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Pledge to Talk to Your Teen

Watching your child grow up is hard. Seeing your little girl or boy mature into a young adult who wants space to make his or her own decisions isn’t easy. And no matter how hard you’ve tried to instill the confidence and values in your child that he or she will need to make good decisions, you still worry.

Teen dating is a personal subject for Missouri parents. Only you and your child will know when he or she is ready to date, and what the “right” rules are for your family and teen dating. No matter what your house rules are for dating, it’s important to talk with your son or daughter about healthy relationships.

February was Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month but the discussions should constantly take place dedicated to teaching relationship skills, educating young people about dating violence, and preventing the devastating cycle of domestic abuse.

Sadly, 1 in 3 teens will experience some form of domestic violence (sexual, physical, or verbal) from a dating partner during their teen years, but only 1 in 4 parents has ever talked to their kids about domestic violence.

Even if your first instinct is to lock your son or daughter up until they turn 30, the reality of raising a teenager is that you can’t always be there to protect them. One of the best things you can do to help your son or daughter stay safe is to talk with them — and to make sure that they know that they can talk with you — about dating and relationships.

It’s Time to Talk Day is devoted to opening the conversation about dating and domestic violence. Tim Gunn, Katie Couric, Meredith Vieira, and other celebrities have participated in the past, and this year, you can participate, too.

Go to It’s Time To Talk Day’s website to pledge to talk to your son or daughter about healthy relationships and teen dating this February.

A long list of general resources on dating, abuse, and domestic violence prevention and reporting is available here, and the site also offers specific resources to schools/educators and to faith-based leaders.

Image via Getty.

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