A hallmark of being a teenager is navigating relationships with parents, friends, and peers as well as establishing healthy boundaries to maintain these relationships. I don’t know about you, but I didn’t learn how to do this in school and according to my HS student clients, they are aren’t either. What is a healthy relationship? What is a boundary? Are you able to explain these to your teens?
This isn’t news to you, I’m sure. It might not even sound like that big of a deal. However I assure you, it is. Why? Because 1 in 3 high school students experience either physical or sexual violence, or both, by someone they are dating. This includes both males and females of any race, ethnicity, or religion. (BTW, women ages 18-24 experience the highest rate of intimate partner violence). https://www.breakthecycle.org, 2017
Being able to tell if a relationship is healthy, unhealthy or abusive can be difficult. Ideally, teens will learn about warning signs to recognize early in a dating relationship (but where do they learn how?) For starters, here are the most common warning signs:
checking cell phones, emails, social media without permission
extreme jealousy or possessiveness
telling someone who they can or cant see, ie, disliking friends
constant put downs
making someone feel guilty or bad about themselves
making someone afraid by using looks, gestures, actions
COERCION AND THREATS
making/carrying out threats of physical violence
repeatedly pressuring someone to have sex
threatening suicide if there is a breakup
Do not let your teen be 1 in 3; talk to them about who they are dating and educate them on these warning signs of unhealthy relationships. Working with individuals experiencing intimate partner abuse is one of my passions. Schedule an appointment with me to learn more so your teen is 0 in 3.
Love yourself. You deserve it!