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Raising Responsible Teens
Peer pressure move over. Thereís a more powerful influence in the lives of teens and itís found at home.
While peers undoubtedly influence each other, social science research demonstrates time and time again that parents actually matter most. However, having parents per se is not the determining factor. Rather it is the degree to which mom, dad, or guardian actually monitors the teenís behaviour that is a decisive factor in reducing the risk of pregnancy as well as drug, alcohol, and cigarette use in their teen.
Higher degrees of ďparental monitoringĒ is measured by the parentís knowledge and ability to respond to these questions:
Some parents back off from monitoring their teen thinking they are thwarting their teenís independence. In other situations, the teen may view such questions by their parents as intrusive and may balk, feeling their parents are demanding and interfering.
There are 3 key things to remember for successful parental monitoring:
Children and teens develop self-esteem as a result of their parentís involvement in their lives. Parental monitoring may seem like a pain to some teens, but hey, you only concern yourself with things that are important. So, parental monitoring isnít about surveillance, itís about caring. Thatís a good message to any teen.
Direnfeld, MSW, RSW
information on Direnfeld's book, Raising Kids Without Raising Cane,
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