GREENSBORO, N.C. — Many parents get a little nervous when their teens start to date because it's a sign of growing up. And as statistics show, dating isn't always smooth sailing. As parents, you have to teach your teens signs of possible abuse so they can avoid unhealthy relationships.
Since February is National Teen Dating Violence Awareness month, let's talk about body language signs that might indicate trouble. Early indicators that a relationship might not be healthy is if the boyfriend or girlfriend doesn't handle anger or frustrations well. If they're easily angered then they might not be able to support their anger from their interactions with your teen.
Other signs: the boyfriend or girlfriend says mean or hurtful comments, doesn't responsibility for their anger and actions, call names and doesn't respect your teen's boundaries. No doesn't mean no. Instead, it means to keep asking until your teen says yes or gives in.
Voice can signal anger and agitation. Their voice can ramp up. They might talk through their teeth with nostrils flared. Or, they might talk slowly and deliberately to make their point or intimidate your teen.
As far as body language signs, they might squeeze your teen too hard then immediately let go. They might show a fake smile that's followed by anger. They might roll their eyes or turn their head away to disconnect. Or, they might show disgust.
These behaviors don't necessarily mean that they'll get aggressive. But, they're signs to watch for. Research shows that lack of impulse control and difficulty controlling anger can increase risk of aggressive tendencies. The main point is that if your teen doesn't feel safe, comfortable or happy with their partner then it's time to end the relationship.
Share your thoughts on my Facebook page: Blanca Cobb-Body Language Expert. Write a message on my timeline and I'll get back to you. While you're on my page, give it a "like." I'd appreciate it.
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