Talking to Teens about Dating Violence

The teenage years are a time in which young people enter the “official” dating scene. Before and during this part of your child’s life, communication is critical. You should talk to your child and educate them on how to protect themselves in the dating world. These conversations are not always easy as teens may brush it off thinking they would never be a victim of dating violence. However, nothing negative ever comes from being prepared. This type of conversation is important as it also shows your teen that you are there as someone who cares and can help them.

3-2-1 GO!

Sometimes starting the conversation can be the most uncomfortable part. What should you say? How should you say it? These are questions that can keep you from talking because, well, you just don’t know. Consider these tips as the three key tactics to use when addressing dating violence with your teen:

  1. Be real. Honesty is key. You should listen to your teen and respond in a non-judgmental way. Equip them with realistic strategies for confronting dating violence issues. This is how you will confirm that you are a good, reliable resource. Share your own experiences and how you learned from them. As the parent, you are your teen’s educator. You are giving them the tools to help themselves in the future if they need to. This type of serious conversation requires you leave out any sugar coating.
  2. Be observant. Pay attention to your child. Look for signs that they may want to talk. When they do, put everything aside and give them your full attention. Some signs that your teen may want to talk may include: lingering around you without saying much or complaining that they don’t feel well but have no physical ailments. If they express that it’s “no big deal”, don’t brush it off. Pursue the conversation and recognize when your teen needs to talk.
  3. Be respectful. Present this conversation in an appropriate setting. During family dinner, at a public place, or around your teen’s friend is not the ideal setting. This conversation should take place in a private space where your teen feels safe, comfortable, and unjudged. Prioritize one-on-one time with your teen to check in and focus on their well-being.

Elevations RTC can help

Elevations is a residential treatment center for teens ages 13-18 who struggle with the behavioral and emotional challenges that stem from mood disorders and other mental health issues such as anxiety and depression. This all gender program aims to set students in a realistic environment where they can grow and develop useful skills that are transferable to the real world. The multi-disciplinary approach used at Elevations addresses the students’ and families as a whole. Elevations gives students the opportunity to gain a new sense of confidence and the skills they need to live a happy and healthy life. We can help your family today!

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