Dating violence is any form of abuse that takes place in a relationship including physical, sexual, mental, or emotional abuse. For teenagers, it has become a widespread problem that has serious effects on a developing teen.
A study done by the Center for Disease Control (CDC) reports that, “Of U.S. students who said they were dating, 21 percent of girls and 10 percent of boys said they had been victims of physical and sexual violence from a dating partner in the last 12 months. ” In some communities, the numbers are even worse. With teens becoming romantic as young as 12 and 13 years old, it is imperative for you to discuss healthy relationships with your tween or teen early and often.
To help, here are five things you can do to help reduce the likelihood that your teen will experience
any form of dating abuse:
1. Help them define a healthy relationship and set high standards for dating.
2. Be an example of what a healthy relationship is. Actions speak louder than words.
3. Monitor their social media.
4. Pay attention. Get to know their friends and their friends’ families. Watch for signs of abuse. Some of the common signs are responding quickly and frantically to texts or calls from their partner, frequently crying as a result of relationship problems, making excuses for inappropriate behavior, engaging in risky behaviors such as drugs and alcohol use, appearing anxious or depressed, or participating in unsafe sexual acts. These are warning signs that your teen could be in a dangerous relationship, and might need help.
5. Have an open dialogue with your children. Listen to the small things as well as the big things. Let your teen know they can always confide in you and ask any questions. Look for opportunities to point out examples to them. Teens are always listening even when it seems like they aren ’t. Be a listener as well. Listen more than you talk. You will be surprised at what comes up.
February is American Heart Month. Heart disease is the number one killer in the U.S. Common risk factors include high blood pressure, high lipids, smoking, diabetes, lack of exercise, family history of heart disease. The good news? Heart disease can often be prevented when people make healthy choices and manage their health conditions. Communities, health professionals, and families can work together to create opportunities for people to make healthier choices.
Did you know that St. Valentine is the patron saint of beekeepers as well as lovers? One common story about St. Valentine is that in one point of his life, as the former Bishop of Terni, Narnia and Amelia, he was on house arrest with Judge Asterius. While discussing religion and faith with the Judge, Valentine pledged the validity of Jesus. The judge immediately put Valentine and his faith to the test.
St. Valentine was presented with the judge’s blind daughter and told to restore her sight. If he succeeded, the judge vowed to do anything for Valentine. Placing his hands onto her eyes, Valentine restored the child’s vision. Judge Asterius was humbled and obeyed Valentine’s requests. Asterius broke all the idols around his house, fasted for three days and became baptized, along with his family and entire 44 member household. The now faithful judge then freed all of his Christian inmates.
Christy Friedel, R.N.,
Parish Nurse, Spiritual Director