The Science of Parenting

Monitoring: Keeping Tabs | S. 4 Ep. 4

February 25, 2021 Season 4 Episode 4
The Science of Parenting
Monitoring: Keeping Tabs | S. 4 Ep. 4
Show Notes Transcript

Monitoring children is not about being in total control. It is a way to guide and communicate reasonable limits and expectations. 

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Hey, welcome to The Science of Parenting podcast where we connect you with research based information that fits your family. We'll talk about the realities of being a parent, and how research can help guide our parenting decisions. I'm Mackenzie Johnson, parent of two littles with their own quirks. And I'm a parenting educator. And I'm Lori Korthals, and I'm the parent of three in three different life stages. One is launched, one is in college, and one is in high school. And I'm also a parenting educator. What we're sharing about now is this parenting model called RPM3. And today, we're actually on the first M, because we've talked about the R is Respond. The P is Prevent. Yes and so today we're going to talk about monitoring. Yes. That's seems like a dun, dun, dun kind of word. This is serious. Yes. So this season, we are, we're looking at this research based approach to parenting, this RPM3 model. And as Lori said, we've covered that R for respond and that P for prevent. If you've been listening so far this season, and today is on monitor. And so those other two M's are mentor and model. And so it is this little acronym that helps us think about the big picture of parenting and some of the tasks that research shows what parents do can bring in positive outcomes for kids. And so yeah, RPM3, all things we do in our parenting, right? Mentoring, modeling, monitoring, all of them. But the one thing I really just want to give the reminder of every episode, I've just like, I just want everyone to know that when we're talking about this, we know that even as we dive into each one, so like today, diving into monitoring, we know that parenting requires a life long perspective. Yeah, it is a super cool booklet as well with great, great Yes. And so, you know, we're not required to accomplish every task perfectly every part of every day. That is not what we're talking about. But we're talking about our parenting being built throughout our lifetime. And that our overall tasks and decisions with our kids, that they know that in this case today, monitor. So what do you think about these different parts and pieces we talked through? We're keeping that lifelong perspective in mind. And another important thing to note is that this season is really built on, yo know, we always like to cit research in our podcasts, and it's built on publication from the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National, I want to make sure I et it right, National Institute of Child Health and Hu an Development. So it's cal ed Adventures in Parenting. o we're gonna be talking a l t about the information from th t particular booklet. So I'm gon a just dive right in with th t research. I mean, it's go d stuff. information. So the first little piece of research that we need to share is, what the heck are we talking about? So give it a definition. Right? That's the word we said monitor, monitoring. We need Kenzie, our producer, to put in some music there. Monitoring, alright, the definition for monitoring is about paying attention to your child's contact with their surrounding world. So being a monitoring parent combines the idea of asking questions, paying attention to, making decisions for, and setting limits. And this might mean that, you know, you're monitoring where your children are, what they're doing, who they're with, and also is involved in that online and, you know, screen stuff. Yes, the online and in person. So yeah, monitoring sounds like a very serious word. But really, most of us are doing this regardless of the age of our kids. So just figuring out some kind of tips and tricks and strategies. But yeah, knowing where they are, who they're with, what's going on, both in person and online. Exactly. So do you have an example of how you've monitored your children? Well, we know my kid, if you've listened before, you know, my kids are little. So I've got a toddler and kind of an older preschooler. And so I guess, one that comes to mind for me is just the idea of like, what are you doing right now? Sometimes if they're in the other room, or if they're outside. Or quiet. Right! At this age it's a little more like the stage that we're in as a family is a little more of like, yeah, I kind of keep my eyes and my ears, knowing what's going on with them. But even another one that's kind of newish to our family is some of the TV, like some of the shows, that kind of screen time, especially in the middle of the pandemic. Lots of parents can relate in terms of, we've increased some of that screen time that we let our kids have. And so my daughter is just kind of getting into like, getting to choose her own shows, and doing some of that without us being right there with her. And so I've been monitoring like, okay, what has she watched? What are the ratings of things? And so I played with some of that kind of stuff to kind of monitor and help keep safe, because I'm not always doing the eyes on right now. What about you? What's bee some monitoring that you ca think of So I think about as my older daughter started to ride her bike, how far could she go down the block on her bike. As they progressed into middle school, maybe was where they were with whom, you know, was a parent there supervising. As a teenager, you know, as they began to drive, it became that monitoring of what time they were going to be where and how they were