The Brazosport Facts from Freeport, Texas on November 21, 1971 · Page 67
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The Brazosport Facts from Freeport, Texas · Page 67

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Freeport, Texas
Issue Date:
Sunday, November 21, 1971
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Page 67
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Survey: * Is It "In" with Teens for Parents to Be "Out"? n Ad.™, • Teens were much likelier to discuss a problem of a serious nature with parents whom they perceive to be "Vith it." "now," or "in" (e,g, aw»re of the times and what's going cm). "Do y<m fed free to dbrva serioos yiobkua with yam mother?" Total Sample NO YES 56% Mates Females NO YES 53% 47% 35% 65% If you have been finding h harder to cotnnronkatc with adolescents around your boose nowadays—you are not alone. In this surrey, taken especially for Family Weekly by an expert on youth, the biggest causes of dissension arc revealed—at least as the kids see them—plus some indications of bow the wounds might be healed. la the past year Tvc noticed a stronger rebellious reaction of some teens to adults—especially lo their parents. As Pve lectured around the country, I've seen many teens raise eyebrows and **roH eyes" in a disgusted manner when I've mentioned, "Your parents say cr do..." So I've become curious as to why it's "in" for parents (adults) to be "out," and I've done a special research study in order to gel a due. The study was conducted among students in a large New England high school and junior- high school. A questionnaire was wed which was designed to probe deeper into the communications area between parents and teens, audio better understand the bad and the good. Briefly, the key findings were: • Teens believed that they usually lose communication whh parents at age 12. • More than 90% said they prefer discussing their problems with their peers instead of whh parents or other adults. • In spite of their expressed preference for discussion of problems with other teens, substantially more than half felt free to discuss serious problems (such as sex or drugs) whh their mothers. But far fewer than half felt free to discuss these same problems with their fathers. J3-J5Yrs. 16-19 Yra. NO YES 38% 62% 48% 52% "Do you feet free to disease seriom problems with your faifeerr Total Sample NO YES NO YES 59% 41% Males 47% 53% Female* 71% 29% 13-15 Yrs. 16-19 Yrs. NO YES 54% 46% 64% 36% Jean Adams, columnist and lecturer, it one of the country's leading authorities on young people and iheir problems. Her widely syndicated newspaper column deals with the letters sent to her by children and teens. Males and females differ about which parent to discuss serious problems with. Girls arc more inclined to discuss serious problems with their mother. But females virtually refuse to discuss a really serious problem with their father (only 29% say they will vs. 71% who say they won't). Younger boys and girls alike (13-J* yrs.) arc more inclined to discuss a serious problem with their mother than older males or females (16-19 yrs.). The same is true about their willingness to discuss serious problems with their lal-Vr-lhc oMct tfcey fs«- or , at k*U. wp to * pomJ— the few they arc to dncuw tttotf prot&sns "Jib tilhet portal. The nnSf appallsij f«tc* c* Uut nearly keif the tocm in ou* utmpie do oat feel tree to dnciro icrknn probfcjm with etfber parent, TVry turn clww&ert tot Jbtw amwrt—uuialiy to thcu peers, In !