You are sitting at home when your teen bursts through the door late…again. This is the fourth night in a row they have broken curfew and you have had it. Squaring up for a fight you ask them what they think they are doing and get no response other than a muttered “Sorry”. That is, until you tell them they are grounded for the next two weeks.
“What?! You can’t do that!” They exclaim, which is what you expected. It isn’t until you hold your ground, extending that grounding by another week that the words break free: they have a new “love”, and if they can’t see them for that long they will literally die of heartbreak.
This is a common scenario with teenagers and often a cause for concern in parents. What happens if this new romantic partner is toxic? What if ihe relationship begins to interfere with your child’s studies? What if they are having sex?
These and many other concerns are normal as a parent. So how do you begin to classify what is normal and how do you deal with it?
The Statistics Behind Teen Love
According to PEW Research, only 35% of teens have been in or are currently in a romantic relationship. Of those numbers, 14% are in relationships now that they consider to be serious and 5% are not serious. The rest have been in relationships at least once in the past.
Your teen has now joined the ranks of those who have become entangled in a romantic engagement and that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Early experiences in love can help to shape us and our later relationships.
But there is a risk. When a teen is involved in a negative relationship during their formative years there is a chance they can come to view abusive or toxic behaviors are the norm. That is why it is so important as a parent to help guide them during the process of developing their relationship now.
If you come across as judging their partner there is a good chance your teen will avoid telling you if something is wrong or bothering them. By being open and supportive you will be able to learn more about the details of their romance.
In the case of red flags your teen will also be more likely to listen to your advice. That is critical in staying involved and helping them to form healthy attachments later on. You are their greatest resource.
Find out more from Sundance Canyon Academy.