getting there, again. And I'll tell you what, I still monitor my daughter who has launched into having her own, you know, full time job, and I still monitor, you know, where is she at this week or this weekend. So it doesn't stop. I think my parents monitor me, you know, calling in when we're recording, right? He's just monitoring. Where is she at? Lifelong. Lifelong, right. So, yeah, it's really just that idea of monitoring is just knowing what's going on, where they're at kind of stuff, right? The super cool thing about research is that it tells us that when we monitor our children, when we monitor where they are, who they're with, what they're learning, what they're doing, they're actually less likely to engage in that risky behavior. So things like substance abuse or delinquent activity, you know, because they know we're monitoring them, they may make better choices along the way. And so, you know, it's maybe a little boost from research that says, it's okay to monitor. There's benefits. Good stuff here. And it's not about being in control of every action and every thought and every person that they come in contact with, but it's really more about that ability for us to catch early risk taking behaviors, and, and honestly being able to have conversations before they get further down the path. It's really tied closely to what we talked about last week, which was preventing. So monitoring helps us to prevent. Absolutely and, you know, I think of there's kind of two sides of it, the benefits of we are preventing, right, some of those maybe risky behaviors. Like, my mom knows I'm here. And my mom knows I'm with so and so. Or, you know, my dad asked me how we were getting here. They know some of the details so if something's going on, they're probably gonna find out, right. And so just our kids knowing that we are in tune with what's going on, can reduce the likelihood of that. But there's also this kind of flip side benefit of like, I want to know where you are and who you're with because I care. That idea of my parents are asking because they care what's going on with me. And so I think there's also that positive relationship aspect, you know, that we can create opportunities to monitor our kids, and they can help actually establish trust, you know. So often we talk about the trust that we have in our kids of, can I trust them? Are they making good decisions? But there's also that attitude of trust that, like, my parents consistently want to know what's going on with me. And so establishing that this is kind of the norm in your house, and even at a young age, you know, with your kids, like, when I want to go to a friend's house, my parents are gonna ask this kind of stuff, because they want to know where I am and that I'm safe. And I think that monitoring really does build trust, but both ways. Absolutely. That trust that my parent is going to take care of me. I trust that they're helping me to stay safe. One hundred percent. Yes, yes. Yes. And so you know, that does kind of get into different...what's it look like to monitor my 10 year old versus my 17 year old versus a three year old? Exactly. Monitoring. Okay, lifelong. So let's dig into that a little bit of what's it look like across the different ages. And so starting with our really littles, so monitoring my infants and toddlers, okay, they're with me all the time. They're always here. And so it, you know, it's much more about knowing where they are and what they're doing, which when they're this young most of the time, they're right there. It can also be things like getting to know, you know, their childcare provider or other people that they're with, so that you know that that's a safe person. But it is a little more straightforward when there's this little, right, because we make most of the decisions about who they're with, or what they're doing there. So it's a little more straightforward. So I think of more of the like, yep, you know where they're at. But it can also be the setting limits, right? And so I have a climber, my son is a climber. My daughter was not, so I feel like a brand new parent, like What do I do? He's climbing on everything. But so a part of that monitoring, right? I know, I need to stay in tune with where he's at so he's not climbing on something. But then setting that limit of like, oh, you can't climb on this. But there's also, I tend to think of it as really simple like, okay, I know where they're at. And, okay, I set limits to keep them safe. But when we were talking through this, you just talked about it so well in terms of some of these other aspects of monitoring with these young kids. And why it's important. Can you just touch on a little bit of that? Because yeah, I'm like, okay, setting limits. Okay, I know where they are. But there is a little more here. Well, there is and that idea of monitoring, we talked about, you know, having conversations with your older children, but you also need to have conversations with your littles. So I think of that example of your son climbing and you don't just merely say, get down, stop it. You don't yell that across the room. You go over to him and you pick him up, and you say to him in a calm, cool, collected voice, because you've stopped breathed and talked, right? You know, we need to have your feet on the floor. We don't want to get owies. Your feet belong on the floor. And that tone of voice, your body language. While he maybe can't understand exactly what your words mean, his brain is right now this emotional center, and so he can sense the fact that you had, the trust that your your nonverbal language is giving him that says, she's picking me up off of the table. She's saying something about my feet. I know the word feet because of