How to talk to your kids about dating
Knowing or even suspecting that your child is in an unhealthy relationship can be both frustrating and frightening.But as a parent, you’re critical in helping your child develop healthy relationships and can provide life-saving support if they are in an abusive relationship.How do we help kids through these transitions and avoid instability? Kristen Hadfield, a post-doctoral fellow I supervise at the Resilience Research Centre who has been doing research in the US, Ireland and Canada on mothers, stepparents and kids. First, parents are cycling in and out of romantic relationships at a higher rate than ever before.All those online dating sites are doing what they were intended to do.If they do open up, it’s important to be a good listener.Your child may feel ashamed of what’s happening in their relationship.Some of these signs include: As a parent, your instinct is to help your child in whatever way you can.
Take your child out to a coffee shop or for a drive, away from siblings and distractions for both of you.
While there are no firm statistics on the number of lifetime partners of parents, we know that almost a third of live births are to single women and that their children are more likely than other kids to have a half-sibling by age 10.
Fifty percent of these kids are also likely to experience three or more changes in who’s parenting them before the age of 5, and a third will experience another change between the ages of 6 and 12.
Here are some tips to keep in mind when trying to help a child who is experiencing dating abuse: When talking to your teen, be supportive and non-accusatory.
Let your child know that it’s not their fault and no one “deserves” to be abused.
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Teenagers do look to us for guidance, though—even when they’d rather die than acknowledge that they are—and we can often have more influence than we realize.