It’s no secret that raising teens and young adults can be challenging. Sometimes, it seems there’s just no getting through to them. As difficult as it may seem at times, it is imperative that we continue trying to reach them – especially when it comes to issues of their safety.
Approaching the topic of healthy relationships and teen relationship abuse is no different. Whether you suspect your teen or a teen you know is involved in an abusive relationship, or you just want to start the conversation, we’ve put together this guide full of tips to set you up for a successful heart-to-heart.
Starting the Conversation:
- If your gut tells you there is something to talk about, listen. Don’t wait for things to become obvious
- Your mood will set the tone – start the conversation when you can be compassionate and patient – not angry, anxious or frustrated
- Be transparent and authentic- share personal stories if/when appropriate
- Acknowledge that it is a difficult topic to talk about, but remember it is a necessary conversation to have
- Ask questions vs. making statements, assumptions and observations
- Offer support other than you – aunt, uncle, therapist, priest, coach, teacher, etc
- Remind them you love them, offer support vs. consequence