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Rob Lowe's advice to parents of teens: Keep 'your eyes open'

Lowe and wife Sheryl Berkoff share sons Matthew, 28, and John Owen, 26.
The Comedy Central Roast Of Rob Lowe - Arrivals
 John Owen Lowe, honoree Rob Lowe, Sheryl Berkoff and Matthew Edward Lowe attend the Comedy Central Roast of Rob Lowe at Sony Studios on August 27, 2016 in Los Angeles, California.Jason LaVeris / FilmMagic

Rob Lowe has some advice about parenting teens ahead of Father's Day.

The now 57-year-old, who has been a heartthrob actor since the age of 18 when he appeared in "The Outsiders," has raised two sons with wife Sheryl Berkoff: Matthew, 28, and John Owen, 26.

"When they were little, we would do things that we could all three do together. We go to the beach, maybe we go fishing. Now because they’re adults and they’re out in the world and live their own lives, I’m just thrilled that I get them coming back to the house," Lowe said in an interview with E! News.

Rob Lowe Honored With Star On The Hollywood Walk Of Fame
Rob Lowe's family attends the ceremony honoring Lowe with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on December 8, 2015 in Hollywood, California. Axelle / Bauer-Griffin / FilmMagic

Now that his kids are all grown up, Lowe looks back on parenting with wisdom he's happy to share. According to Lowe, the biggest takeaway he ever got from his own dad was having a work ethic.

"A lot of advice is leading by example, right? My father is 83, he still works, still goes to the office, is still practicing law. I inherited that work ethic and drive," he said.

For Lowe, "keeping your eyes open" is the key to parenting teens — especially in the 15 to 18 age range.

"They’ve got to figure out their relationship with drugs and alcohol — and just being on top of it, not living in a dream state," he said.

Lowe just celebrated 31 years of sobriety in May 2021, and made a point to thank his family for their support on Instagram.

“I want to give thanks to everyone walking this path with me, and welcome anyone thinking about joining us; the free and the happy. And a big hug to my family for putting up with me!! Xoxo,” he posted.

In January, Lowe told Willie Geist on Sunday TODAY that he’s a big believer in “recovery, sobriety and therapy,” but people who are struggling have to want to get help.

And for parents, being able to identify if their child is struggling with drugs or alcohol use could potentially save them from danger.

He gave a wake-up call about this to parents everywhere.

"Your kids are out there and they’re partying. Get real. And every parent is like, 'My kids aren’t, but their friends are.' Have your eyes open, be realistic, and know that that’s part of it," he said in the interview.

He also urged parents to not be afraid to get involved if they see something abnormal going on with their kids.

"Your job is literally to keep them alive and to not do something stupid while they hopefully figure out how to navigate that part of their lives. Don’t be afraid to step in," he said.

For the life of an actor, personal privacy doesn't really exist — and for Lowe, the concept of personal privacy doesn't really exist in his world of parenting, either.

"My other thing is, personal privacy does not exist in my house until you’re paying the bills. I need to know what’s going on. Knock on wood, it worked for us," he concluded.