The ProblemTeen dating abuse is a pattern of behaviors used by a teen to harm, threaten, intimidate or control the person they’re involved with. This can happen in serious or casual relationships. The behaviors happen during a relationship, but may also continue after the relationship has ended.
Adult Influence MattersIn a national study only about 25% of parents reported talking with their kids about dating relationships (GfK, 2013). We’ve talked with groups of parents across Indiana to try to understand why we aren’t having these conversations.
Setting the StageHow can you set the stage to have great conversations with your kids about relationships? The Indiana teens that we spoke with told us many times that the key is to talk with, rather than at, the kids in your life. Talking with youth about their relationships doesn’t mean telling them what to do; this almost never works. The most effective strategy will lie in the sweet spot between representing your point of view and respecting their experience and perspective.
Conversation StartersA good strategy is to ask open-ended relationship questions, and then to let the conversation unfold. By asking open questions, you give the kids in your life the opportunity to explore their relationships and you’re modeling respect for their point of view.
Good Times to TalkCLICK HERE to watch helpful videos on finding good times to talk to your teens.
Respectful RelationshipsRespectful relationships are based on affection, friendship, trust, good communication and equality for everyone in the relationship. Each individual in a respectful relationship feels supported and connected, but also independent. Though participants in respectful relationships may agree to share many things, each deserves to have their own thoughts, opinions, interests and friends.
Equity Wheel The ICADV Youth Council members developed the following Equity Wheel to depict the building blocks of respectful relationships. Click on each box to learn about what these relationship qualities mean and how they work in the lives of our members.