my age. Right. But that's the only other word I understand that she's speaking. But her body is relaxed, her touch is soothing, her voice is calm. I trust that whatever it is she's saying to me is keeping me safe. And as his brain grows, and he learns the words that you're also saying, his body has already developed this trust of you and your voice and your movements and your affect. And so monitoring is also about communicating the whys behind our limits. Yeah, limits are set. We like to say, love is about setting limits, and it's so very true. Research tells us that children feel more secure and we have more positive adult child relationships when we set limits. Yes, yes. Well, you were just talking about their brain knows even when, you know, as they get older, they know more words, they hear more words they recognizing or they can't say them, we know all that. Okay, and even when they can't, like even when they don't know those words, that they're still getting all that other stuff. Even you saying the nonverbals. So I tend to say like, oh, no owies when we're doing something that could get our kids like get my toddler, I say, oh, no owies and then I try to say what I want them to do instead like, oh, no owies, put your feet on the floor. But I do I tend to say, oh, no owies. That's like a very toddler-parent voice like, Oh, no owies, you could get hurt, feet on the floor but that they're getting all of that as I set that limit, I think that's important. It's not quite as straightforward. Like, yes, we know where they are so we're not monitoring that aspect of it. But the setting limits and stuff is different. How about for your preschooler? Well, okay, so honestly, pandemic life and just parent life, but like screens at this age. Thinking about my preschooler and even as we get ready to like move into some of that school age stuff, those kids too, we see the screen time for this generation really starting to come into play more. It does look different than when there was one TV for the whole home in the living room, and everybody was right there. It looks different now that there might be multiple screens and things like that. But we do know. Yeah. I'm gonna interrupt you because you said something while we were doing a walkthrough and I was like, Oh my gosh, I've never heard that word before. You called yourself a digital native. Yes, I am. Mind blown. I've grown up, like, immersed in technology and so it's familiar to me. It's not like I'm learning a new language of like the digital world like, that is the generation I'm in. So yes, I'm a digital native parent. Well, your preschooler is a digital native. A digital native. Which depending on your age, right, that might feel like a big gap between you as the parent and your kids if you're not a digital native. And so all that picking up right away. And so yes, so I think screen time is a new monitoring thing in this preschool school age that's different from that kind of infant toddlerhood, but then also, thinking about at this age, our kids start to have a little more time away from us, right? So maybe, you know, for a preschooler, it's having a playdate at somebody else's house that we don't go along to, you know. And our school ager, now they maybe have a practice they go to, you know, or things like that, or they ride with somebody else's parents. And so those kinds of things, you know, even like, playing in the yard, like that, instead of every time they're outside, I'm outside, like, in this age group is when we start to figure out some of that little more independent stuff. So I actually have two things, two tips that they talk about for this age group. One is trying to get in tune with what our kids are reading, watching, playing and listening to, and especially with that broad access to screens, you know, even just sitting beside them. You know we call that co-viewing with some of that kind of stuff. Or, you know, I've played with some of the rating limits, like, Okay, if I'm not sitting next to you when you're scrolling through that to pick a show, I at least know what the rating is of it because I've played with that. But knowing what they're watching and doing is one thing, just getting a better sense of what that content is, can prepare for those conversations of monitoring. And then I think the other thing that's really important at this age is kind of opening that line of communication around monitoring, like, do you feel like you know, that this age with your kids, that's kind of where you really started to get into it a little more? Absolutely. I think that, again, that piece of communication, and what we talked about with infants and toddlers is the same with preschoolers and school agers. Have conversation, keep those lines of communication open, open them early. Keep talking, keep talking, keep talking. And more And more coffee, not coffee, more talking. More talking. But because I do think, you know, we can set this norm for what will be this lifelong, right, ongoing conversation about monitoring. And I think something that's kind of unique about this age is the surprising conversations that come with our kids spending more time with people that aren't just us. Yes. So you know, they come home. Yeah, but like the things they say, but also things that come home and you're like, Where did you hear that? Or where did you learn that? And I know that sometimes, because it does catch me off guard, okay, I didn't teach you that. Oh, whatever that is. And I think sometimes it can be so easy to just react in that, right? We talked about responding versus reacting. And I think that really plays a role in this communication of like, Okay, my child says something to me that surprises me, that maybe they