There is only one surefire way you can make sure your child is protected from entering into an abusive relationship of any kind.
Require that you are present as a chaperone during all times of interaction between your child and his/her partner.
But, that doesn’t work right?
As your child grows up, he/she will start to want to have more freedom in his/her dating lives. At that point, he/she may not want to discuss the details of his/her romantic relationships with you, and he/she may rebel against having a chaperone. So, now what are you supposed to do to protect them?
Take a step back and think ahead. What can you do now to protect your child in the future?
Here are four powerful ways you can make sure your child is safe from an abusive relationship.
1) Inform your child about the warning signs of an abuser. The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence has a list of warning signs to share with your child. Click here for that article.
2) Show your child there are numerous reasons why they should leave a partner or never enter into a relationship with a potential partner. Utilize my previous blog post, “Dangerous and Normal Reasons Why You Should Leave Your Partner,” to help you describe what are the reasons why your child should leave a partner or not date a partner to begin with.
3) Let them benefit from knowing that abuse is not only limited to physical abuse. According to the London Family Court Clinic, “You can be in an abusive relationship without ever being hit. Abusive partners are self-centered, immature, manipulative, can’t appreciate the views or needs of others, shift blame onto others, don’t take responsibility for the bad things they do or say, are possessive and treat people like their property, and put others down to feel good about themselves. They are disrespectful and may have problems keeping their emotions under control.”
4) Have them read through the first three sections in this article, called, “Dating Abuse Resources for Teens.” The first three sections in this article are titled, “Who to Call,” “What to Read,” and, “Online Interactive.” This article gives teens insight into who to reach out to if they see or are involved in an abusive relationship or if they think something is just not right. It shares great resources to read to learn more. And, it also gives them “online interactive” resources to teach them about the dangers of abuse and the signs of wholesome relationships.