Verbally Abusive Teen Relationships & Parent Resources

“No matter the behavior, if a relationship makes you feel nervous, unsure, upset, confused, or overwhelmed, those are signs that something isn’t quite right.”

Teen Vogue published a recent article about signs of a verbally abusive relationship.

According to the One Love Foundation, more than 1 in 3 women and 1 in 4 men will be in a violent relationship in their lifetime. Verbal abuse is often just one symptom of an abusive relationship.

The article focuses on 5 signs in particular:
– Jealousy
– Criticism
– Control
– Blame
– Anger

What can parents do to help?

From the Montgomery County website:

Teens may not have the experience or maturity to know if their relationships are abusive. A teen may think of dating violence as only physical violence—pinching, slapping, hitting, or shoving. Teens may not realize that any relationship involving physical violence, sexual violence, emotional abuse, or the threat of violence is an unhealthy relationship.

For example, a teen may think his or her partner cares when he or she calls, texts, emails, or checks in all the time. But that kind of behavior is about controlling the relationship.

Talk with your teen about what makes a healthy relationship. Explain that a caring partner wouldn’t do something that causes fear, lowers self-esteem, or causes injury. Let teens know that they deserve respect in all of their relationships. Think about values and messages that you want to pass on.

You might start by asking your teen:

– Is your boyfriend or girlfriend easy to talk to when there are problems?
– Does he or she give you space to spend time with other people?
– Is he or she kind and supportive?

Choose Respect Montgomery is but one Montgomery County, Maryland organization dedicated to educating teens and parents about teen dating violence issues.

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