How Young Is Too Young For Beer, Cell Phones and Piercings?
The biggest no-nos, according to parents, are having a glass of beer or wine at a family event or meal (76 percent rule it out), and 71 percent say they would never give their kids a credit card. Nearly as many -- 69 percent -- say it is never OK to let a minor attend a party that is unsupervised by adults.
Other forbidden activities include: unsupervised dating (54 percent say no for their girls, and 49 percent for their sons); social networking accounts (43 percent rule them out), unsupervised Internet use (37 percent say no) and 36 percent say it is never acceptable for a minor to see an R-rated movie, even with a parent.
The poll also looked at when and if parents would initiate a conversation with their kids about two hot-button issues: money and sex. Twenty-six percent of parents say they would not discuss the family finances with their children, but when it comes to sex, they are significantly more open. Only 5 percent rule out the old birds-and-bees talk, and most agree that talking about sex should begin at age 13 for a boy and 12 for a girl.
What ranks low on the scale of parental concerns? Girls getting their ears pierced (only 10 percent forbid it) and having a cell phone (11 percent nix that idea). Other acceptable activities for teens include walking or biking around their neighborhoods alone and having a part-time job.
The most permissive parents polled tended to be white, affluent and well-educated. On the flip side, parents who identified themselves as having strong religious faith tended to be more restrictive. Moms and dads are about equal when it comes to limiting kids' activities.
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Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.