Taken from ChooseRespect.org
Parents… Your Child and Dating
It may seem kind of cute when your teen comes home from school and starts bragging about a girlfriend or boyfriend. But you know you’ve hit a milestone in parenthood when your daughter or son starts showing an interest in dating– without a chaperone! As a parent, this can be a tough time. Your kids are growing up, and it may seem like you have less control over their lives. But while kids certainly need more independence as they begin dating, giving them guidelines is also vitally important to their growth, development, and safety.
Unfortunately, kids– just like adults– can end up in unhealthy relationships. The facts about physical and emotional abuse in dating relationships among teens are alarming. Did you know that 1 in 11 high school students report being a victim of physical dating abuse? Dating abuse is a pattern of violent behavior– physical, emotional, or sexual– by one partner in a dating relationship toward the other.
The good news is, if kids learn the importance of respecting themselves and others at a young age, they are more likely to give respect in return. Learning about respect now helps kids get along with others, communicate, negotiate, make decisions, and learn to be assertive. It’s an important part of growing up, and talking about it early is important in establishing healthy patterns for the future. There are concrete steps you can take at home, in your community, and in your child’s school to build an environment where mutual respect is simply what is expected.