Although this blog is directed at teens, I don’t imagine too many of them will actually read it. So, I am going to attempt to reach the parents and hope that some of the information is passed on to their teens to prevent Teen Dating Violence.
As this is the month to generate such information, I am inspired by an article I read which started by saying, “Just say no.” This is reminiscent of Nancy Reagan a number of years ago whose theme song was, “Just say no to drugs.” This type of gratuitous advice will have the same dismal impact. Who will read it and how many teens actually listen to old people?
If you are a younger person and reading this, I commend you. If you are a young person and willing to take advice, I again commend you. But here is a piece of reality: Many young females are taken advantage of by their male counterparts or school acquaintances while in relationships that involve physical dating as well as internet or texting relationships.
I know quite a lot about how ADD/ADHD affects relationships and that also offers me some insight into non-ADD people. Many times people with ADD, just like many young people, are apt to be impulsive or act without thinking. The explanation is often that it seemed like a good idea at the time. Younger girls tend to be somewhat naïve when approached by a smooth talker who can talk faster than the younger girl may be able to think. This smooth talker seems to be more worldly, and have developed their persona by living a life of whereby they were merely trying to stay alive while growing up and later learn they have a talent for being able to manipulate others into doing what they suggest or command. This behaviour may initially give the outward appearance of being understanding of a young girl’s problem. Keep in mind the young girl may be vulnerable simply because they may be going through a difficult time in their life, what with the onset of hormones, teen insecurity, challenges at school, at home, etc. Adults don’t seem to understand her and she has no idea who she can really talk to. And then along comes Mr. Smooth and he is willing to listen and be there. Initially he may be willing to be there but he will want more.
Younger girls – and especially girls whom come from co-dependent families – are especially easy targets as they will appear as deer in the headlights and at times can be talked into less than wholesome activities rather soon into a relationship. Today, there is a belief amongst our younger generation that performing oral sex and touching each others genitals is not really sex. Some believe that they can get into some hot petting and still keep their pure at heart wholesomeness intact. This is not new as I have been aware of this rationale since the mid-eighties. Even sexting after a short time in a relationship does not seem to be a bad thing. He just wants a picture and other people are doing it so why not? To most teens, infatuation sort of seems like the real thing, and why not since we sort of love each other today (even though you may change your mind tomorrow) but who really thinks about tomorrow at this age? Just ask yourself what you were like at this age?
Relationships are basically the same no matter what age. In most intimate relationships, many women and girls are not really surprised when their mate puts on a little pressure in an attempt to get a little more than he might have got yesterday. I can only speak from a man’s perspective, but many of us were opportunists when we were younger. The same applies today; we start out being friendly and helpful and just want a little more. It starts with hand holding then a kiss then more. Mr. Smooth will want a lot more. If he is a real opportunist and is into power, which he was probably deprived of throughout his life, and if he has the ADD/ADHD glitch which might be prevalent in someone coming from a family where abuse or addictive behavior is present, he only knows to push. He is busy trying to live his life by satisfying his own needs whatever they might be and he cares little about the people he endangers or what he has to do to gain whatever he wants. He will not be overly concerned about consequences as he probably has seen a lot worse already in his young life. He is merely trying to satisfy his wants at anybody’s expense.
After he has been able to gain a follower, he will turn up the pressure to gain whatever he wants but he will instinctively follow a routine in which he appears to not be rushing the process. He may introduce alcohol or soft drugs or even use ecstasy or molly (date rape drug). Once he has obtained some complicity which might be proof of loyalty, sex, porn or sexting, he will begin to push harder as now he has tools to blackmail his victim. This could lead to addiction or other undesirable consequences.
This doesn’t only happen in personal relationships but also occurs in internet and phone relationships. We hear stories of men in prison or in other countries who have tricked younger girls into providing naked pictures or arranging for clandestine meetings upon their release.
How does this happen?
I believe that there are many times when we have no idea what our kids are doing or even where they are when not home. The incidence of porn being used by kids between the ages of ten to seventeen is believed to be almost fifty percent. Even if it is just used by boys, what is that teaching them for their future conduct? I wonder if that is where misogynistic behavior (extreme devaluation of female sex) comes from. Because if it just boys who are looking at porn, where does that leave the girls whom are merely becoming sex objects? So, do girls learn submissive behavior by watching porn? Funny how movies can make something appear different than reality.
I searched the internet for information about what can we do. There are lots of ideas, but when implementing your strategy you probably have an idea what will work for your children. If you are not talking to them now, you might consider how to get through to them as there is getting to be more female victims every day. If they have succumbed to this form of bullying then blackmail is the next step toward social media exposure. The fallout is psychological damage, drug abuse as a coping mechanism, or suicide.
This may be a good time to start encouraging discussion with your children about whatever matters to them and that they can rely on you to help them through whatever situation may arise.
Most important: listen, really listen, to what your kids are thinking and what their fears are and you may just come to an understanding of what it’s like to be a teen today. No lectures, they usually get into trouble by listening to others telling them what to do? They are doing what they have learned at home, “do as you are told”.
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