for parents of teenagers

For Parents of Teenagers

This article is for parents of teenagers who have begun dating. It will help you to understand the issues that teens face in the dating process. Nearly two-thirds (61%) of all teens in the Western world ages 13 to 18 have had boyfriends or girlfriends. Unfortunately, for many of these teens, these relationships are not always healthy.

According to a Teen Relationships Abuse Survey conducted by Liz Claiborne, Inc. in 2006:

  • Almost two-thirds (64%) of teens were dating someone who “acted really jealous and asked where they were all the time.”
  • Nearly half (47%) of teens who have dated have done something that compromised their own values in order to please their partner.
  • One in five (21%) teens who have been in a dating relationship have had a partner who tried to prevent them from seeing family or friends.
  • Three out of five (61%) teens who have dated said that they’ve had a partner who made them feel bad or embarrassed about themselves.
  • Nearly one-third (30%) of teens who have been in a dating relationship reported being worried about their personal physical safety.
  • A concerning 15% of teens who have been in a relationship have been hit, slapped, or pushed by a boyfriend or girlfriend.

Make a Difference

Start by educating yourself and your community:

  • Familiarise yourself with this site. Learn how to become Proactive about supporting teens in your family and community.

Get involved – be part of the Solution:

  • Become a mentor for teens in your community.
  • Create a poster campaign in your community about healthy relationships.
  • Create a public service announcement for your community.
  • Share information about healthy and unhealthy relationships in your schools and local youth groups. Also, after school programs, and church groups.  A list of books on the subject is located on the page titled Books which is located under the Resources link.
  • Participate in your local domestic violence/sexual assault programs awareness activities.

Speak out and be an active bystander:

  • Confront the offender if you see a teen or adult treating others in a disrespectful manner.
  • Be vocal against inappropriate jokes.


If you are a teen or young adult who has experienced dating or sexual abuse, and you want to seek advice or counseling about it, Lifeline offers a telephone counseling service on 1800 737 732 where you can talk to someone who can advise you what can be done about the situation.  You may need help from the police and other such officers. Please do not hesitate to call if you feel you need help.

If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic violence, you can ring the Domestic Violence Line for help on 1800 656 463