heard from a friend or heard somewhere else. And if I always jump on it, right, if I always react like whoa, you can't say that or Whoa, that can sometimes like narrow I think those lines of communication. Or shut them down. Yeah, just like alright, locked door. I'm not gonna say that. I'm not telling my parents the new stuff I learned. And so I do think that is another really important part as our kids test out, like, okay, I learned something that's different from what my parents have said, or this is new. Because sometimes kids might have that new information and not know that that's not like normal to say or right? Like a swear word or you know, whatever the things might be or a phrase that you're like, Whoa, that's not a phrase we would say. All that to say, I think taking the time to Stop. Breathe. Talk., knowing that sometimes our kids in this age, those preschool and school agers are gonna say stuff that might surprise us. And taking that breath and asking a few more questions about like, you know, I haven't heard you say that before or you know, that's not usually something I say like, where did you hear this? But doing that from a calm place and keeping the conversation open about it instead of shutting the conversation down, right? Like, whoa, you can't say that. So open lines of communication along with getting to know what our kids are up to playing, reading, doing, watching, yada, yada. So those are the tips for this preschool and school age. What about our preteens and teens? I'm going to call you the master in this area. How about I'm more experienced? I'm not a master. As we look at those ages, it's really about the details. And do we know some of the details about who they're with, what's going on, where they're at, et cetera. And, you know, the whole idea is that at this age, they want to be more independent, they want to make their own decisions. And it can feel hard because the thing is that we do need to gradually teach them and allow them to make their own decisions, because the last thing we want to do is, you know, send them out the door at 18 or whatever age and they have not made decisions on their own. Yes, it will lead to that independence. Yes. So we need to allow them those opportunities. And so a couple of tips might be to first of all, know the people that your child is spending time with. And we talk about this, you know, even at young ages with Stranger Danger, etc. But that doesn't stop at the teen years. Just because your child says, hey, I'm gonna be out with Jack, Janie, Jimmy and Jessie? Like, do you know all those J's? And so do you know who they are, what they do? Do you know their parents? Do you know their guardians? What kind of activities are they involved in? It's okay to get the details. And then once you have those details, it's important to be able to give direction without being so rigid. And let me give you an example here. So I don't know if you've ever had the experience of someone telling you, absolutely not, no, with no reason at all. I mean, have you ever had that experience where someone told you absolutely no. Like, no, no. And my thought is like, yeah. Actually, I'm thinking of our supervisor was like, no, you can't. And it's like, oh, there might be a way I could. Right. Exactly. So and I mean, as adults, we recognize that there are times when someone just flat out tells us no, that we want to go against and push against it. You know, like when a child responds. Yes. I can think of a time where when I was a teenager, and cable was new back then. It was called cable, cable TV, not direct tv. And there was a particular movie on that my parents did not want me to watch and they just said no, and I couldn't understand why just plain no. And so do you know what I did? I can guess. And I'm not necessarily a risk taker, or boundary pusher, but that no was such a firm, rigid no, that, of course, I watched that movie. And my parents found out and guess what they did? They took away cable. Cable was brand new. Take it away. My desire was to have a conversation and say, but hey, hey, hello, parents, I can actually see and know and learn about whatever it is in this movie you don't want me to see, learn and know from other movies, from my friends, from my friend's parents, etc. And so that firm no, it was too rigid. And it really, you know, maybe pushed me over into the direction of taking that risk taking behavior. And so my tip is, sometimes the answer is no. And there are times where it should be yes, and we'll watch it with you, or yes, and you

need to be home at 9:

30, or yes, and I get to have your passwords to all your accounts. Like a yes with a boundary or expectation or a limit. Exactly. So it doesn't have to be no always. There's a lot of times when it can be a yes, and if. Or maybe just yes, if... Yes, if, absolutely. So those two tips are know the people your children are with and give direction without being rigid. Yeah. Okay, so I do have something that I anticipate like, okay, my kids aren't this age yet. But I'm thinking about that there's going to be times, you know, as kids become their own people that they have interests or you know, maybe even friends or hobbies that we don't totally love. Things that maybe I don't even understand like, oh, what is the appeal? You know, don't understand or totally love? Yes. Yeah. You know what, I know that that's a natural part of becoming independent. But do you have any tips for how we identify when it needs to be like a no? Or it can be a yes, if? Because I don't like it? How do I make those decisions? I totally 100% hear you and have been there. And I believe the most important thing that you can do is, you know, ask yourself this question. Is the