Hello Everyone! I hope all is well with you today! I’ve had a pretty hectic week. My son’s birthday is Saturday and I’ve been shopping for that as well as trying to get the kids ready for school. J
As I focused on the new school year I wondered what kind of social situations my boys will experience this year. Last year in my oldest son’s class they discussed bullying and bullying behaviors. I was excited to see this because it illustrated that our school system was taking a big stand against bullying.
Then I wondered about their teen years. I wondered what kind of relationships would they find themselves in. I hope healthy ones, but how does a parent know? I remember my teen years and I didn’t share a lot of things with my parents, I turned to my friends. Luckily, I had awesome friends. But what happens to the teen that doesn’t? How does a parent know?
So, I started researching and found that there are signs when a teen is in an abusive relationship. For example, if they stop hanging around their friends and stop doing things that they enjoy. The young teen is basically withdrawing and could even be depressed. This is a huge sign.
When I’m talking about abuse, I’m including emotional abuse as well. Emotional abuse is just as debilitating as physical, or sexual abuse. The problem is that it’s hard to see because there is no evidence left on the abused teen. What is emotional abuse and what are the signs? Below is a list of signs to look for in your teen.
Has your teen…
- Showed a loss of concentration?
- Shown signs of being afraid to upset their partner?
- Spent excessive amounts of time in contact with their partner?
- Lost contact with other friends?
- Been constantly fighting with their partner?
- Changed their behavior and/or appearance?
- Had unexplained injuries?
- Not been enjoying activities that he/she used to enjoy?
- Become more aggravated and/or less independent?
- Seemed persistent to be home at certain times to receive/make phone calls?
- Seemed withdrawn from what is going on around him or her?
- Told you about or have you been a witness to their partner calling them names, embarrassing them, or putting them down in front of others?
If your teen answers yes to two or more of these questions they could be in an abusive relationship.
If you suspect your teen is in this type of relationship ask them these questions. If they answer yes to three or more of the questions they need your help.
Does your partner….
- Have a short temper?
- Act very jealous?
- Exaggerate fights?
- Tell or suggest what you should wear?
- Try to limit who you talk to?
- Make you tell him/her where you are going and who you are with?
- Tell you when you have to be home?
- Put you down?
- Take up most of your time?
- Hurt you physically or throw things at you?
- Get angry when you disagree with them?
- Pressure you to engage in sexual activity that you feel uncomfortable with?
- Make you feel like you can’t say no to sexual activity?
- Embarrass you in front of others?
If your teen is in this type of relationship a parent needs to intervene. But how? How do you intervene without alienating your child?
One step is to look into T.E.A.R. acronym for Teens Experiencing Abusive Relationships. You can find them here http://www.teensagainstabuse.org/index.php.
This is a great organization that can help teens and parents. This is where I got the information for this post. J
Here’s some solid advice from T.E.A.R.
- Keep all lines of communication open. Sit down with your child and talk about the differences between a good relationship and a bad one. Ask questions but don’t grill them. Also don’t yell at them or blame them for the abuse that you suspect they are dealing with.
- Always validate their feelings. When a parent validates a child’s feelings they realize that you really do want to help and that you value them.
- And the most important thing to do, in my opinion, is strengthen your relationship with your child. Encourage them to develop an aspect of their life without the abuser. Maybe join a church group or a club. Then join with them and spend more time with them. Instead of lecturing and giving advice, give them options. J
I hope this post has been helpful! For more information please check out this website http://www.teensagainstabuse.org/index.php. They also have an abuse hotline. Here’s the number 1-866-331-9474.
*** I would like to thank T.E.A.R. for providing the information for this post. J