Teen Tragic Love: Lesson for Parents?

This story is kinda dark. Recently the ID Channel ran an episode called “Forbidden: Dying for Love — Together Forever, Forever Together.”

The 19-year-old was Tony Holt. Let’s call his 15-year-old girlfriend Kristen.

Kristen, 14, Falls Hard for Tony, 18

She met him when he was working at a grocery store. But he also happened to be a senior at her new high school. Prior to meeting him, Kristen knew her mother wouldn’t allow dating till she was 16.

Kristen’s mother eventually learned of the secret relationship and forbad it. The girl and Tony kept seeing each other on the sly. Mama learned of this and again, forbad it. Kristen then pretended the relationship was over and even talked of how she now hated Tony. Her mother was thrilled.

Meanwhile the teens kept sneaking around.

Forbidden love can be funner! Anyway, Mama found out again, stormed into the grocery store and angrily announced to Tony that if he ever went near her daughter again, she’d have him arrested for statutory rape. Which, is in fact statutory rape in many states.

The threat had him really scared about going to prison. He appeared at Mama’s house soon after and apologized for upsetting her and said that he and Kristen were going to cool it and just be friends.

But they continued seeing each other, and Mama discovered photos in Kristen’s bedroom of the two making out. More furious than ever, she forbad any contact. (Kristen’s father was out of the picture.)

Not long after, she got a call at work to come to the house. The police were there. Tony and Kristen were both dead from a gunshot wound to their heads.

A suicide note left by Kristen explained that the only way they could be together was to die and go to heaven where they could live happily ever after. Kristen had also left a suicide message on the answering machine, apologizing for the suicide pact. I’ll bet you didn’t see that one coming. Neither did I.

Questions to Wonder About

  • Why didn’t the teens decide to just avoid sex for three years, after which they could then marry and have up to 70 years of glory together? Abstinence is hardly an extreme move when you pit it against a murder-suicide.
  • What if Kristen’s mother permitted the relationship and even had Tony over every week for dinner? But what if, at the same time, she expressed her disapproval over their sexual relations?
  • What if she had said, “If you get pregnant, you’ll be grounded – by your baby. I won’t report statutory rape, but I also won’t help you out with the baby, either.”

That last warning may sound harsh, but it’s a crapshoot type of warning: It just might work.

Lessons Learned

  • You can’t stop two love-struck teens from seeing each other, so you may as well be civil to the unapproved young man.
  • While it’s important to stand your ground as a parent, there also comes a time when a sweet spot needs to be figured out. After all, not only might there be a suicide pact, but there are quite a few documentaries in which the forbidden young man murdered his girlfriend’s disapproving parents.
  • It’s never too early to teach your children the virtues of delayed gratification.

Robert Siciliano personal security and identity theft expert and speaker is the author of Identity Theft Privacy: Security Protection and Fraud Prevention: Your Guide to Protecting Yourself from Identity Theft and Computer Fraud. See him knock’em dead in this Security Awareness Training video.

How Parents can de-motivate Sexting in their Teens

Whatever the appeal of sexting is to kids (attention), it’s definitely there, and won’t be going away too soon. Of all the things that teens can do in their daily lives, why spend time sexting?4D

  • To feel cool
  • To get a crush’s attention
  • To make a relationship seem more serious
  • To harass the recipient
  • Peer pressure

Before the advent of sexting, teens talked sex and even shared racy photos with each other. But the old-fashioned way meant that the only viewers were the people with the teen.

Sexting, on the other hand, means that the communication—including naked images—can spread to thousands of people like wildfire. Privacy is zero. Furthermore, it’s illegal for teens to sext.

Just how bad can it get?

Well, if teen Jesse Logan were still alive, we could ask her how it felt when her classmates harassed her after her nude image got out to other students after she merely sent it to her boyfriend. Unfortunately, she killed herself over this.

I’m sure she wouldn’t have sent him the photo had she known of the wide-reaching potential of sexting. Can we blame her for not anticipating the school-wide circulation of her photo? Whose responsibility is it to teach kids this stuff? Maybe even her parents were in the dark; not all adults are savvy about the dangers of cyberspace.

Calling All Parents…

  • Sit down with your child and talk. Choose a good time to do this. Maybe include their favorite snack. But just get it done. Be pre-emptive. Don’t wait for a bad sexting situation to arise.
  • Collect real-life stories of teen sexting incidents gone horrible and share them with your child.
  • Instruct them to immediately delete any sexual content that’s sent to them.
  • Explain how the Internet works and how easy it is for sext content to “get out there.”
  • Recognize that the peer pressure to sext is similar to the peer pressure to drink and smoke. Don’t just tell your kids what not to do. Role play with them. Recruit an older teen to do some staged pressuring. See how your child responds. Does your child stammer and find it difficult to vocalize resistance? Are they at a loss for words? Is their body language mousy? If the answer is “yes” to these, you have a big job to get done fast.

Robert Siciliano personal and home security specialist to discussing burglar proofing your home on Fox Boston. Disclosures.

Talk To Your Kids about Teen Dating Violence

Teen dating violence is a difficult and touchy subject. But approaching the issue, or not, can mean the difference between life and death. Some studies show as many as 1 in 3 teens are affected.

Both young men and women are capable of acting out in abusive ways, and parents need to be aware of any signs of trouble.

Teen angst can be a low level annoyance or escalate to dangerous uncontrollable anger. I was a teen once and can attest to both ends of the spectrum. Ultimately teen domestic violence is about one person controlling another person when the controller has no control over themselves.

Abusers speak out of both sides are their mouths. They brilliantly abuse their partner while demonstrating an outwardly clean cut genial appearance.

Parents must observe their child as either a potential abuser or the abused. They must realize their kid is capable of being a perp or a victim. To ignore the signs of abuse is to enable it.

Look for red flags. Parents know if their teens have dominant or submissive personalities. Any exaggeration of the latter or obvious shift in demeanor is a red flag.

Signals of a controlling relationship range from the obvious signals exhibited by a person’s overbearing body language to the not so obvious manipulative text messages. Look for signs of fear in your child such as behaving oddly (which can mean a thousand things) or verbal or physical abuse. If your child begins to change their daily routine to accommodate their partner that may mean they are being manipulated. If they exhibit signs or speak of being responsible for the feelings of their partner that’s a big red flag.

Nobody is ultimately responsible for another’s feelings, but parents are ultimately responsible for observing their teens and educating them on what’s appropriate and inappropriate then intervening when behaviors tip in a destructive direction.

For more information go to

Robert Siciliano personal and home security specialist to Home Security Source discussing ADT Pulse™ on Fox News Live. Disclosures