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Q: What should parents do if they are concerned their son or daughter is in an unsafe or unhealthy relationship? Talking to your son or daughter about an unhealthy or abusive relationship can be challenging, and abusers frequently try to paint family members as barriers to the relationship to isolate their victims.
Even if your teen has withdrawn from you, continue to let them know that you are there for them and they can talk to you about anything. Try to avoid demonizing their partner as this may push them farther away.
When talking to teens about sex and relationships, talk about your values, expectations and concerns, but don’t make it “The Talk;” that makes everyone feel awkward and can make parents feel like they’ve failed if things don’t go perfectly the first time.
Instead, incorporate conversations about their relationships into other conversations about how things are going for them. Be educated about what affirmative consent is and the consent laws in New Hampshire.
Use biological terms or non-value based terms like private areas in conversations with children.
It makes it easier to continue having those conversations with them as teenagers.
This article is part of a Series that explores parenting issues related to bringing up healthy and well-adjusted teens and tweens.
Through its Safe Kids, Strong Teens program HAVEN reaches over 10,000 students a year with programs on personal body safety and healthy relationships. Compromise is great when it comes to choosing what movie to watch or where to go for dinner, but no one should pressure you to compromise your personal boundaries, sense of self, feeling of safety, priorities, or your relationships with others.Sarah has delivered violence prevention programs to over 100,000 students and parents, and has also trained hundreds of Granite State educators through the Governor’s youth violence prevention initiative.• If your teen suddenly begins buying in to strict male and female relationship roles • If their partner uses put-downs and belittling, even in a joking way • If your teen is pressured to engage in behaviors or activities they don’t feel comfortable with Many teens in abusive relationships report that the emotional abuse can be the most devastating and undermining to them.And what's just sort of normal, awkward teen behavior? While teenagers are starting to look very much like adults, their brains are fundamentally different.Their emotional brain (limbic system) is on overdrive and the judgement/decision-making portion of their brain is still solidifying.