When it comes to an abusive relationship, the abuse can be manifested in many ways. We often think only of physical or sexual abuse, but in reality things such as 'teasing' and mocking someone and constantly undermining a persons worth can also be classified as abusive. When it comes to identifying signs of teenage relationship abuse it's even more important, as a parent, that we know what to be on the lookout for.
Hopefully, you've shown your child that they can trust you with their problems so they'll be more likely to confide in you if something is going on, but the truth is that even if you and your child have good communication skills they still may be too uncomfortable to talk openly about the problem with you. Knowing what to look for can help you identify a potential problem even if your teen isn't willing to talk about it.
It's not uncommon for a teenage abuser to threaten to tarnish the reputation of their victim. With all the pressure to fit in when in high school, this can be a remarkably effective way for an abuser to keep his victim in line. As a parent, this can be a nightmare scenario - your kid in trouble but unwilling to let you help.
Here are some things you can keep an eye out for as they may indicate an abusive relationship:
1. If your teen suddenly seems to be getting hurt a lot it could be a sign of trouble. It's not uncommon for the victim of physical abuse to suddenly seem to have a lot of 'accidents' and become 'clumsy', but very often these bruises and cuts are signs that they are being physically abused and they are just too embarrassed to talk about it.
2. One of the most common techniques that abusers use is to isolate their victim, they will force them to cut off ties with friends and family, since it is easier to victimize them if they don't have a support system. If your teen suddenly loses interest in seeing their old friends or becomes even more reclusive around family, you may want to investigate further. I know teens can be somewhat reclusive anyway when it comes to spending time with family, but if they seem to get worse suddenly especially after they start seeing someone new, it may be cause for concern.
3. If your teen suddenly starts getting poor grades or doesn't seem interested in the hobbies they used to enjoy, again, this could be a sign of some problem.
No parent wants to think of their kid as being mistreated by anyone, that may be why it's so difficult for parents to grasp just how much of a problem teenage relationship abuse is becoming. Just try to always keep open lines of communication with your child, and teach them to trust their instincts, just as you should always trust yours. If you think that something is wrong with your kid and/or the person they are dating... it probably is.