Mom with daughter.

Benefits of Parental Monitoring-4 : Teenagers & Communication

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This is the fourth in a series of blogs about the benefits of parental supervision.

Here are some suggestions to help increase communication with between you and your youngster. Some of this information is from an organization called ABCD Parenting Young Adolescents.Mom with daughter.

Keep the amount of unsupervised time to a minimum. Remember that while kids need to know you trust them, it is not useful to turn them loose to their own devices and activities. Support your kids in becoming involved in after-school activities at a local church or somewhere with an excellent reputation for providing supervision by responsible adults.

Establish rules that are reasonable and enforceable regarding young people’s unsupervised time. Rules are good. They make your expectations clear.

The rules you enforce should be consistently backed up by reasonable consequences. The key words here are consistently and enforceable. A bad rule would be: “If you aren’t home by 5:00 PM, you will lose computer and television privileges for a whole year!” That’s not a logically enforceable rule.

When you fail to enforce the rules you have set, the youngster will learn that you aren’t serious and they will continue to break rules.

The earlier you set rules and enforce them in your kids’ lives, the more effective they will be later on in their life. It’s tough to start making rules when a child is 15 if they have never had rules before.

“No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.” (Hebrews 12:11 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.