How parents should approach their child’s toxic dating relationship

As a parent, you want nothing but the very best for your child, and this is especially true when it comes to who your child marries.

If your adult child is currently dating someone that concerns you, how do you speak into their dating decisions without damaging your relationship? Is it even possible?

We recently caught up with marriage expert Scott Kedersha during an exclusive audio interview inside Kirk Cameron’s The Campfire. Scott is the marriage pastor at Watermark Community Church based in Dallas, Texas, and he recently released his first book, Ready or Knot: 12 Conversations Every Couple Needs to Have Before Marriage.

Scott Kedersha has counseled hundreds, if not thousands, of couples before making the decision to tie the knot. In fact, my husband and I sat under his counsel before we were married.  He’s very familiar with the “warning signs” one should look for in their dating relationship, as well as how parents can best serve their child before, and even after, their child says I do.

We asked Scott to share his perspective on the best ways parents can intervene if their child is in a toxic dating relationship. He first shares that this is a common question, as many parents aren’t sure how to handle this fragile situation. If your family is walking this road, you’re not alone.

He then offers sound advice. He says, “Start with reminding your child that you love them and you want the best for them.” This can then be followed with words like, “Can I give you some feedback?” or “Can I tell you what I see?”

Before giving your child any constructive feedback, you should always remind them that you are on their team and that you truly are coming from a place of love. While many may say, “Well, they should know that I love them,” it’s important that you constantly reinforce that love, especially when you’re having tough conversations.

Scott also mentions that this conversation will be best received if there has been a lifetime of love and a healthy parent-child relationship established over the years. If you truly want to share wisdom with your adult child, keep in mind that the investment you make with them from a young age will carry you into a more impactful relationship when they’re older.

The next thing Scott suggests is to be specific to the concerns you have. Be prepared to share examples of mistreatment or whatever you have witnessed that has caused you to worry about their future. This will help your child see that you truly care and are paying attention to their relationship.

And finally, end by reminding them again that you love them, you are for them, and that you want the best for their future.

If you’d like your adult child to have a healthy marriage, whether you’re concerned about their realtionship or not, I would definitely encourage you to give your child Scott’s book, Ready or Knot. This is a fantastic gift that will not only speak volumes of your love for them, but will also benefit their marriage and their family for years to come.

Perhaps you weren’t able to speak into your child’s relationship, and they now find themselves in a suffering marriage. Scott also offers advice for you, as well. Listen to a clip from the interview below.

To hear more about the 12 conversations every couple needs to have before marriage, listen to the full interview by joining The Campfire today.


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