Kevin the teenager image 'is so unfair'

Click to follow
The Independent Online

The stereotype of stroppy adolescents at war with nagging adults is not the reality of most British families, according to two studies that suggest teenagers develop growing friendships with their parents and get on together as reasonably happy households.

The stereotype of stroppy adolescents at war with nagging adults is not the reality of most British families, according to two studies that suggest teenagers develop growing friendships with their parents and get on together as reasonably happy households.

Jane Ribbens McCarthy, co-author of Pulling Together, Pulling Apart, by a team from Oxford Brookes University, said: "We were impressed by how little the young people or their parents conformed to the stereotypes that are so often paraded about the teenage years... Unlike Harry Enfield's comic creation, 'Kevin the teenager', many young people really do appreciate what their parents have to offer."

A word of warning is reserved for politicians and their increasing tendency to hold parents responsible for the educational and moral development of young people. The reports, sponsored by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, say policies that emphasise the need for old-fashioned parental discipline are simply reinforcing roles that parents and teenagers resent.

The second report, Family Understandings, by researchers at Lancaster University, says: "Support for parents needs to steer away from the prescriptiveness and live up to the recognition that parents do not want lectures from the state. Mothers and fathers think a great deal about how they parent."

Comments