With teen dating violence on the rise, we as parents need to be taking a more active role in our teenagers’ dating lives — whether they like it or not.
Sometimes we make the mistake of believing that our kids are old enough to deal with these things on their own or are old enough to know better.
But, as we think back to when we were that age — did we know all the things we expect our children to know?
Our teens are still figuring out the rules of the world and those rules include how to deal with romantic partners. It’s up to us to help our teens set those rules and abide by them.
Getting Past the Eye Roll
Ah, the eye roll. I don’t know how many times I did that to my parents. Chances are if you have a pre-teen in your house, you’ve already experienced this. But it’s important for parents not to be put off by the eye roll.
Leslie Kantor, MPH, national director of education at Planned Parenthood Federation of America and assistant professor at the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University reminds mothers, in particular, that their voice is the most critical one in their daughters’ sex education.
When asked where they get their information about sex, teens always say their number one source is their mother.4
It is important that we use everyday situations to check in to our teen girl’s life. We know their world is full of peer pressure, along with new ideas and attitudes. Teen girls are easily influenced by others.
We need to make sure that any misconceptions or unhealthy attitudes our girls pick up are addressed quickly so they don’t get pulled in.
You know the topic is important and that you’re doing your job as a parent. Stick with it.
Teach from your Own Experiences
If you’ve made some wrong decisions in your own life about sex and unhealthy relationships, your daughter needs to know that her decisions can have the same impact on her life.
Of course, teenagers are famous for saying, “No, that’ll never happen to me” and going ahead and doing things anyway.
The important thing is to make sure that they heardyour message.