Here's a topic, parents, that you most likely you don't want to discuss
with your teen, but should. Even if your teen is not dating now, there's a
good likelihood they will be soon, and it's important both you and your
teenage children know how to recognize and get out of unhealthy or abusive
dating relationships. Everyone says "it won't happen to me!"
Most parents want to discuss with their teens whom they should date: the
good student, the one who comes from a good family, etc. but what if your
teen is dating that good student from that good family, and the
relationship still becomes unhealthy? Abuse knows no boundaries! Will your
teen know what to do or who to turn to?
According to information from http://www.loveisrespect.org, one in three high
school students have been, or will be involved in, an abusive or unhealthy
relationship. With social media at our teens' fingertips, today's
relationship can become very serious very quickly.
I began my work in this field in 1999 as an outreach educator and clinician
for a large non-profit domestic violence prevention agency, where I have been in
contact with over 1,000 clients.
Often the relationships start out wonderful but end up unhealthy,
or even abusive. Many parents ask me, "what do I tell my teen about dating
Here are my three tips to help you start a meaningful discussion with your
1. Check to see if your teen is feeling controlled by her/his partner. For
example is the partner is telling them what to wear, telling them who they can
hang out with, who can they can friend on facebook, etc?
2. Is your son or daughter feeling intimated by their partner? For example
if they don't do what their partner demands, will the partner threaten to
break up with them, call them names or even hit them?
3. And lastly there are many resources out there for teens. The Teen
Dating Violence Prevention Hotline number is a good resource.866-331-9474 or the website www.loveisrespect.org
Free free to email me for any additional resources. This is a hard topic
for anyone to talk about, especially when it is happening to your own teen.
Reaching out for assistance is one way to stop the cycle and to keep our