Starting in August, FSC will host a series of webinars designed for parents of dating-aged teenagers. “Dating is a whole new world in the digital age. Unfortunately, many parents are not informed, and teens are not prepared. When you look at the statistic that 33% of adolescents in America are victim to sexual, physical, verbal, or emotional dating abuse, we need to make sure teens understand what this looks like and how to get help,” says Wendy Fuller, Prevention & Outreach Coordinator at Family Sunshine Center.
As adults our definition of dating may be very different from a tween or teens. Students define dating as hanging out or just spending time together, and they are starting to “date” as early as 10 years old. One online survey showed that one in five tweens (students age 11 to 14) say their friends are victims of dating violence. Because students are forming these types of relationships earlier and earlier, it is important that parents and other caring adults have conversations about healthy relationships and abuse earlier as well.
Through this 4-part webinar series designed for parents of tweens and teens—any parents really—we will talk about why you should have the conversations and when they should start. While most parents say they have had these conversations with their students, most students say their parents have never talked to them about healthy relationships. So, we will talk about how to make sure that these conversations are effective and memorable.
August 13: Why talk about it
The second leading cause of death in teens is suicide. Teens who have experienced teen dating violence are at greater risk of contemplating and attempting suicide. In session 1 Sharon Beeman, Suicide Prevention Educator, will join us to share information about the connection between teen dating violence and suicide, warning signs, and how to get help if you suspect your teen is contemplating suicide.
August 20: Conversation Starters
Talking to your teen about dating violence and relationships can be a little awkward. Session 2 will delve into how we get the conversation started. Participants will be given several “games” and activities they can do with their teen. These games and activities are designed to help start open and honest conversation and they will require give and take on the part of both parent and teen.
Conversation Starters: Parent and Teen 20 Questions
August 27: Parenting in the digital age
With the average age for children to get their own smart phone being 10, it’s no surprise that technology is a huge factor in teen relationships. In a survey of teens between the ages of 13-18 nearly half (42%) said their parents knew little to nothing about what they do online. Session 3 will explore the connection between technology and dating violence. We will cover information on harassment, sexting, revenge porn, and texting terminology as well as how to keep tabs on what your teen is doing online.
September 3: Respect is a two-way street
All healthy relationships are built on respect. Session 3 will examine the impact of respect on all relationships, starting with self-respect. When teens respect themselves, they are more likely to respect others and walk away from relationships where their partner does not show them respect. We will talk about how we teach and model respect and how to help our teens set personal boundaries.