Parents rate themselves 'fair' to 'poor' at raising children

Posted: Wednesday, November 06, 2002

NEW YORK -- Sixty-one percent of parents rate their generation as ''fair'' or ''poor'' at raising children, according to a study that shows parents are struggling in instilling values in their kids.

The findings are part of a nationwide survey of parents conducted by Public Agenda, a nonpartisan think tank.

The survey found big gaps between parents' efforts to teach good values to their children and their perceived success in doing so.

While 83 percent said it is ''absolutely essential'' to teach self-control and self-discipline, only 34 percent said they have succeeded in teaching those values.

Ninety-one percent said it is essential to teach honesty, but only 55 percent said they have succeeded in doing so.

The report also found that 53 percent of parents believe they are doing a worse job than their own parents did.

''This study suggests that, despite the efforts parents are making, they're having trouble,'' said Deborah Wadsworth, the president of Public Agenda.

''They have no difficulty laying out a vision of the values they think essential to impart to their child, but succeeding at the job is another matter.''

The study, titled ''A Lot Easier Said Than Done,'' was based on telephone interviews conducted between July 31 and Aug. 15 with a random sample of 1,607 parents or guardians of children aged 5 to 17. The margin of sampling error was 3 percentage points.

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