Dating violence is a common sight in America, where a potential romantic relationship can be marred by the jealousy and insecurities of one partner. Parents need to understand that unhealthy relationships during teenage may persist for life. Therefore, it is necessary that they guide their teens about emerging signs of a violent relationship during the early days of their dating.
Teenage dating violence often starts with teasing and name calling in private or in front of friends and strangers. Boys usually consider this a ‘normal’ part of a relationship, but this may lead to more serious violence; physical assault and rape. So, parents should teach their teens to be careful if they see any of the following signs in their partner:
- Explain to your teen that if there is anything about their partner that makes them suspicious or gives them an ‘uh-oh’ feeling, then it's time they re-think their decision to date this person.
- Language is a powerful tool which tells a lot about a person. It’s not acceptable that your teen's partner talks in a demeaning tone about them in front of friends or in private. This behavior is a stepping stone for many, and problems can escalate any day.
- Another red flag is if your teen's partner is always putting him/herself at the center of every issue and blaming your teen for every little thing that upsets them.
- He/she gets angry or sulky when your teen wants to spend some time with their friends. Their interaction with members of the opposite sex is not met well.
- Your teen's boyfriend or girlfriend asks them to change in a certain way as per his/her wishes. This may involve dressing up the way they like, listening to their choice of music etc.
- They try to assert his/her control over your teen by manipulating their opinion or forcing them to do things which make them uncomfortable – sexual or otherwise.
- Disagreements are a part of a healthy relationship. However, observe how your teen's partner argues - rationally and calmly or aggressively.
- Observe your teen when they are in a conflicting situation. See if your teen's partner loses their calm easily or try to resolve the situation with ease and cool headedness.
Dating and relationships is an important part of teenage life. However, teens need to be cautious and should adopt dating-violence prevention measures.