Monitoring Your Teen’s Behaviors
Here are some simple ways to monitor your teen’s activities:
- Take time every day to learn about what’s going on in your teen’s life.
- Listen carefully so you’re aware of how things are going in school and with friends.
- Encourage independence in small steps.
- Set clear guidelines, and let teens know exactly what is expected of them.
- Write down any new rules or limits so there’s no question about what you’re expecting.
- Supervise your teen’s comings and goings, and make it clear that you take the limits seriously.
- Keep a calendar where all family members can write down their meetings, appointments and activities.
- Be sure to meet your teen’s friends, and get to know the parents of your teen’s friends as well.
Youth and the Media
Youth today spend more than one-fourth of every day playing video games, listening to music, using computers and watching television. Although media introduce youth to the breadth and diversity of our world, they also can have a negative impact:
- Media can convey harmful and unhealthy messages, particularly about body image, sexuality and violence.
- Television viewing is linked to obesity, which may result from inactivity and influence of advertising on food choices.
- Media distract youth from reading and other activities that call for reflection and the use of imagination.
- Youth using media with high sexual content are much more likely to have sex at an early age than those who do not.