Reportedly, seven-in-10 parents worry about the decisions that their teenage #children make, despite 75 per cent of young people admitting that they are happy with their judgements to date.
The research, published today by the National Citizen Service (NCS), reveals the pressure that many parents feel as they attempt to guide children through some of the big decisions early in life.
A-level choices, university applications and the effort put into #school study are some areas cited by parents as being of concern.
However, the study suggests that these worries are often fuelled by parental regrets; with nearly 90 per cent of those surveyed admitting they would have done things differently in their teenage years.
Furthermore, 18 per cent of #parents wish they had attended university, while 14 per cent regret their choice of A-levels.
Over a third also wish they had spent more time thinking about their future career path – with a quarter saying they think they would have been wealthier and happier had they made better decisions when they were young.
However, according to the research, while half of parents feel powerless to influence a child’s decision, 70 per cent of teens say that they play a key role in the decision-making process.
Last month, research from Coventry University, drew similar conclusions. Nearly a quarter of sixth former’s admitted that parental advice was one of the most important factors when selecting a higher education institution, and one in seven even said they valued the advice of parents over their own views.
Parenting expert, Sarah Newton, says that it is natural to worry more when children get to teenage years, because the decisions that they make can have a big impact on their future.
“We look back on our own #youth, as parents, and look at all the regrets that we have and we look at our teenagers and we want better for them, but it’s actually a time when teens are trying to gain control. It’s a challenge.
“What we have to be really careful of is not to step in too much as parents. We have to sit down and talk to them if we see them making a decision that is proving difficult. We should talk to them about the consequences and encourage them to take up opportunities.
“In terms of academic decisions, parents should get involved early. When you talk about the decisions a teenager makes, you have to highlight to them what they are saying ‘no’ to in the future by making this decision. If they choose to go to a party, instead of studying for an exam, what might they be saying no to?
“Children are very sensible, it’s just about reminding them that every choice they make has a positive or negative effect on the future.”
Parents’ regrets from their teenage years:
35 per cent regret not investing time in considering their future
36 per cent regret not studying hard enough
18 per cent regret not going to university
16 per cent regret not experiencing living away from home
16 per cent regret being frivolous with their money
14 per cent regret their choice of A-levels
12 per cent regret focusing too much time on boyfriends/girlfriends
12 per cent regret smoking too much
12 per cent regret drinking too much
11 per cent regret not having a part-time job
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