If it is not enough for parents to know that there is a possibility that just by going to school that your child could be bullied, shot at, offered drugs or alcohol, could become so depressed that they cut themselves or attempt suicide, now parents have the added worry of teen dating violence. With the inception of date rape drugs and candy bowls (medicine cabinet prescription drugs stolen from households, mixed up and popped at parties), teen dating violence is on the rise. The question is, how does a parent cope and then help their child cope in the wake of a violent incidence such as this?
New legislation actually passed in Illinois this summer to help combat the effects of teen dating violence. The Illinois House Bill 3379 will now require school boards in Illinois to adopt a policy on this issue and the policy must establish procedures for school employees to respond when and if they become aware of any teen dating violence. In addition, schools will be mandated to educate students about potential dating violence.
It is scary to hear that one in three teens have conveyed that they have experienced some form of dating violence. The teens admitting to this are not of one culture, race, age or religion. Sometimes they feel as though they have nowhere to turn for help so hopefully this new legislation will give them an edge.
Parents need to be aware of this scary issue. They need to keep open lines of communication with their teens since the first experiences of teen dating violence have happened to kids as young as 11 years of age according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
It is evident that parents should discuss this topic with their teens before letting them loose in the dating world. They should also let their teens know that they can come to them with anything – especially a situation like this!
Since teenagers are looking to become adults, they test the waters and sometimes shut out the parents that they have known and loved since birth. What can a parent do in that type of a situation?
One thing is, they can pay attention; look for signs. They can approach their teen; not accuse, but try to discuss. If that does not work, call the school psychologist or counselor – they should be able to help. Whatever the case, stay involved! If you do, the hope is that your teen will come back to you, open up and let you help them get out of a relationship that is harmful to them now and perhaps could affect their future.
Parents have a lot to deal with in today’s world. Before becoming a parent, you should be aware of the dangers in the world and discuss amongst yourselves how you, together, will handle the types of circumstances that are occurring. If you are prepared, it will hopefully be easier for you to face and to deal with!