School buses are on the move, bells are ringing, and school supply ads are everywhere. Whether you are the mom of a preschooler or a grandparent, use this time of year as a reminder to learn what is being taught in your local school. Along with the Checklist on the side, here are some specific tips for talking to the kids in your life:

1. Get Involved. Research shows that when parents are involved in their children’s lives, teens have higher grades, test scores, and graduation rates. Teens also have increased motivation and better self-esteem, as well as decreased use of drugs and alcohol.

2. Mold Their Minds. Did you know the human brain isn’t fully developed until the mid-twenties? That means that a teenager’s brain is moldable—for good or bad. The messages teens hear from TV, movies, internet, friends, teachers, and you can have a significant influence on them.

3. Learn What They Learn. A new school year means a fresh start, no matter what you’ve done, or not done in the past. Make a point to know what your students are learning at school, especially in regards to abstinence and sex education.

4. Limit Media Influence. Limit the amount of media in your home, since most of it is filled with messages contrary to what you want your teens to learn. Watch TV programs and movies with your kids and ask them questions: Is it right for the characters to act that way or to say those things? Do your friends act like that? What would you do in this situation?