person, place, or thing, destructive to your child's physical well being? Is it destructive to their emotional well being? Is it destructive to, you know, their brain development? And so, you know, if that answer is no, it's not destructive. I'm not fond of it. It makes me uncomfortable. We actually maybe need to consider how can it be a no, however, let's have a conversation. Or maybe it's a yes, and let's have a conversation. Let's find some limits that we can both agree on. It. We talked about this idea that that firm no, without any conversation can actually push our kids into those activities even more so. So currently, my reality is that my daughter currently matches her favorite color to mine. I know that won't always be the case. And so yeah, as our kids get to have those interests that we maybe don't love. So finding those ways that like, okay, no, I don't love this, but it's not destructive, that we're having some of those conversations. And I guess I can even think of an example where my own mom did this. I remember like, watching the show, and her coming in and being like eh. But I remembe us having a conversation ind of about how, wh t about it she didn't like. You know, like, this is different than how we do things in our fam ly, or, you know, this kind of g es against what we practice or hat we believe our family v lues are. And so, you know, that conversation it wasn't necessar ly, this is against what we believe or our values. And so n w, we're not going to say, no, y u can't watch it. Instead, it's notice this is different. Yeah. Okay, so a theme going through a conversation, right? Yeah, look at that talk. Okay. Okay. But so sometimes the answer is like, is this destructive? Sometimes the answer is yes. Right. Sometimes our kids are gonna want to do stuff that's not okay, that is destructive to their physical or emotional health. And so that is a no, right? That's not a yeah, you can do this if. That's a no. That is a firm no. Yeah. And right now, there's a lot of research showing the high incidence of youth vaping an alternative to cigarette smoking. And their research does show that it is destructive to the development of the brain, you know, just the brain wiring itself, especially in those adolescent years. And so, you know, that's kind of a firm no, and the key again is conversation and the research behind it, the why behind it, as adults, we expect someone to share the why. But why don't we allow that same opportunity for our youth? It's just something that we need to consider that yes, there can be firm nos, but to get more compliance with the children and the youth, a good idea might be to bring them alongside to learn about the whys. You know, what kind of things can you share with them? Can they research? Can they create a PowerPoint for you on how it's destructive to their brain? Yes, to convince another adult and provide us their own reasoning. And I think another one of the things that as we were talking through this that kind of stood out for me is yes, when there's going to be a no, be sure that you're ready to provide that reason why it's a no. But I also think that this is an opportunity, when you know you're going to have to give a firm no to our kids who have more independence, that you're kind of preparing yourself that there might be conflict? Yeah, you know, and so preparing yourself that when you go to have this conversation with your kid, that you're calm, you know that you've taken the chance to stop, breathe, get your body regulated before you do head into that conversation where you're saying, you've been doing this. This is something that's not safe, I can't let you do that. Right? My job is to be safe. And prepare yourself that there might be a strong reaction, right? But hopefully by coming in, you know, calm, cool, collected, and empathizing, you know, listening to your kid and all those things, prepare yourself for the conflict, but that you guys can actually use it as an opportunity to move forward, right? Monitoring can build that bond, like we said. Yes. And, you know, here's one other piece of research that is super affirming, and that is that most teens report that they still value their relationship with their parents, and it's just as much as they valued it when they were younger. And so, you know, this idea that they still value what we have to say, that idea that they're just expanding where they're getting their input from but they still value us. They still value our input. And, you know, so cling to that as you Stop. Breath. Talk. Absolutely. And as their time, right, if there's like a little circle. I'm gonna give a word picture, Lori, okay? If there's a little circle of how much of their time they spend with their parents, right? We might see that go down as we see that friend group or that activities one get bigger. But the values circle, right, parents are still getting most of the chunk. Even if it's not the 100% we had when they were two years old. The parents are still the most important chunk, is what the research is telling us of where kids get their values. Absolutely. They care what we think. They do. So okay, we've talked through what is this idea of monitoring? Why it's important, right? There's lots of benefits of why we do this, and then talking through what it looks like at these different ages. And so of course, this brings us to kind of the reality, right? We've been talking about some of the research on it. What are the practical strategies? Like, okay, monitoring is important. How am I going to do this? So we came up with this set of questions for you to reflect on, what information you might want when you're monitoring your kids. So I've got a couple questions for monitoring when our kids