Growing Up Girl Child: Let’s Talk Dating Violence

Last time we discussed When Should I Start Dating? I think this naturally lends itself to “What Should I Do If Dating Goes Wrong?”

Increasingly, studies are showing that dating violence happens to 1 in 10 girls when they are in high school. HIGH SCHOOL. Ugh. Efforts are being made to introduce the subject earlier, before dating truly begins. You know, middle school. Where Girl Child is right now. I don’t think I’m quite ready to show her this video, and I don’t think she’s quite ready to see it, but I think it’s worth putting out in the world and sharing it. I believe both girls AND boys should watch when they are ready to take it in.

dating violence

Ingrid Bergman in ‘Gas Light.’ Where we got the term gaslighting

I can even see, at this stage in her young life, some of her peers shaping themselves with a scary dynamic when it comes to these early stages of dating.

No one should lay a harmful hand on you, gaslight you, isolate you, or make you feel like you’re the only person who can save them from themselves. You will not die without them. They will not die without you.

Take the time to watch this, please. I think it’s one of the most important TED talks ever given.

Leslie Morgan Steiner on Dating Violence

Dating violence wasn’t anything I considered growing up. My parents said, “don’t let anyone hit you. Ever.” And while that’s excellent advice, it’s not enough anymore. From the first emotional manipulation to revenge porn and all that modern technology can bring, the conversation has evolved and our conversations as parents need to evolve with it.

Getting hit is the most obvious form of abuse, but the abuse begins long before the first fist is thrown. Arming our kids with the skills they need to navigate healthy dating relationships is not only a good idea, it’s necessary.

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