Parents play a really important role in ending teen dating violence. It’s important that you teach your teens about healthy relationships. It’s even more important that you’re there to support them and hear them if they come to you with a question or problem. If your teen is a victim of dating violence, they’ll need you to be non-judgemental and supportive.
Warning Signs for Parents*
While warning signs come in all forms, some of them can include your teen:
- Making changes in their daily rituals.
- Retreating from school or activities, or losing interest in activities that he/she used to enjoy.
- Experiencing isolation from friends and family.
- Making changes in their clothing – or wearing clothing inappropriate for the weather (in order to hide bruises or marks).
- Having visible marks or bruises.
- Spending excessive amounts of time with the person they’re dating.
- Apologizing or making excuses for his/her partner’s behaviour.
- Casually mentions the partner’s violent behaviour, but laughs it off as a joke.
How can I help my teen?**
Even in the rockiest parent-teen relationship, the advice of a parent can make a dramatic difference in a teen’s life. If you notice a change in your teen that concerns you, talk to them:
- Ask questions about his/her life.
- Listen with an open mind.
- Support your teen as they decide what to do.
- Keep open the channels of communication.
- Be calm and take positive action.
** Source: http://www.loveisrespect.org/