Breaking up is hard to do. Neil Sedaka told us so in the 1970’s:
I beg of you, don’t say goodbye
Can’t we give our love another try
Come on baby, let’s start a new
‘Cause breaking up is hard to do
Ask any adolescent and you will learn that breaking up is hard to do. So hard in fact that some adolescents choose to stay in bad relationships to avoid the drama associated with breaking up. All too often these situations can lead to abuse. A 2009 government survey reported that “25 percent of adolescents report verbal, physical, emotional or sexual abuse from a dating partner each year – and 10 percent say they’ve been physically hurt by a boyfriend or girlfriend.” (cbsnews.com)
Start Strong, which was recently featured on CBS’s The Early Show, is a program aimed at helping adolescents with breaking up well. You can find the full report here.
Start Strong urges parents to be open in order to have conversations about breaking up and relationships. At the same, it urges adolescents to find adults (not peers) they can talk to about their relationships when they feel like they can’t talk to their parents.
In the midst of television shows like Jeresey Shore, what role is the Church playing in the lives of adolescents? How is the Church helping adolescents learn how to be in healthy relationships? How is the Church providing safe places for adolescents to talk about their relationships?