Teens whose parents use effective monitoring practices are less likely to make decisions that can negatively impact their health, such as having sex at an early age, smoking cigarettes, drinking alcohol, and being physically aggressive.
Parental monitoring includes the
- Expectations parents have for their teen's behavior
- Actions parents take to keep track of their teen
- Ways parents respond when their teen breaks the rules
Fact sheet describing how parents and families can monitor their teen more effectively
How can parents and families better monitor their teens?
CDC sponsored a panel of leading academic researchers in the field of parental monitoring to learn more about how parents can better monitor their teens. The findings from the panel led to the development of the book, Parental Monitoring of Adolescents: Current Perspectives for Researchers and Practitioners.1
The following selected actions reflect recommendations from experts in the field:
- Start monitoring in early childhood and continue monitoring consistently throughout the teen years
- Talk with your teen about the plans he or she has with friends, such as after-school activities, and where and when these will occur
- Clearly communicate expectations and explain the consequences for breaking rules
(More detailed action steps are provided in the CDC fact sheet: Monitoring Your Teen’s Activities: What Parents and Families Should Know, available at the top of this page.)
- Guilamo-Ramos V, Jaccard J, Dittus P. Parental Monitoring of Adolescents: Current Perspectives for Researchers and Practitioners. New York: Columbia University Press; 2010.