The kids are all right

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

As students and parents prepare for the annual back-to-school transition, including the battle over bedtime and getting back into a routine, a recent Associated Press and MTV survey reveals that young people rank their parents as their personal heroes.

Not kidding. Twenty-nine percent choose their mothers, 21 percent name their fathers and 16 percent pick their parents without specifying which one. Allowed to choose as many heroes as they'd like, nearly half mention at least one of their folks.

You must be doing something right, mom and dad.

The survey also asked teens about happiness -- were they happy, what makes them happy and their outlook on the future. The item that rates highest as far as what makes them happy? It's relationships - with friends, family and significant others.


Not the latest video game or the coolest phone or gadget, the things you have been scrimping and saving for? Who are these children, and what have you done with our kids?

Perhaps we adults are the ones who have our priorities mixed up, purchasing things to make up for the lost time spent working for the money to buy the things.

In addition to preferring solid relationships and friendships, 65 percent say they are happy with the way things are going for them right now, and slightly less said they believe they'll be happier in the future than they are now. They also feel that religion and spirituality are very important parts of their lives.

Since they have their priorities straight and are well-adjusted, what's the bad news in this poll? There always has to be bad news. It turns out that young people in this survey had a 10 percent higher stress rate than adults in a 2006 AP-Ipsos poll.

The cause? The culture and social situations that come from high school.

It seems that some things never truly do change. We imagine nearly every adult can relate to this cause of worry.

In summary, parents keep up the good work. Make the time to be with your children. Help them deal with the stress and strain that is so much a part of adolescence.