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Parental Monitoring And Involvement

Another practical and influential parenting behavior often studied and questioned is parental monitoring. Parental monitoring is a range of activities that includes the supervision of children's choice of social settings, activities, and friends. Monitoring of young children is direct in nature while for adolescents it is indirect in the form of management of social activities. A number of studies have shown that less monitoring and supervision of children's activities is associated with delinquent and antisocial behavior. After-school time and evening are particularly important segments of the day for parents to keep close tabs on preadolescents and adolescents by phone calling, asking questions, verifying answers, and, where possible, escorting and supervising kids. Children on their own after school, especially girls, are susceptible to peer pressure to engage in such activities as vandalism, cheating, and stealing.

Parental involvement is conceptually related to monitoring in that it involves the parents' management of the child's access to opportunities to develop socially, emotionally, physically, and cognitively, such as extracurricular activities and social circles. Parents act as a conduit for children to interface with institutional settings such as church, Brownies, Cub Scouts, library, and pool. Mothers more often than fathers maintain involvement with such organizations. Social class differences are related to children's use of community organizations and the level of maternal participation. Diminished participation by less advantaged families may be explained by lesser ability to pay and get time off from work to attend. Involved parents also act as social coaches in that they arrange opportunities for play and socialization through their own adult peer network.

Individual parents bring unique levels of personal resources to the parenting process, including the cumulative effects of upbringing, education, employment, and mental health. (AP/Wide World Photos)

Additional topics

Social Issues ReferenceChild Development Reference - Vol 6Parenting - Who Is Socializing U.s. Children?, Qualitative Aspects Of Parenting, Parenting Style, Parent-child Interaction - Quantitative Aspects of Parenting