National Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month

Portrait of cute coupleAs we wrap up National Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month, we should take a moment to focus on the challenges teens face as they begin to enter the world of dating.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that “nearly 1.5 million high school students nationwide experience physical abuse from a dating partner in a single year.”  Developing strong social skills and teaching healthy relationship qualities early on can help prevent dating violence.

Social Intelligence: Good decision-making and communication skills enable teens to better understand the emotions of others and respond to the needs of those around them thoughtfully and with understanding.

Emotional Intelligence: Teens equipped to identify and manage their own emotions have the self-awareness to be present in the moment and prepared to anticipate and identify the emotions of others and respond appropriately.

Peaceful Conflict Resolution Skills: Conflicts are mitigated by teens who pause and process before acting when faced with difficult situations. Teens ready to think through potential conflicts are more likely to seek alternative, peaceful solutions.

Violence is a learned behavior. With social emotional competencies in place, teens are more prepared to find meaningful relationships based on love and mutual respect.

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