Teenage dating parents guide
Denise Witmer, a writer for About.com, adds, “You will do so without any consequences to your teenager with the understanding that everyone makes mistakes in judgment.” Often technologies like cell phones can be used to control a partner, unbeknownst to others. Jill Murray refers to such psychological warfare as “an electronic leash." "I’ve had girls come into my office with cell phone bills showing 9,000 text messages and calls … Love Is Not Abuse publishes “A Parent’s Guide to Teen Dating Violence,” a handbook that catalogs 10 behaviors common to girls in unhealthy relationships.Warning signs include “She stops seeing friends and family members,” “She loses interest in activities that she used to enjoy” and “She apologizes for his behavior and makes excuses for him.” The handbook also provides guidelines for discussing dating violence, including handling a conversation with the suspected abuser.
Barbara Whitaker of Good Housekeeping magazine explained that while teens are “pairing off” at around the same age, between 12 and 14 years old, dating practices are different than they were generations ago.Technology has changed the way teenagers meet and make plans.Instead of calls to a house phone, teens use cell phones, e-mail and Twitter.When a boy showed up to take her daughter on a date by calling from the driveway, Tami Beck, a mother of two in Shawnee, Kan., told her daughter, “Tell him he needs to come in.Your parents want to meet him,” Good Housekeeping reported.When your teen is ready to date, it’s important to establish “ground rules.” The U. Department of Health and Family Services’ Family Guide suggests a balance between helicopter parenting and a laissez-faire approach.
However strict or easygoing parents choose to be, it’s important that they maintain an open dialogue.
“Dating is a big deal to teens," the Family Guide notes.
"They need you to stay involved and attentive to what’s going on.” Many teens go out in groups instead of one-on-one, so teenagers may actually feel more pressure to do things they feel uncomfortable doing.
Sabrina Weill, author of “The Real Truth About Teens and Sex,” told Good Housekeeping that it’s crucial to teach your teenagers to think for themselves. A study from the Teenage Research Unlimited for the Family Violence Prevention Fund (FVPF) and Liz Claiborne Inc., found that although 82 percent of parents think they know the signs of dating violence, more than 58 percent were unable to properly recognize every sign of abuse.
Weill suggests asking your teen, “If nobody was drinking a beer, would you? ” It’s equally important for teens to know they can rely on their parents. FVPF President Esta Soler said, “It concerns us that about one-third of parents don’t recognize that isolation from family, being kept away from family by a dating partner, and isolation from friends can be danger signs.” The survey also found that dating violence has become even more prevalent amid the recession.
If your teen wants to leave a date or an outing, no matter the time or the circumstance, it's important to let her know you'll come pick her up. According to the report, available in PDF format via the FVPF Web site, “Nearly half of all teens whose families have experienced economic problems in the past year report having witnessed their parents abusing each other.” Not surprisingly, the study determined that these same teens are more prone to dating violence in their own relationships.