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How to Start the Conversation About Teen Dating Violence

Updated: Feb 23

 Advice from our Mental Health & Counseling department.

Written by Jessenia Pagan CCC's Behavioral Health Program Manager

It can be tough to bring up difficult subjects with your teen, but talking about teen dating violence is crucial. Silence can leave them vulnerable. So, how do you start the conversation?

Here are some tips:

  1. Find the right moment: Choose a relaxed time when you can have a distraction-free chat.

  2. Start with open-ended questions: Ask "How are things going with your friends/dating?" rather than yes/no questions.

  3. Listen without judgment: Validate their feelings and experiences, even if you disagree.

  4. Use real-life examples: Share news stories or fictional scenarios to spark discussion.

  5. Focus on healthy relationships: Define respect, trust, and clear boundaries together.

  6. Share resources: Provide age-appropriate websites, hotlines, or support groups.

  7. Reassure them you're always there: Make it clear they can confide in you without fear of consequences.

  8. Lead by example: Model healthy communication and respect in your own relationships.

  9. Be patient: Building trust takes time. Keep the conversation open and ongoing.

  10. Seek help if needed: If you're concerned, don't hesitate to seek professional guidance.

Remember: Communication is key. By starting the conversation and creating a safe space, you can empower your teen to make healthy choices and navigate relationships confidently.

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