It’s an alarming trend, it’s estimated that one in five teens will suffer some sort of physical abuse in a relationship, and of course, teen girls are more likely to be victimized in this way than teen boys. If you want to know what you can do to protect your teen from teenage dating abuse, this article will provide you with some helpful information.
Of course, if you want to protect your kids from a myriad of issues from abuse, to addiction, the best time to start is long before they become teenagers. If you raise your kids from an early age to feel good about who they are and what they have to offer the world, they are much less likely to fall victim to abuse or addiction. Low self esteem is one of the worst things a kid can have when they are going through this difficult transition into adulthood. Be very careful how you communicate with your child, what you consider ‘motivation’ may actually sound to them like condemnation and that can undermine their feelings of self worth throughout their whole life.
Getting your kid involved in something that they love is another great way to increase their self esteem. One word of caution: don’t make this about you, don’t set unrealistically high goals for your child or instead of building up their self esteem it will be crushed. These activities should be something your kid loves to do, they don’t necessarily even need to be good at it. Giving them something that they are passionate about is a great way to help keep them from so many bad choices that teens make today.
Make sure your teen knows that love isn’t trying to force them to do something they don’t want to do. It might be a cliche, but it still happens, the “if you love me, you’ll do it for me” gambit that many young people use to get sex. Let your teen know what love is and what it isn’t. Love isn’t about manipulating someone to do something they don’t want to do, that is just selfishness.
Other types of behavior to tell your kids to be on the lookout for are:
1. If their boyfriend/girlfriend starts telling them what to wear, how to do their hair, who they can see or not see, etc. These are all disturbing signs of an abuser and your teen needs to know that if someone they are dating starts doing this than they should end the relationship right away.
2. If your teen starts acting differently, more moody and irritable than normal, doesn’t want to talk about their relationship, gets overly upset when you say anything negative about their boyfriend, has a lot of scratches or bruises, suddenly stops seeing their old friends, etc. these are all warning signs that your teen may be in an abusive relationship. If you suspect your teen is in an abusive relationship there is help, go to your local domestic violence website and start the search for information, and help, there.
It’s a sad reality, but kids really are growing up fast these days, and some of them are turning into abusers at much earlier ages. If you want to protect your teen from teenage dating abuse, the advice in this article is a great place to start.