Preventing Youth Dating Violence

What Caregivers Need to Know

Building Skills for Healthy Relationships

Build Children’s Strengths

  1. Teens who experience dating violence may have low self-esteem, may be struggling with their identity, or may have low confidence in their ability to manage a relationship.
    • Find ways to have conversations about their concerns about relationships and adolescence.
    • Encourage your teen to reflect on their experiences.
    • Find ways to celebrate and highlight their strengths.
  1. Build and demonstrate key communication skills.
    • Teach your teen how to communicate clearly and constructively.
    • Teach your teen how to manage conflicts in a healthy, productive way.
    • Ensure that you are being a positive role model by engaging in healthy communication with your teen.
    • You can see a guide demonstrating communication strategies you can practice with your teen.
  1. Demonstrate how to manage stress and negative emotion.
    • Teach your teen how to manage negative emotions such as anger, stress, and sadness.
    • For specific strategies and activities, please see this link and this link.
  1. Watch the movies, TV shows, or web-based content that your teen enjoys to start a conversation about stereotypes, sex, peer pressure, positive behaviour and healthy relationships.
  2. Notice when your teen communicates well and manages stress in a healthy way. Consistently provide positive feedback and praise when this happens.

Use Consequences That Teach and Encourage Empathy

Just like in childhood, caregivers need to set consistent consequences for aggressive behaviour in teenagers.

Teenagers should be encouraged to evaluate their behaviour and reflect on what they did wrong, and how they can do better in the future.

Caregivers should demonstrate ways that their teens can improve their behaviour.

Ideally, this starts in early childhood to establish non-violent patterns of communication and problem-solving.

See our Consequences and Empathy Tips for more help