If you happen to be parenting a teenager, one of the stark realities that you have to face is teen dating violence. Most parents think that their teenager is too young to be dealing with such an issue, but the truth is that teen dating violence is increasingly becoming more rampant in society. As a matter of fact, recent statistics revealed that approximately 1 in 5 high school students report being physically and/or sexually abused by a dating partner. Moreover, more than half of the respondents admitted to compromising their values just to please their partner. Another study reported that more than half of today’s teens have experienced dating violence and that females aged 16 to 24 are more susceptible to intimate partner violence than any other age group. Yet another troubling statistic is that 81% of parents surveyed either believe teen dating violence is not an issue or admit they don’t know if it’s an issue.
Having said all these, what exactly can you do about it? The first step is to make sure that your teen is well informed about these possibilities. Communication is the key, it may be tough but it is a necessary one. Get into the habit of talking to your teen on a regular basis. Establishing a close relationship with your teen while she’s young will make it easier for her to approach you when a problem comes about. Your teen may not be aware of the signs of dating violence. Most of them feel pressured to have and stay in a relationship, particularly if they perceive it as a ‘serious’ one. Peer pressure can set in and prompt them to stay in violent relationships because they consider it as a status symbol which is frequently the result of pressure from peers to engage in dating relationships.
Teen dating violence runs across race, gender, and socioeconomic lines. Both males and females are victims so whether you have a teenage son or daughter, it is your responsibility as a parent to make them realize that abusive, controlling and violent behaviors are not normal. Physical aggression has no place in a healthy relationship at any time and victims can and should stand up for themselves. It is unfortunate but there are instances when teenagers opt to stay in a controlling or abusive relationship because they believe there is no escape and no one to run to for help. Educating your teen can help them from falling prey to dating violence and abuse. Teenagers ought to know that there are many resources for help. It is also crucial to build your teen’s self esteem from a young age and impart to them the notion that they are worthy of being treated with utmost respect and dignity by their friends and partners.
Teach your teen how to watch for danger signs when they go out on dates. Some teenagers are quite naive so they have to be warned that dating violence can happen in any relationship. There are early warning signs of dating violence, but such signs will only be recognized if your teen knows exactly what to look for. It is important to stem the problem at its earliest since violent relationships tend to have serious ramifications for victims. Studies show that teens who choose to stay in violent relationships are at higher risk for suicide, substance abuse, eating disorders and risky sexual behavior.
It is advisable for you to set standards for your teen’s dating behavior and you should always know who your teen is going out with. It is your responsibility as a parent to protect your children from the perils in society and make your teen’s safety your top priority.
Daniel Beeler is the Author of these Articles. You can simply visit our blog site at http://parentingteens.com/blog and http://parentingteens.com/
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