how do you monitor your child's contact with his/her surrounding world?

I understand that we cannot be with our children every minute, or be a superhero with x-ray vision or eyes in the back of our head. When my child was small, monitoring was easy, because I was making the most decisions. I decided who take care of my son, who he plays with, etc.
Now things change, because my son gets older. He begins to learn about his own personality, and is trying to be more independent. I know that friends have a big influence on my child, and I hope that this influence is positive. Also, my son spends a lot of time with his teachers, and they play a vital role too.

So, how do you use monitoring in your daily parenting practice?

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        We live in an apartment and down our stairs is a little courtyard with a pool (gated) and on each side of the courtyard, there is a hedge and then the sidewalk to the street.. My kids play down there with our neighbor kids and MY kids have STRICT rules.. no going past the hedge and no going into the pool gate area to get a dart or ball or whatever and to always come get me.. The other kids don't have the same rules and they're parents can't see them from their living room, but that's none of my business...

        My kids follow my rules.. My son will ask me for help if something flies into the pool, etc.. One afternoon, (I always peek and have an ear out), but one day, I saw my daughter go past the hedge a bit.. not totally around, but past the marked area and even though she was safe and I could see her, She pushed her boundary. I went down there and calmly asked her to come inside and told her she went past our boundary and she was very upset and promised not to and I stuck to my guns.. I said, I'm sorry, but you cannot forget where our line is and you MUST not go one toe out of it or you lose my trust and I can't keep you safe.. She said she forgot and I said, well, now you will remember..

        It truly wasn't too far over .. but I made a big deal out of it, so that she ddn't do it again.. One toe today..a foot the next, then she's pushing further and further.. I told them NO negotiation.. You follow the rules or you don't go outside, it's too important.. and though she was really upset and had to come inside.. she has NEVER gone past her boundary since.. I've actually watched her watch her friends on that side and laugh and play but stay where she is supposed to stay.. I've seen her asked and driven to go to the "other side" and nope.. she stays put.. I've seen her chase a ball to the end of the courtyard and stop dead in her tracks to let it go if she couldn't reach it before the hedge..

        I reward her every time with a big hug and tell her that I'm so proud she's following the rules.. and she beams at me, so happy to be outside playing..

        Sometimes.. just to prove my point, I will take a smaller moment.. that may or may not have been a big enough deal to "punish" for. but take advantage of it to really drill in my rules and that I'm NOT messing around... No gray area here...

        I hope they don't get sneaky on me lol
          As for school.. That's hard for me.. But I try to be present as much as I can.. I volunteer in their classrooms and pick them up every day (most days) and walk them to the gate every morning rather than the carpool drop off lane.. I try to make the assemblies and sometimes bring their lunch late.. I try to just make sure they know I'm around and available and I ask tons of questions about their lives.. what they played, with who, etc.. I;m hoping to create and open ness .. so they can tell me anything and everything.. and that I know who they're talking about. etc...

          I still worry so much though...
            8Theresa Gould
            Our children are only to play in the backyard, only in the front yard with an adult or older sibling. We have no neighborhood children. There are two little toddlers across the road but we hardly ever see them. If they are outside and a farm customer comes, they are to come and get us, they are not to talk to people alone.
            About Elena Voznyuk
            Current: Anoka, Minnesota
            Birth: November 22
            On since: Jun 21, 2013
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