Many of the behavioral problems that occur in the early teens are the result of young people's failure to manage their emotions, and timely parental intervention could be key to raising happy teenagers, a non-profit educational organization said yesterday.
A recent survey conducted by the Champion Education Association on 17,000 13 year-olds nationwide showed that pressure to enter a prestigious high school was the biggest concern among 62 percent of respondents. More than 54 percent said they were mostly worried about how they were perceived by their peers.
The survey also showed that 52 percent of people in their early teens said their parents had forbidden them from dating and nearly half said they were suffering from lack of sleep.
Almost 40 percent of respondents said they were habitual smokers and 24 percent turned to their friends on the Internet for emotional relief.
Moreover, 6 percent said they admitted having tried drugs and 7 percent had joined a gang.
"These are very disturbing numbers. It tells us that our young teenagers are developing unhealthy habits to deal with pressure. It also shows that parents are not paying enough attention to the needs of their children," said Sam Ng (
Ng said the large number of people seeking solace on the Internet means that many teenagers are feeling neglected at home. Instead of sharing with their parents, they are turning to their cyber friends.
Low self-esteem is also driving teenagers to care more about their friends' opinions than their own, he said, adding that the Ministry of Education should make the teaching of social skills a priority.
Yang Cheng-ping (
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