are not with us or even online, these can kind of apply. Absolutely. First question. This is like a who, what, where, when kind of deal? So the first is, who is my child with and what do I know about them? Right? Do I know who this friend is, or who this adult is, that they're going to be with? What is my child doing there? Right, like, okay, I know they're over at the school, what are they doing there? What are they doing over there? So, the who are they with, the what are they doing, the where are they, right? That physical location that they're in or online, right? Where are they? What kind of things are they doing on the internet or whatever? The when will my child be done? When will my child be home? Or when are they leaving? Right? That timeframe around it. And then the How is which I think is the one that comes to mind for most people is like, how are we getting there? And how are we getting home? Like, am I gonna need to be given you a ride? Or, you know, or like, Yeah, but screen time, like, are we using like, what kind of devices are we using? But then I actually want to add one more. So we have the who, what, where, when, and how. I want to add one more how, how are we communicating? Right? So how are my child and I going to communicate if plans change? Oh, yes. They go to leave the house. Thats the plan, and then they show up at someone's house and someone else has a different plan. And most of the time it's not because they're being sneaky that the plans change. Right? Plans just change. That happens to me. But that there's a plan for how you can communicate. Yes. So those are just a couple questions. Who is my child with? And what do I know about them? What is my child doing there? Where are they? When are they going to be home or leaving? How are they getting there and getting home? And how are we going to communicate when the plans change? Absolutely, those are so great, especially because they kind of hit all the areas and here's a really important key to think about. If you're thinking, oh my gosh, my child is not going to appreciate this. This is going to make them feel like they're being interrogated. And that's not it at all. It's really just one of the ways that we as parents keep our kids safe. But you hit on that last one. It's also a way to have open communication. And then what does the research tell us. Research tells us that communicating with our kids has more impact on a warm, positive relationship with them. And then guess what? They're less likely to deceive us. So it's not an interrogation, it's really kind of a holistic way to have a warm relationship with our child, help them make better choices, prevent them from making decisions that, you know, may be detrimental to them. And honestly, I think that the idea of asking and thinking through those questions also helps us take a moment to Stop. Breathe. Talk. and helps us into that mindset. Absolutely. Well, and you mentioned it's not an interrogation because several of these questions would be answered in the initial ask, right? So like, hey, mom, can I go to so and so's house to do blank before supper? Right, okay, so I know who they're with. And let's say I know who that person is. I know where they are and I know they want to do it before supper. So the only question I might need to ask is like, okay, when are you headed out? What time will you be home? You know, how you're gonna get a hold of me? Right? And the great thing about having this is this is the kind of stuff I always want to know, is that your kids can begin to anticipate it. Right? And so they might learn, like, okay, my mom's gonna ask how I'm getting home, and she's not gonna let me go unless I have a plan. You know, or like, my dad is always going to ask what we're doing there or whatever. They can begin to anticipate that and so it doesn't even half the time end up as any kind of questions you need to ask because they might divulge that. Or if they happen to leave out a detail, sometimes, right? They might do that. If they think there's an iffy one, maybe like, wait, so who's gonna be there? Right. And so it just gives you that chance to kind of run through that reflection of like, do I have all the information to help keep my child safe? Wherever, whatever they're going to be doing? So just a couple reflection questions for us to think through as we think about monitoring our kids at lots of different ages. So we've walked through a lot here on monitoring, but I'm guessing we haven't covered it all. And that Mackenzie DeJong, our producer, will have a question for us, hopefully not a stumper coming in with an off the cuff again. So one word that came to my mind as I was listening to you speak and that I thought maybe other people might think of is the term helicopter parent. So can you tell me how to maybe bridge the gap between, am I being a helicopter parent? Or are you telling me to be a helicopter parent and monitoring? Okay, so I would first say, okay, to you that phrase means helicopter, hovering, making decisions for, getting them out of situations. Is that what you mean? Are you saying for me? Yeah. A definition of helicopter parents. I mean, I think it's one of those phrases that a lot of people assign their own definition to because we don't often get a definition. It's just while they're being a helicopter parent. I would say if I were to think about what I think that is, it would be like the parent that is always jumping in and like that. You know, when Mackenzie was talking about climbing, it's like, oh no allie or jumping in or makin sure they're here. I know exa tly where you are every minute o every day. So how do we how d we bridge that gap? So I think that the really important thing is to