Just today, I asked a class of junior high students to stand up if they either knew someone who had dated a jerk, or had dated a jerk themselves. EVERY student stood up. By the time we see kids at the end of high school, there are a lot of cynical, bitter young men and women who don’t hold out much hope for finding someone kind and respectful to date. So how can you help your teens recognize bad behavior…before they get themselves deep into a relationship?
From loveisrespect.org, the “Power Wheel” provides an amazing and powerful tool you can use to help your son or daughter recognize various examples of bad behavior in relationships. Each segment of the wheel has a video you can click on, where teens act out a story line which illustrates various abuses of power (such as intimidation, controlling behavior, isolation and exclusion, jealousy, etc.). This could be especially helpful if you suspect your teen or a teen you know might be in an abusive or controlling relationship, or might be heading toward BEING that controlling, abusive dating partner. Watching the videos together, and discussing them, would be a great talking tool as you prepare your teen to insist on and expect respect in his or her current or future relationships.