Life used to be fun for teenagers. They used to have money to spend, and free time to spend it in. They used to wear teenage clothes, and meet in coffee bars and discos. Some of them still do. But for many young people, life is harder now. Jobs are difficult to find. There's not so much money around. Teachers say that students work harder than they used to. They are less interested in politics, and more interested in passing exams. They know that good exams may get them better jobs.
Most young people worry more about money than their parents did twenty years ago. They try to spend less and save more. They want to be able to get homes of their own one day.
Three quarters of young people do more or less what their parents did. They did their best at school, find some kind of work in the end, and get married in their early twenties. They get on well with their parents and enjoy family life. They eat the same food, watch football on TV, go to the cafe and like reading. After all, if they didn't, they wouldn't be teenagers, would they?
As children move towards independence, it is important to make sure that they understand what decent values are. To prevent children from becoming spoilt and greedy parents should not indulge them too much. To make sure that they grow up well- mannered they should be taught to be polite from an early age. Children should be scolded for bad behaviour, which will be an effective way of helping them to distinguish right from wrong. Parents need to reward their children when they do things well to give them a sense of pride, but at the same time parents must be careful not to overdo it or they may become conceited. Parents should try to make their children tolerant and respectful of other people's beliefs. Parents should try to place great importance on setting a good example to their children, because children's behaviour is often an imitation of that of their parents.