You have a child

You have a daughter and you want to raise her to be strong. You want her to be able to recognize when a boyfriend may be a “bad” boyfriend for her. How do you do that?

First when they are very young, think about the messages you are giving them. For instance when they get hit on the playground what do you say? Do you say, “oh they were probably in a bad mood today and will be okay tomorrow?” If they take that to heart, think how that will playout in later life. Do you say “oh it’s a little boy, that is how they show they like you?” Think how that one will play out in later life. Teach them to tell the other child they want to be friends, but not unless they will play without hitting them or anyone else. And if they won’t stop, teach them to ask for help.

Encourage your daughters to stand up for themselves when they are in the right (without hitting.) And that it is ok to ask for help, from you or the teacher. That is something they should never be afraid of doing.

Ahhh, when they get to be teens it is something different. You don’t understand, you don’t know and you have never felt like them. All happening just at the time they are starting to date.

So how do you teach a teen about fair dating? Most teens listen to their peers more than their parents. Many teens have a myspace account. If they don’t have an account, they know someone who does. Most parents don’t like myspace, it scares them. Still, teens flock there.

Recently Cleveland, Ohio was rocked with the news that one of their own teens was raped and shot by her ex-boyfriend. Cleveland has decided to take the message where the teens live. They have opened a myspace account called “Reality Check Cleveland”.

It is set up in typical myspace format. But it is a different kind of myspace. One section describes how to tell if you are in a domestic violent relationship. There is a great graphic that tells of the honeymoom cycle of abuse and the circle of power under which an abusive spouse or boyfriend will keep the girlfriend under their control. And they have some videos

Video testimonials include those from girls who got out of abusive relationships, information on how to identify an abusive relationship, and how to help a friend.

I recommend it to anyone (adult or teen) who is in an abusive relationship, but I also recommend it for all teens. If they learn what to watch for, hopefully they won’t have the problem.

A big thanks to Trench for the lead on this story


1 Comment

  1. KatK said,

    May 16, 2007 at 9:52 pm

    All very good points. I do think, that my father teaching me that “You are worth just as much as any male, and don’t let them tell you otherwise!” did give me the strength to finally break free of my abusive marraige. (The increments of abuse increased so gradually, one day I woke up and thought “What am I doing here? I’d *never* let a guy treat me like that before I got married, not even my best friend’s boyfriend!” ) It also helped me bounce back fast enough to keep my wits and get away from the second abuser who tried to ensnare me once I was out of the battered women’s shelter. Getting out in three months was light speed compared to the nine years with my ex husband.

    It was all I could do to not squirm, much less jump up and denounce the minister as wholly False at a Fundimentalist wedding I attended this past Fall. He lectured the husband on how he was now the “Spiritual Head of the Family” and lectured the woman even longer on how it was her Duty to be Subservient, and to Serve under her husband’s Guidance. (Capitalization to show the minister’s emphasis.) I don’t know how I held my tongue, or my seat.

    The groom is a bully/sociopath. Go down the list under “Workplace bullys” on the Bullys Online website, and check off pretty much every single attribute. I am not kidding. (Some I am very glad not to know, only his poor wife would know.) This person is in society, and actually well liked. It’s scary. (He’s a member of my husband’s family, we are rather estranged because he knows we have his number. He will never know where we live because we don’t trust him not to rob us blind, or worse.) The Bride’s family knows to have the numbers for battered women’s help on hand, I let one of them know. (They already smelled him, and they came to me and felt me out. I told the truth.) The Bride knows to come to us if she has need, as well.

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