Parenting Styles

The 12 Ways of Hands-On Parents

The best way to monitor your child is to be a “hands-on” parent. Here’s what hands-on parents do:


  1. Monitor what their kids watch on TV
  2. Monitor what they do on the Internet
  3. Put restrictions on the music they buy and listen to
  4. Know where their kids are after school and on weekends
  5. Expect to be and are told the truth by their children about where they really are going
  6. Are “very aware” of their child’s academic performance
  7. Impose a curfew
  8. Make clear they would be “extremely upset” if their child used pot or cigarettes
  9. Eat dinner with their children several times per week
  10. Turn off the TV during dinner
  11. Assign their child regular chores
  12. Have an adult present when their child returns from school

Hands-on parents are incredibly important in the lives of teens. A 1996 Journal of Family Issues article observed that “family disruption and lack of parental involvement during childhood correlated with an increase in lying, cheating, fighting, and criminal activity among youth.” And a study carried out by the Institute for Youth Development reported that hands-on parents raised teens who drank, smoked, and did drugs as much lower rates than the general teen population.

Hands-on parenting always involves spending lots of time with children. In his article “The Parent Trap,” William Mattox Jr. quoted Harvard University child psychiatrist Robert Cole: “The frenzied need of children to have possessions isn’t only a function of the ads they see on TV. It’s a function of their hunger for what they aren’t getting–their parents’ time.”

When 1,500 schoolchildren were asked, “What do you think makes a happy family?” the most frequent answer was not money, nice house, cars, or TVS. The most frequent answer was “doing things together” as a family.

Medical information within this site is not intended for use in the diagnosis or treatment of any health condition. Please consult a licensed health care professional for the treatment or diagnosis of any medical condition.

Walt Larimore, M.D. has been called “one of America’s best known family physicians.” He is a nationally-known and nationally sought after speaker and health expert.

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