Monitoring: Staying in Touch
Monitoring is an important way to reduce the chances that your child will use alcohol and drugs.
How can I monitor my child?
- Know where your child is at all times – both physically and virtually.
- Get to know your child’s friends. And, get to know their friend’s parents. Get together with the parents to discuss your children and any recent incidents related to alcohol or drugs in your community.
- Find out how your child plans to spend his/her day. Ask… “What are you up to tomorrow?” Keep a calendar updated with their activities.
- Limit the time your child spends without adult supervision. The after-school hours of 3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. are the most dangerous time for children to be on their own. Greater peer pressure and/or boredom can lead to after-school alcohol or drug use. If you or another trusted adult can’t be home for your child, look into after-school programs or plan activities for your child during that time.
- Learn the technology your child is using, and use it. Text message, email, instant message, and social networking sites are all great ways to check in with your child. Also, limit the time your child spends online, and periodically check in on what he/she is looking at online.
Set limits for your children and share your expectations.
If they clearly understand the consequences for using substance, and view them as fair, they are more apt to follow the rules you have set.