A study commissioned by the Children's Society shows that thousands of teenagers in the United Kingdom do not get enough parental support. Parental neglect could include "parents failing to monitor their children's activities outside the home, not making sure they get health care when they need it, not taking an interest in their education, or failing to provide the crucial emotional support teenagers need by helping them if they are facing problems or if they are upset".
Emotional And Supervisory Neglect Are Most Common
Researchers asked 2,000 Year 10 schoolchildren to describe the level of care and support they get from home. About 12 percent of the participants said their parents had rarely or never encouraged them, nor helped with their problems during the past year. The study shows that emotional and supervisory neglect were the joint most common forms reported. Students who reported neglect are more than twice as likely to engage in alcohol drinking, and thrice as likely to smoke.
Parental Care And Support Are Critical In A Child's Well-Being
Matthew Reed, chief executive of the Children's Society said: "No child should be left feeling that no one cares about them. Teenagers are often seen as more resilient than younger children. But of course they still need care from their parents to meet their needs, support their education and keep them safe.
"Our research makes clear the central role of parental care and emotional support to the wellbeing of young people. With little dedicated advice readily available for parents of teenagers, we need to provide more support to parents bringing up teenagers, not to blame them. The government has a massive role to play in making sure the needs of teenagers, and their parents, are never forgotten. Society must not give up on teens."
A Department for Education spokesperson added: "All children, whatever their age, must feel safe and supported at home. We are strengthening the child protection system to make sure children who are at risk are identified early and get the help they need - this includes support to help parents to better care for their children, where necessary."