UK & World News

  • 17 January 2013, 5:17

Teenagers Harder Work Than Babies, Say Parents

Teenagers are more of a handful and harder work than newborn babies, according to a survey of parents.

More than half of parents think that bringing up teenagers is harder than looking after babies, while a quarter say that 13-year-olds are the most difficult.

Parents cited laziness, refusing to help around the home and not being interested in school work as their biggest issues with their teens.

The parenting website Netmums surveyed 1,145 UK parents, who were also asked what their children's main concerns were revealing social pressures on teenagers today.

Three in five parents admitted their child suffered from "anxiety". Almost half of these teens (49%) worried about "being cool and fitting in".

A further 47% worried about their popularity on social networks while 38% fretted about their weight.

By the time children reach 17, parents say their relationship with them dramatically improves, with just one in 50 families saying they still have issues.

Four in five parents also said there was "far more pressure" on teenagers now than when they were growing up, so they were trying to be more understanding.

Siobhan Freegard, the founder of Netmums, said: "As the century turns teenage in 2013, we wanted to see how Britain's families with teenagers are coping.

"It's certainly true that children are growing up faster than ever, as while 16 used to be the flashpoint as kids came of age, increasing pressure on youngsters to fit in, look good and be cool means parents now say 13 is the toughest time."

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