February is National Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month.
In order to shine light on dating abuse, I’m posting 28 Tips for 28 Days. Stop by each day this month and discover stats that may shock you. Tips that can help you. Links that can save a life.
Knowledge and understanding are our best weapons in fighting what has become a silent epidemic among teens!
Day 24, Tip 24:
The dreaded sex talk.
If you’re a parent, you don’t want to have it.
If you’re a teen you really don’t want to have it. At least, not with your parent.
Still, like many other parents I gathered my courage and I talked to my kids. When they were little, I had books that we could read together and that described the anatomy and the process. It’s possible there was a talking egg in the book, which I shudder in embarrassment now to think about, but hey, it worked. I remember there were times when I talked to them about safe sex. About “no” means “no.” And I’m absolutely sure I told them they could always come to me if they had any questions.
But I never spoke to them about a healthy relationship. I guess I never thought I had to. I assumed it was obvious–that every child was somehow born with the knowledge already twined around their DNA.
Of course, now I know that’s not the case. As I’ve done so much research about relationship abuse, I’m worried that other parents have made the same mistake that I did. That they don’t teach or talk or discuss what a healthy relationship really means.
So, here are some non-negotiable things to expect in a relationship that I wish I had told my kids then, that I’m telling them now, that I would tell everyone’s kid, if I could:
•Respect your partner, respect yourself. And your partner should do the same
•Communicate. Never be afraid to talk about anything.
What am I forgetting here? What would you add? Or rather, what will you add when you have The Talk.
- Books can make it easier to broach the topic. There are a lot of stories about relationship abuse that can get your teen thinking…questioning. Die for You is just one. I hope it can make a difference in the life of someone you love.
“This taut thriller unrolls hidden messages of abusive relationships with a sharp edge and well-drawn gray areas, leaving readers on the edge of their seats.” — Booklist