As a dad to three pre-teen sons (11 year-old triplets), the thought of them dating in the not-so-distant future is slightly terrifying.
From a young age, my wife and I have been very clear about our expectations about how they treat their peers (both boys and girls) and about bullying.
Television, movies and music provide many examples of both healthy and unhealthy relationships.
Taking time to use these as opportunities to reflect on what they hear and see allows them to explore issues such as self-respect, personal boundaries, healthy dating relationships and recognizing abuse.
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Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance-United States, 2011.
The Family Journal: Counseling and Therapy for Couples and Families, 24(1), 52-59. Violence Against Women/National Resource Center on Domestic Violence.
Even though it was only last month I explicitly talked with them about the “birds and the bees,” we know it is important for us to talk with our sons about healthy dating relationships from an early age.
There are many teachable moments we use to discuss teenage dating.