Tips on Monitoring
It’s easy to keep track of 3-, 4-, 5-, or 6-year-olds. Their friends don’t drive, and they
can’t get far on a tricycle. But there’s more to monitoring children’s activities
than just knowing where they are.
- Know your children. The best way to notice any changes
in a child’s
behavior is to understand your child’s world. Children’s behavior may
change due to problems at school, with friends, or with family members.
Help your children share their feelings and their world.
- Get to know your children’s friends. This puts you closer to their daily
activities. You’ll be able to recognize trouble spots and guide your children
away from risky situations or dangerous behaviors.
- Get to know other parents. Remember, parents can support
each other’s efforts and create a valuable security net for their
- Know where your children are going, whom they
will be with, and what they’ll be doing. Keep a handy
list of phone numbers and addresses of friends, teachers,
- Set up regular check-in times. If old enough, have
your child call and check in with you. Otherwise, call to
make sure the babysitter picked up your child from school
or that your children are safe with their friends’ parents.
- Make sure your child has access to positive and
appealing structured activities. Start early to encourage
your child in constructive, supervised activities. As children get
older, participation can be a powerful way to help prevent drug
Monitoring young children’s activities has been shown to
be important in preventing alcohol, tobacco, and illegal
drug use. Start now so that your children become used to
telling you about their daily activities, asking
permission, and knowing that their friends’ parents
know who you are. These habits will stay with them as