By Cara Medina, See the Triumph Guest Blogger
If you’re the parent of a teenager, you may be worried that your child could become a victim of teen dating violence (TDV). A report from the Center for Disease Control found that about 12% of high school females reported physical violence and about 16% reported sexual violence from a dating partner in the past 12 months. For high school males, about 7% reported physical violence and about 5% reported sexual violence. Dating violence is happening in our communities and schools and it’s something parents and teens need to be aware of.
One of the best ways parents can help prevent dating violence is for parents and adolescents to have open communication. If teens feel that their parents truly listen to them, they may be more likely to tell their parents if there is abuse in his/her relationship. Also, if you have open communication with your teen, you’ll be modelling a healthy relationship.
Even though we may hear the opposite from other parents and the media, adolescents still value their parents’ opinions and advice. If you “listen instead of lecture”, your teen will be more likely to seek out your comfort and advice when problems occur. Here are a few teen dating violence prevention tips for parents:
Cara Medina is a graduate of the Department of Counseling and Educational Development at the University of North Carolina Greensboro. She earned her M.S. and Ed.S degrees in School Counseling. She has counseled middle school, high school and college students. Cara lives in Greensboro with her husband and five children.