Does my Pre-Teen need much supervision?
by Ron Huxley, LMFT
Are you concerned about whether your pre-teen will need much supervision? As surprising at it may sound, most pre-teens and early adolescents behave in a responsible manner. They want to show you that they have an understanding of the rules and the common knowledge of right and wrong. On the other hand, we all know that they can also act irresponsibly. And for that reason they do need constant supervision still.
When your children are away from the home they are most often supervised. Most of the day they are at school where they are obviously watched by teachers and staff. If there are camps or afternoon organizations that they belong too then there is always adult supervision as well. Then the times when they are not supervised and out with friends are when they are most prone to getting into trouble.
Whether it is from peer pressure or the current mental state of excitement, there are times when your pre-teen will forgot the rules on a spontaneous moment. For example, my teenage son was told specifically not to leave the house when we were not home. One night we left for only an hour and came back early to find he walked 2 blocks down the road to his friends house. In another instance, my daughter was caught making a huge mess in the basement with her other 12 year old friends, touching items that her Mother and I specifically told her not to touch.
As you can, although our young pre-teens are becoming more and more independent each day that goes by, they still need supervision. The degree of supervision needed will vary, but obviously a ten year old will need more supervision than a twelve year old. A fourteen year old will need less watching over than the twelve year old, etc.
Whatever your children’s age may be, you should always know what they are doing and where they are at. It is your duty to set the rules and make sure that your child understands the guidelines of wherever they are at and whatever they are doing. Regardless if you are at home, working, socializing, or vacationing, your responsibility remains the same.
For example, if your child is having any sort of party, even with just a few friends, then you should be home, no excuses. There will be times when your pre-teen will want to go to a party outside of the house to another friends house or elsewhere. It is your responsibility to call and make sure that there will be other adults supervising them. Do not be afraid to take a strong hold with this rule. It an help maintain good order and keep your kids from getting into unnecessary trouble.