Recently, a wise colleague – Juan Ulloa, Presiding Juvenile Court Judge of Imperial County, California shared a study that his son, Dr. Emilio Ulloa of San Diego State University, worked on with a Baylor University researcher that shows parents how much they matter in their kids’ lives-and I mean more than providing food and shelter. This study suggests that young adults whose parents monitor their social interactions are less likely to have alcohol-related problems, and that young adults monitored by a parent of the opposite gender exhibit an even stronger correlation between parent interaction and less impulsivity (http://baylorlariat.com/2011/03/29/4870/).
If we can have these positive effects, we cannot give up trying even when they yell, scream, and holler GET OUT OF MY LIFE! Tell them it’s your job to be “nosey” about everything: their friends, where they are going, homework, boyfriends or girlfriends, sexual behavior and drug and alcohol usage.
The research shows the effect parents have on their children is complex. I’ve heard parents tell me “I can’t come down hard on my teen because they may run away. I have to be their friend.” This thinking only fosters problems and doesn’t help your child grow up to be a productive and responsible adult. Well, believe it or not, they want the structure and they really need friends their own age (just like you). Being tuned in to your child’s or teen’s psyche is really important. Will it mean they never engage in risky behavior? NO. But I believe as parents we can prevent some things from happening and also be there when they need help. Closing our eyes will not help anyone in the long run. So Moms get involved with your sons and Dads get involved with your daughters. Find out what they are interested in – music (even if you don’t like it), their friends and life in general! Stay connected and don’t wimp out on monitoring them!!! Don’t forget we are here to support you as a parent or caregiver in making a difference in the lives of children. Call now!