Why you need to talk to your teen about dating abuse today

Mar 8, 2016 by

It’s an uncomfortable conversation no parent wants to have with their child, but it’s a necessary one. Here’s where you can start.

WASHINGTON — If your teen was in an abusive relationship, you would know about it, right?

Unfortunately, a lot of signs of dating abuse are not as identifiable as the physical ones, says Aisha Burgess, the director of Dating Matters Baltimore, a program aimed at reducing dating violence among the city’s teens.

“The physical signs of dating violence are obvious, like bruises and things of that nature,” Burgess says, “but when we’re talking about dating violence, it’t not always going to be physical. It can be emotional as well.”

Burgess tells adults participating in the program’s parents classes that behavioral changes can sometimes signal an unhealthy relationship. Teens are naturally moody, but if your child starts to withdraw from their friends and old activities they used to enjoy, it’s time to check in.

If your child is in middle school, this may be around the time when they start to pull away from you in general.

“Middle schoolers are in this interesting stage of development where they’re seeking a semblance of independence, and oftentimes parents will back off at this point, particularly in terms of school activities,” says Burgess. “Supervision is still very important.”

Don’t be afraid to assert yourself a bit. Know who your child’s friends are, where they’re going when they leave the house. Be especially nosy when it comes to smartphones, she says.

Source: Why you need to talk to your teen about dating abuse today – WTOP

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