Friday, August 31, 2012

Urban Youth Need Adult Eyeballs On Them


"Parental monitoring is associated with improved behavior – A growing literature has documented the relationship between parental monitoring and adolescent risk behavior.   
Steinberg et al. argued that high parental monitoring can insulate youth from a host of misbehaviors and that monitoring is a skill that can be strengthened through parent training programs and interventions.
Furthermore, efforts by parents to actively monitor their youth may serve multiple preventive functions: increase the likelihood of parental knowledge of youth activities and peer relationships, encourage parent-youth negotiations as to rules for social behavior (i.e., agreement as to curfews and safe places), and enable early detection of youth psychosocial distress."

In urban communities, youth need more eyeballin' by parents - that is, adequate supervision.  Parents need to know where they are, what they are doing and with whom.

We all had secret lives as teens.  But a super secret life for an urban teen is very risky.  If you are a middle class kid then you may be able to get away with highly rebellious behavior and then go straight when you tire and are done with la vida loca.  But if you are an urban teen, then you may or may not have the luxury of a second chance.

Urban parents may need to walk their kids to and from school until they graduate from high school. Immigrant families sometimes double and triple up in a single family home.  What this means economically and socially is that there is usually a parent per family that can watch the kids at all hours of the day.  This is protective.  This is an economic sacrifice for a good purpose.  Time available to supervise children - priceless.

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