Guest Blog 6: “Teenagers: The Importance of Talking About Relationships With Them” By: Dr. Monica L. DeBro

Domestic Violence—that topic I call “The Elephant in the Room.” A topic that is necessary to discuss but often avoided. Why? We are told by others to keep our business to ourselves and what happens in this house, stays in this house. In reality, not talking about it is hurting many homes and young girls are finding themselves in hurtful and abusive relationships. They are easily influenced by their abuser and threatened not to tell anyone. 

Why is the discussion at home vitally important? According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence:

 • Nearly 21% of female high school students and 13.4% of male high school students report being physically or sexually abused by a dating partner.

• Almost 1.5 million high school students in the United States are physically abused by dating partners every year.

• Only 33% of teenage dating abuse victims ever told anyone about it.

 • • 50% of youth reporting dating violence and rape also reported attempting suicide.

If there is a teenager in your family or community that you have a close relationship with, when was the last time you had an authentic and transparent conversation with him/her about relationships? Many times, we take it for granted that they will share details of what is going on in their lives with us. The truth of the matter is we all know teenagers withhold information for a multitude of reasons.• They think they know best• Don’t want adults in their business• Afraid the adult will make them break off the relationship (which we should)• Belief that the guy/girl really loves them• Rebellion• False believe that the person will change• Threats• Guilt• Shame

We need to be “nosey” in the lives of our teenagers for their safety. Even when they don’t want the interference of an adult in their so-called personal lives, I encourage you to interfere before it’s too late. When is it too late? When they are caught up behind bars and looking a prison time due to entrapment and making poor decisions. It’s too late when they are fatally injured and no longer alive to receive your love and guidance.

Teenagers are easily influenced and need a greater understanding of healthy boundaries and healthy relationships. It shouldn’t be taken for granted that because the teenager lives in a home with parents who have a great relationship that the teen will follow in this example. Pay attention to subtle signs that indicate something is wrong such as: avoidance, staying in his/her room, sneaking out at night, not returning home at the scheduled time, lack of eye contact, jumping and responding to phone calls/text messages, wearing clothes to cover bruises, social media posts that are out of character (cries for help), missing school or not wanting to participate in activities he/she once enjoyed. 

Your call to action: Talk about it! Have a sit-down conversation with the teenager(s) in your life and have a straight-forward and to the point discussion on domestic violence. Be sure to include the different types of abuse, verbal, emotional, physical, spiritual, financial, etc. Let him/her know that abuse comes in many forms, and they need to be honest in sharing what is happening in their lives. Have the conversation before it’s too late. Teenage lives matter! Every life matters!

If you or someone is in an abusive relationship, Call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) or online go to The 

#love2life #intentionalinfluence #enddomesticviolence

Dr. Monica L. DeBro

Dr. Monica Debro, owner of Love Yourself to Life™, is a leader who is transforming the lives of women through inspirational writings, events, and speaking engagements. She is the host and keynote speaker for The Elephant in the Room and the Love Yourself to Life™ conferences. Dr. Debro also hosts the Always Wear Your Tiara™ event in which women have received intimate breakthroughs in their personal and professional lives. 

As a practicing Nurse Educator and Life Coach, Dr. Debro engages in life-changing conversations and action plans to help women embrace the essence of who they are and not allow the past to interfere with their future.  Being transparent allows her to be influential in helping others identify current concerns and develop specific and realistic action steps to heal from their past and reach their goals.  

Dr. Debro is a member of the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence and has been a guest speaker at several domestic violence and community violence awareness conferences. She is also the co-chair of the National Black Nurses Association Ad Hoc Committee against violence. She is the author of Broken Believer No More and Love Yourself to Life. Broken Believer No More has received recognition at the Los Angeles and New York book festivals. 


Facebook: Monica L Debro
Instagram: debromonica

Dr. Monica L. DeBro Believe In Your Dreams Television Love Yourself To Life

Dr. Monica L. DeBro book entitled “Broken Believer No More”

Dr. Monica L. DeBro book entitled “Love Yourself To Live”

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