March 16, 2006 – Posted at 5:58 p.m. CST
JONESBORO, AR -- If you have ever raised a teenager, you probably have a good idea of how difficult some of those years can be. But how much impact do parents have and what are teens really worried about?
A massive survey of 13 to 18 year old teenagers was conducted by the Boys and Girls Club of America and the results might surprise you. The study cited worries about violence, fear of not getting an education and a lack of emotional contact with their parents. Things students at Nettleton High School can relate to.
"I'm just worried about how I'm going to do in life and where I'm going to go. That's the biggest question for me, just getting out of here," said Senior Butch Saddler.
"I'm worried about getting a job and trying to make sure I get everything that I need for college, it's all a big deal. Everybody is like you having to have this and you have to have that. It's just a big deal getting everything college and just making it through senior year with out having major senioritis," said Senior Samantha Ward.
Senior Brandon Harmon said, "I actually heard a rumor going that somebody brought a knife here at Nettleton today, at the junior high. It still happens and that's kind of worrisome."
"Those are tough years to relate to your child, you have to find some common ground, some common interests," said Jonesboro YMCA Executive Director Bob Williams.
Williams believes it is possible for parents to relate to teens.
"You really have to set aside time. There are so many single parent families and so many two parents working in the same family and it's easy to be so busy with schedules that you don't have any family time," said Williams.
Half of the students surveyed identified the possibility of going to war as their greatest fear.
"If they need me, they'll call me, and if they do, I'll be ready to fight. Freedom is only free because of the brave," said Saddler.
And most students agreed, parents are their biggest influences.
"My mom is a single parent and she's raised me since I was about five and she has always tried to teach me the best she could, and made me do well in school and that's how I got my scholarship," said Harmon.