Did you know that February is Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month? Did you also know that statistics show that one in three teens in the United States will experience physical, sexual or emotional abuse before they become adults and that nearly half of college women report experiencing abusive dating behaviors? As a mom of two teenage girls, this is disheartening to me. I talk to my girls all the time about what is appropriate and what is inappropriate behaviors for whenever they start dating (hopefully no time soon ).
I tell them that they deserve to be treated like the queens they are. I tell them not to let any man disrespect them and to love themselves flaws and all. So how at the age of 39, did I find myself in a domestic abuse situation? Did I ignore the signs? Did I do something that triggered this behavior? Was there something I could have done to avoid this?
My answers to all of those questions were YES! I did see signs and chose to ignore.
I did trigger the behaviors by allowing him to think that they were acceptable to me and I could’ve avoided this by walking away when I first noticed the red flags! So now my conversations with my girls are a little different. I tell them not to wait until they are 39 to fall deeply in love with themselves. To set standards and stick to them. To never ignore red flags. That when a person shows you who they are, believe them. That they are not responsible for “changing” anyone. And most importantly to NEVER except less than they deserve!
Talk to your teens today... it’s time for open and honest conversations!