What’s your top concern? 2013 Reader Survey results

Parenting Teenagers Survey

In February, we ran our first reader survey on parenting teenagers, to help us get a better understanding of the issues you are concerned about so we can provide you with better content.

We thought you might be interested in reading some of our results.

What concerns you most?

Considering the many column inches devoted to the topics of underage drinking, teenage drug taking and cyber-bullying, we were really surprised that these didn’t appear higher on the list. The top three issues for those of us parenting teenagers are:

  1. Relationships and sexuality
  2. Self-esteem
  3. Peer pressure.

This is so helpful to us knowing what content to bring you more of. If you would like to get more specific about what it is in these three areas that concern you, please leave a comment below – feel free to be anonymous.

What are teenagers concerned about?

Also instructive is what you believe your teenagers are most concerned about. The top issue for your kids, as you see it, is school performance and study. Teens seem to be less concerned about sex and relationships than we are.

You name body image as another big area of concern for teens.

Although The Kids Are All Right website is for parents, rather than teenagers, knowing your children’s top concerns  means we can bring you articles to help you better understand them.

Technology – what worries you the most?

Again, surprisingly, considering how frequently these topics are covered in the media, your top technology worries are not Internet pornography or violent games. Your greatest technology challenge is managing the time your teenager spends online or on screens.

You are also worried about your child’s exposure to undesirable or unknown people and cyber-bullying.

Who do you turn to for advice in parenting teenagers?

Not your own mum, it seems!

In last year’s Changing Face of Motherhood Report (undertaken by Proctor & Gamble), mums sought parenting help from their own mothers first, ahead of all other resources.

In The Kids Are All Right survey, our own parents were well down on the list of people we go to for help. Our readers are more likely to get parenting help from friends, online forums and blogs, elsewhere on the Internet and from health professionals.

We wonder if this has something to do with the fact that, unlike the Changing Face of Motherhood Report which surveyed mums of children aged 0–16, we focus on the parenting of teenagers. Perhaps our own parents are less able to offer insights into the unique challenges of parenting teenagers in 2013?

Another explanation of course is that our respondents are already reading The Kids Are All Right website, so would be skewed towards seeking parenting information online.

What do you want to read more of on The Kids Are All Right?

Mostly, you want to read more personal stories from other parents about their own experiences parenting teenagers. This is one of the main reasons this website was created as a place for parents of teenagers to go to, because we felt it was important for parents to share their stories.

We loved reading your personal responses to this question too. We thought all your suggestions were excellent, and we’ll definitely be following them up.

Thank you again to everyone who responded to our survey – your responses were most enlightening and our team is committed to bringing you more relevant stories in 2013.

Survey highlights

Question

We asked readers to choose up to 10 issues they were most concerned about in relation to parenting their teenagers, from a list of 20. They were then asked to select up to 10 issues that their teenagers worry about.

Adults’ top 10 concerns (where item 1 was most selected):

  1. Relationships and sexuality
  2. Self-esteem
  3. Peer pressure
  4. Mental health issues (including depression and anxiety)
  5. School performance and study
  6. Technology – managing use
  7. Drugs
  8. Alcohol
  9. Having balance in their lives (managing school, part-time work, social life)
  10. Bullying – including cyber-bullying

Teenagers’ top 10 concerns (where item 1 was most selected):

  1. School performance and study
  2. Self-esteem
  3. Peer pressure
  4. Body image
  5. Relationships and sexuality
  6. Career
  7. Having balance in their lives (managing school, part-time work, social life)
  8. Bullying – including cyber-bullying
  9. Mental health issues (including depression and anxiety)
  10. Driving – learning to drive and driving while inexperienced
  11. Social – lonely, solitary or few friends
  12. Physical health, including exercise *

* The last three items were evenly scored.

Other responses:

  • parental peer pressure when my child is the only one without Facebook/an internet capable mobile phone or just plain old mobile phone; trying to manage different rules in different families; staying strong to our beliefs when it is not the common; helping our kids to set the positive tone amongst their peers
  • Being considerate of others, less self-absorbed
  • Sexualisation of girls
  • Major sleep issues!!
  • Socio-economic status

Question

Following are a number of challenges relating to technology use. Please rate these in order of importance to you in the parenting of your children (1 is the highest/most important)

  1. Managing time spent online or on screens
  2. Your child’s exposure to undesirable or unknown people
  3. Cyber-bullying
  4. Your child’s exposure to undesirable content (other than pornography)
  5. Internet pornography
  6. Managing use and cost of mobile phone
  7. Your child posting inappropriate images or content
  8. As a parent, staying up-to-date with technology and knowing what your teenager is using and how
  9. Violent games

Question

Who do you turn to for parenting advice when needed? (Select as many as you like)

  1. Friends (77.9%)
  2. Online forums or blogs (62.3%)
  3. Internet (search engines, known websites) (61.0%)
  4. Health professionals, such as doctors or psychologists (53.2%)
  5. Your own parents (41.6%)
  6. Teachers (27.3%)

Other (please specify):

Question

From the following list, please select what you would like to see on The Kids Are All Right website and forum. Select as many as you like.

Other (please specify)

  • mental illness info
  • Pre-teen issues like early puberty, entering/choosing high school. Advice for very clever kids- career stuff, programs, mentoring. Ideas/resources for interest groups (hobbies, school holiday stuff)
  • Interesting movies for teens that are educational and places to take teenagers that can keep them occupied on the weekends, apart from sports.
  • Space to debrief in relation to a ‘real’ issue ie frustration with School policies/attitude
  • How do I stay one step ahead of my teenagers in technology. Surely, if they think I understand them/equal them in this regard I can understand other aspects of their life.
  • Series by teens themselves were excellent. Like to read those pieces as well

 

 

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