Thank Heavens: Your Teens Are Much More Responsible Than You Were At Their Age

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Freaky FridayListen, I hate to sound all positive and cheery about teenagers. Really, what mom does that? I’m still pretty positive that my little girl will be a hellion of a teen. It’s something that my mom seems to be really excited about.

But I guess the rest of you are getting off easy! Teens today are better behaved and more responsible than ever before. Pick your jaw up and look at these statistics.

  • In 1991, 70% of kids had tried a cigarette. Last year, only 45% of teens had.
  • In 1991, 31% of teens had been binge drinking in the last month. Last year, that was down to 22%.
  • In 1997, 17% of kids had driven drunk. Last year, that number was 8%
  • In 1991, 19% of teens had slept with four or more people. Last year, it fell to 15%

So if our kids aren’t smoking, drinking or sleeping around, what the heck are they up to? Well more of them are smoking pot. That statistic went up to 23%. It’s actually higher than the percentage of kids smoking cigarettes, which is 18%. And kids are texting while driving, which we all know can be very dangerous.

But really, when you look at the overall picture, are parents going to have to stop shaking their heads and mumbling about “Kids these days…” I mean, these youngins sound like they’re doing better to me.

I was a teen in the early 00s, and let me say that I had smoked, drank and ridden in a car with someone who had been drinking before I graduated high school. (By the way, that last statistic is down too. From 40% to 24%) If my mom and dad are reading this, I’m sorry. Also if you’re reading this, don’t act shocked, you had to know.

I guess all I can say to these teens of today is, “Good Job!” Let’s hope you keep passing along these trends because it would make me feel a lot calmer about my daughter’s upcoming teen years.

What do you think about teens and their apparently increasing responsible behavior?