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How much independence should you give your teenager?

Study looks at the balancing act of raising teenagers in 2013 and how to get the best out of your kids without pushing them away 

Getting the balance right when your kids are looking ahead to their futures is tough at the best of times, but especially so with teenagers who are craving independence and are starting to want to make their own decisions in life.  

So how can you make sure your kids fulfill their potential in today’s tough world, whilst also ensuring you’re giving them the independence they will need to get ahead? 

New research released today by NCS (National Citizen Service), a once in a lifetime experience open to all 16 and 17 year olds across England, shows that more than half of teens in the UK want more independence from their parents to make choices about their own lives. 

But when it comes to focusing on their futures, parents think their teenagers could be doing more, with parents saying their teens are prioritising their friendships (57%), looks (33%) and love lives (26%) over improving their future CVs (with just 8%. 

But when teenagers were asked to state their current priorities in life, while parents were correct about friendship being top not far behind were school and college, employment after school and college and future education ranking ahead of looks and love lives. 

Parents always worry about their teenagers, especially when it comes to their future and providing enough opportunity to ensure they can flourish in life, but do parents run the risk of driving their teenagers away by piling on too much pressure? 

How can parents strike the right balance and what opportunities are available to teenagers to discover their independence and develop skills for work and life that can help improve their confidence and chances of going into further education and getting a job. 


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