In 2015 a shocking study was published in Jama Pediatrics. It found than one in five teenage girls had been the victim of dating violence…20%! It doesn’t stop there, as 10% of boys asked said that they had been physically or sexually abused by a partner themselves. Clearly we have a big problem.
Teen dating is a tricky subject to tackle. We want to think our kids are safe, just exploring the realms of romance for the first time. The truth is that they are dealing with hormones, unfamiliar situations and intense relationships that they may not yet have the skills or knowledge to cope with. Which can lead to future problems down the lines as they become adults.
Our Parental Duty In Our Teen’s Relationships
We can’t protect our kids from everything. But we can do our part to ensure they are forewarned, prepared and able to deal with dangerous situations when they occur. Or at least let them know that they can come to you no matter what, so you can help them if they do happen to find themselves in a negative relationship.
This isn’t just when it comes to romantic entanglements. Negative relationships can happen between friends and even coworkers. Early intervention is the best kind. We have to teach them to recognize certain red flags and make the right choices.
The Red Flags
Teaching your teen red flags in relationships is a great way to make sure they are aware of what could constitute abuse. These include:
Controlling who they can spend time with.
Getting upset when they choose to spend time with other people.
Demanding access/sneakily gaining access to smartphones, social media accounts, email accounts, ect.
Make them feel guilty when they do not do what the abusive partner wants them to do.
Explosive jealousy or bouts of anger.
Throwing or breaking items.
Using manipulative language, such as “If you loved me you would do X”, or “If you don’t do Y, I will leave you.”
Name calling and insults.
Belittling them and hurting their self esteem.
Blaming them for things that are not their fault, or that the abusive partner does themselves.
Constantly accusations of cheating or other behavior.
Any kind of physical assault, restraint or other intimidating behaviors.
Threats of violence.
It is important that your teen knows that these behaviors above are not their fault and they are not to blame. Encourage them to recognize and disengage from negative relationships that feature any of the above red flags.
Find out more at Sundance Canyon Academy.