Parents guide to teen dating

Every year, 1.5 million high school students nationwide experience some sort of physical abuse from their dating partner.

The numbers are staggering, and, yet, it seems that no one is talking about it.

But it can also be a confusing time and a difficult time for parents too. Gail Saltz, a psychiatrist with New York Presbyterian Hospital, has some advice. Your relationship with your partner is a model for how your teen will behave with others. Being manipulated, verbally put down, pushed or slapped and kept isolated from other relationships are all signs of an abusive relationship. Tell them they need to be honest and clear in communications. Make them think seriously about what sexual intimacy really means to them.

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Although it is often perceived that ‘young love’ is innocent and inconsequential, this is not the case.

However, it is important to remind your teen that a healthy relationship is one that is fun and based on respect, and neither party should ever feel physically or verbally pressured or abused.

Risks As most adults already know, many teen relationships end up in heartache.

Individual time for teens this age will typically be spent on the phone or via text message.

One-on-one activities in dating are more appropriate for older teens.

Teens also learn how to be both assertive and compromising, how to be giving to another and how to expect the same in return. Show them how you compromise, stick up for yourself, give and expect respect and argue but love your spouse. Tell girls that they do not need to have sex to keep a guy. Many kids are having these forms of sex because they tell themselves it’s not really sex. Then tell them about contraception and sexually transmitted diseases.

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  2. eric   •  

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