Teen and father talking.

Benefits of Parental Monitoring-3: Teenagers

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This is the third in a series of blogs about the benefits of parental supervision.Teen and father talking.

Parental monitoring is an effective method of preventing your kids from engaging in high risk behaviors. But, this isn’t just about parents monitoring and communication. This fact should send a message to grandparents, aunts, uncles and caring family friends that their relationships and communication with kids can be very beneficial and positive on developing youth.

The journal Behavior Therapy published an article in the summer of 2004 with findings from research conducted on teenagers in Australia. The study found that lax rules were associated with poor parental supervision and high conflict. Further, they reported that high conflict and low supervision were associated with adolescent problem behaviors including poor conduct, rebelliousness, and sensation seeking.

Adequate rules appear to form the foundation for better supervision and less conflict, and bring lower levels of adolescent problem behaviors.

Monitoring is probably easier if you have a close relationship with your youngster. If you keep your communication consistent, low-key, and friendly you will likely gain the information you need for effective monitoring and your kids are more likely to apply what you ask of them.

Research on the quality of parent-child relationships found that less substance use and sexual behavior is associated to family connectedness. In other words, great relationships between kids and parents lead to effective communication. When you have a great relationship with your kids, they are more likely to listen and apply what you tell them – even avoiding drugs and making wiser sexual decisions.

“He must manage his own family well and see that his children obey him with proper respect.” (1 Timothy 3:4 NIV)

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Author

Gary L. Hopkins, MD, DrPH, MPH is currently an associate research professor at Andrews University in Berrien Springs, Michigan where he is also associate director of the Institute for Prevention of Addictions, Director of the Center for Prevention Research and Director of the Center for Media Impact Research.