MAXWELL AIR FORCE BASE, Ala. --
Historically, the Family Advocacy Program promotes the awareness of Teen Dating Violence throughout the month of February.
This year, however, members of FAP are creating a new way for parents to react to rapidly changing technology. They are educating parents on how to see the warning signs of digital dating violence.
“The common concerns that I am aware of for parents, [is] their teens [staying safe] from predators online and understanding the lingo that is being used to communicate with other youth,” said Dr. April Jones, FAP outreach manager.
The FAP team members’ mission is to inform parents about safe and healthy online communication and interactions their children should be having.
FAP provides helpful information to parents through events on base, as well as providing informational pamphlets at the Maxwell Clinic. This information gives parents an idea of how to talk to their teens about safe and healthy online relationships.
“Parents [can] start building trust, being open, and patient with their teens,” Jones said. “A healthy parent-child relationship is critical so the teen is open to their parents’ guidance.”
By speaking to a teen about digital dignity, it gives them a chance to share their values about love and respect, as well as setting guidelines for appropriate online behaviors, such as politeness and respect for others, Jones added.
In most cases, if a parent does have a good relationship with their teen, it can be easier for them to explain the differences between healthy and unhealthy online behavior.
The FAP is available to talk with parents at any time about healthy relationships and has more information related to various parenting topics for their use as well.
For more information about teen dating violence, contact the FAP at 334-953-5430.