Kids need to be supervised

The most essential task is monitoring children’s activities, behaviour and the environment they live in. Net photo.

Whether with parents, the nanny, or teachers, kids need adult supervision. Parenting is a job that calls for responsibilities that sometimes keep changing every single day, as kids grow. The most essential task is monitoring children’s activities, behaviour and the environment they live in. Without supervision, children could encounter bad company and weird behaviours.

Monitoring means establishing secure strategies and boundaries for your child to keep track of what is going on in their lives. Monitoring a child establishes clear anticipation about what your child should always tell.

Make sure you know your child’s friends, their names, where they stay and their parents, if possible, get their contacts. Don’t allow your child to visit friends if there is no adult to monitor them, at least if they need to play, invite their friends over where you are sure they will be safe.

Be open with your child so that they inform you about how their day was. That way, you will be able to know the new friends they make, the games they play, the food they eat, the subjects they love the most and why. Those details will help you understand who your child is.

Research says that monitoring a child’s activities is an important way to lower their  chances of getting involved in situations you do not approve of, specifically those that can be harmful. Keeping an eye on your child can help you discover changes in them which could lead to a problem.

Observing your child’s interaction with different people could save them from sexual, physical, verbal and emotional abuse.

Show up early at school to pick your child so that you don’t give them the chance to encounter strangers. Not all strangers are bad, kids just need guidance on who to talk to and when. Don’t allow your child to talk to people they don’t know, you never know their intentions.

Get to know your child’s daily activities, pin a list of them and know what they have to do daily, both at school and home. Check up on your child’s teachers to know when your child needs help.

If you monitor a child’s activities, they’re less likely to use alcohol, tobacco or other drugs. Studies have found that kids who are home alone two or more days a week are four times more likely to drink alcohol than those who have parental supervision five or more times a week.

Get to know other parents. Organise to attend school events or gatherings with other parents. Find ways of raising happy, disciplined children. Go for parenting counselling so that you know how to react in case a child acts in a certain way.

Talk to kids about the media. Monitor how long a child watches television and the kind of programmes they watch.  Kids should stick to their own programmes, they should not be exposed to violence, drug use or bad behaviour. Let them watch programmes that are rated for kids. Be aware of the content in the video games that children play. Children should only play games that are appropriate for their age. 

editorial@newtimes.co.rw

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