consider that point that we talked about which was, is what they're doing and choosing destructive. And so, you know, focusing in on, is the decision destructive, is who they're hanging out with destructive, is their physical activity about to be destructive as they fall off the table. And so, when it comes to that big of a word destructive, then that's monitoring. That is saving your child's physical, emotional, you know, cognitive health, because you are monitoring them. What do you think, Mackenzie? I thought right along the same lines, honestly. So yes, when I think of helicopter, you know, that word hover. A big part of what people go with helicopter parenting. I think of you defining, is this destructive, can help us find that line. Right. That was one part of your question. But I think another part of helicopter parenting can be related to that question and that sometimes people assume helicopter parenting is being too involved, right? Sure. And so I would say part of it can be preventing natural consequences, right? So helicopter parenting can be not letting our child do the things that might come with a natural consequence to them because we're helicopter parenting. Which is different than preventing things from being destructive. Actually a big one right now, my daughter doesn't like to wear her coat. I knew that was coming in! And as a parent, it is winter. And I'm like, you have to bring your coat. Like, okay, natural consequence, if you don't want to put your coat on, you might be cold in the car. But you will have your coat because not having a coat in the middle of winter in Iowa is not safe. And so I think that's part of the difference between monitoring and helicopter parenting. Is this destructive? Or do I just not want my child to experience a consequence from the world? And so I think that's a difference. But I also think another really important part of it, sorry, if I can drag on, is another important part of it is that some other parents might perceive your monitoring as helicopter parents. Parents have different styles of parenting, right? And it looks different to everybody, but feeling confident in my job is this, even if your child's friends are like gee, my mom never or my parents never. So knowing that that might look different. That definition, like you said, varies from people to people, right? There is research to say, monitoring my kids and where they're at and who they're with helps keep them safe and helps prevent those destructive risky behaviors. So I think preparing yourself that, yep, if I'm asking these things, there might be another parent who say, well, geez. That could happen. And I just have to say, thank you so much. Sometimes I ask the question with an expectation of what you're gonna say, and not when I was really like, how do we get there. I do have to say, I think I need to give my mom a little bit of credit, and a little more grace. So I don't live in the same town as my parents, but I do visit them quite often. And every time, my mom says send me a text when you get there, send me a text when you leave. And I'm like, mom, you don't ever make me text you every time I leave my house to go to the office, why do I? But you know, it's that monitoring and shoot, my parents were really good about that. When I was a kid, I was scared to, you know, go places I wasn't supposed to go because I knew I would have consequences for that. So I have to give my mom a little more credit than I do sometimes. Yes, but limit setting, right? It keeps us sane. It keeps our kids out of trouble. Just knowing that our parents might know is something. That's enough to keep me out of trouble sometimes. So yes. All right. Well, thank you. Thanks, Kenz. I loved that question. That's such a good one. Yes. So talking about monitoring, you know, we Are you about to tell me that I have to be my child's best understand what it is, you know, that the research tells us there's a lot of benefits to it. And then we also got a chance to kind of talk through what's it look like to monitor, right? Lots of us have multiple kids. Okay, I'm monitoring my toddler, I'm monitoring my school ager, right, teenager all the way through. And then also just giving ourselves some reflection questions of what is the kind of information that I need to keep my kids safe, right, that's what monitoring is all about. Keepin them safe in person and online And so having the chance to d that, and so that is monitoring but next week, we look at th second M which of the RPM3 mod l, which is a mentoring, whi h I feel like is a little bit like, huh, what? Like, what do y u mean? What do you mean, men oring? friend. Oh, I'm not. So next week, we'll dive into that topic of like, okay, what do they mean when they say mentor? Do I even do this? Maybe. So come back and listen to us next week to hear a little bit more about what's the lifelong perspective of mentoring? Yes. So thanks for joining us today on The Science of Parenting podcast. Remember to subscribe to our weekly audio podcasts on Apple, Spotify or your favorite podcast app. And you can watch the show on video each week. You can also join us on Facebook and Twitter at scienceofparent to see our content in your feed. Absolutely. So please do come along with us as we talk all the ups and downs, the ins and outs, and the research and reality all around The Science of Parenting. The Science of Parenting is hosted by Lori Korthals and Mackenzie Johnson, produced by Mackenzie DeJong, with research and writing by Barbara Dunn Swanson. Send in questions and comments to and connect with us on Facebook and Twitter. This institution is an equal opportunity provider. For the full non-discrimination statement or accommodation inquiries go to