Vigilant Care

Numerous studies have shown that supervision is the one of the foremost means of preventing a long list of negative behaviors in children, such as: accidents and unsafe behavior in small children, fighting and violence, falling grades, truancy and school dropout, smoking, alcohol and drug use, mixing with a negative crowd, delinquency, sexual promiscuity and more. Although "supervision" or "monitoring" are the terms used in this research, we prefer the term "vigilant care." The reason is that "supervision" and "monitoring" carry the connotation of either a detached or an intrusive inspectional stance. Instead, the kind of parental attitude we would like to foster involves a caring presence. Focused supervision does come into play, when the parent detects warning signals that necessitate a tighter vigilance. We shall accordingly use the term "supervision" to denote the higher levels of vigilant care when, having detected signs of alarm, the parent moves over to a more decided and focused kind of watchfulness.