The headlines read, ” Teens happiest people in Canada” after Reginald Bibby of the University of Lethbridge released his survey report, The Emerging Millennials. The survey is done every four years and involves approximately 4,000 15-to 19-year-olds. It indicates that parents can relieve stress by just realizing some facts about the contentment of our youth.
Reginald Bibby’s Findings
Bibby reports that in 2009, 96 per cent of Canadians aged 12 to 19 reported they were highly satisfied with life. In 2008, 94 per cent of teens reported they were either satisfied or very satisfied with their lives. Bibby provides three main reasons teens are more content:
- Their parents are more committed and open minded. Parents typically value education and sharing information including technology. They also value successful personal and professional relationships.
- North America has youth-based educational institutions.
- Teens have more freedoms and choices than any other previous generation. They have cell phones, computers, social media and many ways to be engaged and connected.
Here is some more good news from Bibby: “Since the 1980s, there have been significant decreases in teen smoking, drinking, and illegal drug use, as well as a drop in teen violence.”
If you wonder if you are one of the majority of parents described by Bibby as “committed and open minded” look at the items below. Or if you wonder how to improving your capacity to parent a teen, look at the items below.
Score Your Effectiveness as a Parent of a Teen
Give yourself a score on family leadership using:
Never = 0, Sometimes = 1, Often = 2 and Always = 3
1. ____We daily eat together with the TV off.
2. ____We have activities we like to do together.
3. ____We talk about our feelings.
4. ____We express appreciation to one another.
5. ____We hold family discussions or meetings whenever necessary or on a regular basis.
6. ____We help each other.
7. __We participate in a satisfying number of activities outside of the family.
8. ____We are moderately active in clubs and organizations.
9. ____We have enough down time to freely play and relax.
10. ____We relieve tension through sports, exercise, jogging, relaxing.
11. ____We stay healthy by eating nutritiously, not smoking and keeping active.
12. ____We stay connected to healthy family members and friends.
13. __When needed, we accept outside help.
14. __We get together with other families who have a similar lifestyle.
15. ____We consider, but don’t necessarily follow, others’ advise of how we “should” act as a family.
16. ____We resolve problems as we identify them.
17. ____We make sure we have enough money for the important things.
18. ____While work is important, we make family our top priority.
19. ____(For couples) We make efforts to keep our relationship strong.
20. ____(For couples) We have specific times when we focus on our coupleship.
21. ____(For couples) We are both active as parents.
22. ____(For single parents) I have adjusted and become comfortable as a single parent.
23. ____(For single parents) I consider my children’s comments and responses in regards to the people I date.
24. ____Our family members have responsibilities and, more or less, do them willingly.
25. ____We have rituals or traditions that sustain our family spiritually.
Your Total: _________________
Score: Parents Single parent
Low: 0-26 0-29
Medium: 27-43 30-45
High: 44-66 46-69
After congratulating yourself on the fine job you do, consider doing those activities with a low to medium score more often.
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Patricia Morgan MA CCC helps her readers, clients, and audiences lighten their load, brighten their outlook, and strengthen their resilience. To go from woe to WOW call 403.242.7796 or email a request.
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