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Most Parents are Obstacles to Teens’ Independence: Survey

In contrast, one quarter of the parents admitted that their role in impeding their teen’s independence, saying it’s quicker and less hassle to do things themselves (19 per cent) or they don’t think about how to give teens more responsibility (7 per cent)

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By Bharat Upadhyay 

Parents, please take note. A new survey shows that parents are often the obstacle in teenagers becoming self-sufficient.

“Our study suggests parents aren’t letting go of the reins as often as they should to help teens make that transition. This process of transition from childhood to adulthood includes everything, from preparing for work and financial responsibility to taking care of one’s health and well-being,” said Sarah Clark from the University of Michigan, the UK.

According to Bhagat Rajput, consultant, psychiatry, Manipal Hospital in Delhi, independence is essential for children’s growth, but mostly it’s the generation gap between the children and the parents that acts as a barrier.

“This gap is visible because each of them grows up in two separate historical time and culture, impacting the views, value and tastes. The barrier can be minimised with parents acting as guides to adolescents and increasing communication and understanding in the relationship,” Rajput told IANS.

Struggling for personal independence, 23-year-old Delhi-based Muskan, said: “Parents putting barriers at every step harms more than it helps. This is the time when we are trying to build our own identity and want to make our own mistakes. Parents think they’re advising or helping us, but too much interference only makes us rebel.”

The researchers recommend parents to position themselves as a backup resource, to be consulted only if the teen can’t handle the issue independently.

Parents
There was a similar, although not quite as dramatic, increase in the risk of best friendship dissolution for children with psychologically controlling parents. pixabay

Parents should also establish specific milestones and create opportunities to mentor their teens in gaining experience and confidence while reaching those goals, they said.

According to researchers, one quarter of the parents surveyed admit they are the main barrier to their teen’s independence as they don’t take the time or make effort to give them more responsibility.

The report was based on responses of 877 parents from the UK with at least one child aged 14-18 years.

Researchers also stated that 60 per cent of the respondents said their teens’ characteristics were barriers to becoming independent, such as not being mature enough (24 per cent), not having time (22 per cent) or not knowing enough (14 per cent) to take more responsibility.

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In contrast, one quarter of the parents admitted that their role in impeding their teen’s independence, saying it’s quicker and less hassle to do things themselves (19 per cent) or they don’t think about how to give teens more responsibility (7 per cent).

“Parenting is about learning to care and control in the right measure. Autonomy for young people is important for development of their identity. But autonomy has to be within a safety framework,” Achal Bhagat, senior consultant, psychiatry, Indraprastha Apollo Hospitals, told IANS. (IANS)

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71% Parents Feel That Video Games May Have Positive Impact on Kids

71% parents believe video games good for teens

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Video Games
86 per cent of parents agree that teeagers spend too much time on video games. Pixabay

Seventy-one per cent of parents believe that video games may have a positive and healthy impact on their kids’ lifestyle, while 44 per cent try to restrict video game content, says a new study.

According to the CS Mott Children’s Hospital National Poll on Children’s Health in US, 86 per cent of parents agree that teeagersspend too much time gaming. Parents also reported very different gaming patterns for teenage boys than girls.

Twice as many parents said that their teen boy plays video games every day compared to parents of teen girls. Teen boys are also more likely to spend three or more hours gaming.

“Although many parents believe video games can be good for teens, they also report a number of negative impacts of prolonged gaming,” said poll co-director Gary Freed from University of Michigan.

Video Games
Parents can play an important role by setting clear rules about appropriate content and how much time is too much time spent on video games. Pixabay

“Parents should take a close look at their teen’s gaming behaviour and set reasonable limits to reduce harmful impacts on sleep, family and peer relationships and school performance,” Freed added.

Overall, parents surveyed said that gaming often gets in the way of other aspects of their teen’s life, such as family activities and interactions (46 per cent), sleep (44 per cent), homework (34 per cent), friendship with non-gaming peers (33 per cent) and extracurricular activities (31 per cent).

Parents of teens ages 13-15 (compared to those with older teens) are more likely to use rating systems to try to make sure games are appropriate (43 per cent versus 18 per cent), encourage their teen to play with friends in person rather than online and to ban gaming in their teen’s bedroom.

Parents polled also use different strategies to limit the amount of time their teen spends gaming, including encouraging other activities (75 per cent), setting time limits (54 per cent), providing incentives to limit gaming (23 per cent) and hiding gaming equipment (14 percent).

The researchers noted that while gaming may be a fun activity in moderation, some teens -such as those with attention issues — are especially susceptible to the constant positive feedback and the stimulus of video games.

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This may lead to prolonged play that is disruptive to other elements of a teen’s life, the researchers added.

“Parents can play an important role by setting clear rules about appropriate content and how much time is too much time spent on video games,” Freed said. (IANS)