Most teenagers satisfied with their upbringing

Just over eight out of ten young teenagers aged 12 to 17 years are satisfied with the way their parents bring them up. About 15 percent think their parents are ‘doing alright’. Some 2 percent are not satisfied.

The large majority of young adults who have left home also look back in satisfaction on their upbringing. Their opinions do not differ from teenagers living at home..

Extent of freedom parents grant to young teenagers, 2001

Free to spend allowance and choose TV programmes

Parents usually leave teenagers free in how they spend their allowance and anything they earn. They may also usually plan their own day and choose their own TV programmes. Half of children in this age group, for example, say they are allowed to watch the programmes they want to watch. Nearly 42 percent are sometimes allowed to watch what they want.

Parental interference

Parents do step in more often where homework is concerned: nearly always for one quarter of children in this age group, and sometimes for more than half of them. Parents are more likely to interfere with boys’ homework than with girls.

Parents are stricter where loud music and holidays are concerned. More than one quarter of teenagers are not allowed to listen to loud music when they want to and many of them may not go on holiday without their parents or other adults; 60 percent of youngsters in this age group are not allowed on holiday without adult supervision.

Parents are strictest when it comes to what time young teenagers have to be home in the evening. For six out of ten teenagers, the parents determine this time. Only 8 percent are left completely free. More boys than girls are allowed to decide for themselves what time they get home.

Subjects of discussion between teenagers and parents, 2001

Domestic discord

Some subjects can trigger disagreement, for example helping out at home. Half of young teenagers report that this sometimes leads to discussions at home.

According to 47 percent of children in the survey, what time they have to be home in the evening is apt to lead to argument. Steady boyfriends and girlfriends and political and religious topics are less likely to lead to disagreement.

Miriam van Baal