Sunday, January 07, 2007

This be the verse redux

Some weeks ago I wrote about parenthood, in response to a fairly silly item by Jackie Ashley worrying that the biggest influence on children's lives is marketing from fast-food or toy companies.

My view was that this was nonsense, and I made the following comment:

Ask anyone (not just adults, but young people too) what the biggest influence in their lives is. Or who they look up to most. Or even, who they most want to emulate.

I bet most will still say their parents.

Well, lo and behold, someone has asked young people who they most admire and are influenced by, and they've come up with the following shock conclusion:

In a wide-ranging survey of 13- to 18-year-olds, six times more named their mother as the adult they most admired than opted for (David) Beckham or (Kylie) Minogue. Fathers were three times more popular than the former England football captain and the Australian pop star.

It continues:

Two thirds said that their mother was a good influence on their life, with half saying the same about their fathers. Friends (31 per cent), siblings (31 per cent) and teachers (18 per cent) were all seen to play a more positive role than celebrities (four per cent).

Fairly conclusive in favour of mum and dad, I would say.

Of course, now when you see a teenager vomiting all over a cash machine after one too many Woodpeckers and think, "I blame the parents", you'll be absolutely right.

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