*X »MMT than 9O% of ikf Irtn^iiet'i isbd tktj prefer &c- tvoiisg tHtif pto&tervt *rith rtthfr trtn~aftii, (The pcrstnijjc o siightiy fofTO in the tJ-IS *£c grosip, but higher in the ovci group.) dboraiag ptcrsc Total VES NO 91% 9% 13-15 Yr*. YES NO M% 12% 16-19 Yrm. VES NO 93% 7% There are many reasons for this, but they can he boiled down to two bask categoric*: 1) It's easier to communicate with peers; 2) parents aren't qualified lo help wiih today's problem*. Teen-agers exprew these reasons in a number of different ways, but they mean literally that: • They find it difficult lo communicate or even to talk with adult*, because in their oprnion: 1) Adult* don't listen: 2) your own peers are "easier to talk with"; J) you can talk "freer" with your peers, using whatever verbiage you need, without fearing punishment or reprisal; 4; your peers won't "yell at you" when you're trying to talk about the problem... they will hear you out. • Kid* really do question the credentials or qualifications of adults (especially parent*) to render any help because they believe; 1) "Anybody over 25 just can't know what's going on now"; 2) your own peers arc better able to help because they've had the same problems— and have coped with them; 3) adults grew up in a different culture, with different problem*, and just don't understand what it's like now, Another parallel analysis served to confirm the extent to "Do jou tffl fnprr I* {atbct. N?<b: at "T.M5 i&it Motfctr FoOwr 15% ^\•S, Bodi aper» art rsxxc »pf to pfohkrni w«h lather than »« older tomt A* iffttt jrnw c>J»kf. they «K«*«C in (hor Jtffsaity lo raothrt. Acewitaj to my ttxn- »jK Rw«l. thit cwkj be brc«u«c they b<!»o*; mother *» car n trtofc receptive. rc»«J»cr lo Irtttn. »(xl. above all. mt>fr ptrmim-rt thin father's.. Corttu!(4tton with teem ha* convinced me that one mccntor to being able lo achHrvu eScetivx: parent-teen cofnmiiwcati«m s* the dcfror to whKh you ( M a parent ) are "*lth it"~"in~— aware o( what't "rcjlly going on," More than half our varopic of tccrK < (4 1 % } bcl«:*-c their mother i* "with it." Lew (run half (4S% ) think father M "with it." The importance of good com- munkatiom wa» further reinforced by thi« question: "At what »gc. it at alt, did you lose communications wiih your mother ? father 7 never lojt it with cither . ? \rtntge Total Age Sample Ixnt Never lo*l It 47% With Mother 42% 12jr». With Father 45% 12yrs, More than half the teem in our sample say they have lo*t communication with one or more parent*. Younger teen* arc more likely (52%) to have never lo*t it than older teen* (only 43% ). Serious communications proh- Icms term to start at 11-12 yean of agf. and by thf limr the teen reach fn the oltltr 16-19 age group, where serious pniblrms are likelier la be encoiintrrni, the gap has really widened. However, from my pcrsonnl experience with both parent* .and teen*, I feel that some gap will cni*t no matter how much rapport is established. tfttt" I jnXfil the tt*n» in u >!>« whj>! tKeSfi t t thit t > tu» it't n* !fieei»r-t »Mvi to A (t" "!J«|ing tlult for ms.~ "I rtlmg roc iJo thjn£t, liit <»e In* car," "/nit CJfjng " "No< fryirsj " ~f jiinj my lr»coiH ~ lltr» BKrtlMT f«»nw jow ofl— i««o much critxnrn It jtttm ( >n unalt rnt rc-*ctton-..<w<mg orMnmrt*. he- c-uhc of rwirrrttjl authofity »tor>c A few ilirctt *t4t£n>enu here are "Btmg loo b«n.>)," "CrilKU- inp my Jiic-ndi." "Criticizing my appearance, tisch as hair," "Veiling *t me" "Too catily tiptct," "Rcwg too critical of my hahit* " How fatlw turn* joo off- father « taken Id «a«k nxur for physical thing* in clo*c ijuaftcr*. «»ch a* language, manner*, appearance around home. A varn- plmg of uatcrncnu: "Getting *o angry"" "Yelling at me or my friend*." "Sloppy drc\*ing around the houvc." "CriticiHng my long hnir and making me get it cut." "Drinking a lot. and jwcaring." "Always worrying about pot." 'Too m\ich cmpha»i* on making money." "Bad eating manner*." "If you want to live here. I'm king!" According lo thi* survey. ndult* arc "nut." And we won't he "in" until we make it c;«icr for our young to communicate with us, pcrhap* by creating nn easier atmosphere for discussions. One way we can become qualified for these ditcuwions is through awareness of what's going on in today's world-or at least the world as kids know it. 'ITicrc's an old saying, "Your world is as big a.s you make it..." And our world must be bigger if we're to encounter and cope with the world of our youth. D 6 Family Weekly. Nowsmher 21,1971

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