Raising a teen is perhaps the most daunting part of the parenting journey. You have to deal with rebellious young people who think they know it all. Communication is often challenging as you do not seem to get through. The kid may get distant and keep secrets during these tough years. Moreover, the newly found independence makes them vulnerable to crimes like signs of assault and molestation.
Recognize Signs Of Assault
As a parent, it is your responsibility to understand the risk and educate your teen to recognize the signs of assault. It will help them identify threats and report them before things turn dangerous. But discussing such a sensitive matter with your child is easier said than done. Here are some valuable tips to help.
Start Safety Conversations When They Are Young
Education and awareness about the assault should begin when your child is young. It enables them to deal with risky situations better at all stages of life. Use age-appropriate language to talk about the body parts and boundaries.
It enables them to understand the difference between good and bad touch from a young age. Also, ensure they are comfortable about speaking up on these issues. It will be a lot easier to maintain the momentum on safety awareness as the kid steps into the teens.
Refresh Safety Awareness Regularly
A teen with safety awareness is in a far better place to deal with risks and threats. So ensure to refresh education over the years as they grow up. These conversations keep you on the same page and maintain a comfort level with your teens. Repeat the safety lessons regularly.
Give extra emphasis on topics like assault, molestation, and inappropriate touching. You may get more expressive with your language at this stage because the child has a better understanding of human anatomy.
Use Media to Make Assault Education More Relevant
It is natural to worry about the kind of exposure your teen gets on social media, movies, TV shows, and news. But you can actually use the information to your advantage while talking about delicate issues like assault and molestation. Bring up the burning issues like teen abuse in your daily conversations and ask the teen’s opinion on these crimes.
When you listen to their point of view and value it, they get more comfortable with these discussions. The topic no longer remains taboo in your family, so there is hardly a chance they will conceal anything.
Ensure They Do Not Make False Allegations
Teens swing between mature thinking and immature mindset, and they may misunderstand things. They may even bring up false allegations against a teacher or neighbor with a vindictive motive. Ensure they know the ramifications of the action because they can ruin the life and reputation of the accused person.
Dealing with false allegations is challenging as the accused has to connect with a sex crimes attorney to clear their name. So make sure your child is certain about an assault charge. Double-check it before going ahead with the allegation.
Shed Your Inhibitions
A teen is grown up enough to understand the meaning and implications of assault. As a parent, you must shed your inhibitions and talk about the topic directly. The child may have misconceptions about the crime as they rely on facts they pick from peers or the media. Educate them with statistics such as the majority of perpetrators being people kids know. This way, they will be better prepared to identify inappropriate acts coming from people they know and trust.
Make Time For The Child
The reason for most teen assault cases going undetected and unreported is that parents do not have time for their kids. It puts your teen at risk because they will probably not approach you to report an incident.
Spend quality time with your teen and stay connected at all times. Give them undivided attention and reassure them that you take their concerns seriously. The child feels confident when their voice is heard. So they have no reason to hide facts from you.
Educating your teen about a delicate topic like assault sounds like a challenging feat. But it is an integral part of parenting just like teaching your kid the skill of money management and preparing them for college.
Once you see the process as a natural part of growing up, things get a lot easier for you and your teen. Awareness keeps your kid safe from such situations, and they can even help their friends deal with such crimes. So you must not skimp on these conversations, no matter how uncomfortable they feel.