for adulthood, it is often stressful. What are some examples she mentions of stresses of adulthood?
  • Lauren says that dating is different as an adult than it was in high school. How is it different?
  • Lauren talks about marriage in the future but is not in any rush to get involved in a serious relationship. How do intimate relationships fit in with young adulthood?

After students have reflected, have them share some thoughts. You may wish to read students’ comments aloud to the group to keep the comment anonymous and less emotionally charged.
[10 minutes]

Activity 3

Group Activity

Using your knowledge of students in the group, place students in groups of 2, 3 or 4. Give each group index cards and writing utensils

Over the years there have been several television shows that featured either single people or couples who had recently been married. Most of these shows focused on entertainment not quality relationships. The people in the film we looked at discussed that dating and relationships are different when we become adults. There are other factors in life, meeting people is different. Suppose you could interview a potential intimate partner, what questions would you ask?

In their groups ask students to come up with several questions that they think would be good to ask someone to determine if the person would be a good potential intimate partner. Have groups write their questions on the cards provided.

After groups have completed their cards, have each group share their questions by asking the questions to the entire group. Allow students to assess the questions and talk about potential answers that could be helpful or even raise concerns. Provide feedback and encourage positive feedback from all group members.

[20-30 minutes]


Debriefing questions.

  • What are some things you should consider as you enter intimate relationships in adulthood?
  •  Do you think relationships are easier to maintain among adults? Why or why not?
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