Parenting

What Teens Really Want By The Numbers


Based on the numbers gathered in a survey I conducted most teens really want boundaries and their parents’ involvement in their lives.

1. Most teenagers say that they want to grow up to be a good person. If you had to choose between two ways that your parents could relate to you, which one would you choose to help you become the good person you want to be?

  • 77% – They set reasonable rules; they ensure that I do my homework; they care about who I hang out with and how healthy I am; and they try to create family time and stay involved in my life. -
  • 23% – They hang out with me; they usually buy me things I want; they usually let me do the things I want to do and go where I want to go; they don’t bug me about homework;
    and they don’t hold me to rules.

2. Imagine this scenario: Your parents don’t allow you to go to a concert with kids they suspect drink a lot, and you are furious. But later you find that everyone was drinking and driving home drunk. If you had been there, you would have had to make an uncomfortable choice between seeming uncool by refusing to get in the car or riding with a drunk driver. Looking back, are you glad your parents made you stay home?

  • 77% – Yes, although I may not admit it, I’m glad to have been spared that dilemma, which my parents may have anticipated.
  • 23% – No, I should have been able to make my own choice and I would have handled that dilemma fine.

3. Do you consider yourself a good kid?

  • 97%- Yes
  • 3% – No

4. Of the ones that consider themselves a good kid, have you committed any of these offenses three or more times: drinking, using drugs, wild partying, sneaking out, having sexual intercourse or oral sex, stealing, or drivin g at scary speeds (more than forty miles per hour above the speed limit

  • 46% – Yes
  • 54%No

By: Shaunti Feldhahn


iMOM Contributor

Shaunti Feldhahn is a bestselling author, popular public speaker, and groundbreaking researcher. This wife of attorney-entrepreneur Jeff Feldhahn and mother of two, now applies her analytical skills to illuminating those important, surprising truths that people really need to understand about each other.


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  • Mom blessed with 4

    I think I need to remind myself that it’s okay if dishes and laundry pile up (shall we say mountain high?) once in a while when life just gets too busy. When we’re buried knee-deep in doctor’s appointments and school projects and extra work projects, I tend to beat myself up when I can’t see my kitchen counter because I haven’t been able to keep up. Thank you for this encouraging article!

  • Tljohns

    Too funny…and true! Love it.

  • Joyce Godwin

    Oh so true and my journey is just beginning! When I feel overwhelmed I pick up my little girl and ask her for a hug. Nothing like it!

  • Teacher mom

    Love this article! Catchy title! Love your witty sense of humor too! Great way to start my day…I’m sharing!

  • Patricia

    What a HUGE relief to read #4! My younger daughter is so precious, but I often find myself having to make a conscious effort to connect with her. It leaves me feeling so guilty and like a terrible mother. I pray about it a LOT! Maybe I’m not such a terrible mother…
    And my solution to the flood of art projects: each child has a designated space on the “art wall”, when their space is full they have to make a choice what to throw and what to keep.

  • April

    I love this article thanks for the encouragement!! My oldest can drive me crazy at times with his attitude and sometimes I feel horrible for my frustrations with him. I’m encouraged so much though when I read articles like this.

  • Tiffany

    Cute article, and very compassionate. Thank you for the reminder that the perfect is the enemy of the good. ;)