Teenage years the hardest for parents

Three quarters of parents identify their children’s  teen
years as the most difficult period for them as parents, and more
than half worry that they are not doing a good enough job.

More than 1000 parents were interviewed for the survey,
commissioned by the Institute for Public Policy Research.

Three quarters of the sample felt that society was more
supportive to parents with younger children. Parents of teenagers
felt isolated and most would like to be able to talk to other
parents about the issues they face, especially parents living with
step children. Most parents believe they face a more difficult task
than their parents.

Nine out of ten parents are satisfied with their lives. The
estimated 200,000 who say they are not satisfied  are most likely
to be lone parents, young parents, parents who are not working and
parents from minority ethnic groups.  Most of these worried that
they were not doing a good enough job, and more than half find it
difficult to discipline their children.

Laura Edwards, senior researcher at IPPR, said, “We are
quick to blame the parents of teenagers when things go wrong. A
shift in policy and practice is needed – from the voluntary
sector and employers as well as government – which recognises
the demands of being a parent of a teenager”.

The study was commissioned from the IPPR by soap manufacturer
Lever Faberge.

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