Ministers may be calling for parents to do a better job of raising their children to respect authority, but the readers of newspaper Trouw do not think obedience is a significant issue, according to a small survey.
Most of the nearly 800 parents questioned said they are happy with the way they have raised their children, with just 10% wishing they had been more strict.
At the same time, six out of 10 said ‘many parents give their children too much freedom’, indicating they think other parents could do more to discipline their offspring.
The parents were asked what characteristics they valued most in their children. Top of the list was ‘honesty’, followed by ‘taking others into account’, ‘fairness’, ‘responsibility’ and ‘helpfulness’, Trouw reported.
The results of the survey show parents attach even less importance to obedience than they did 30 years ago, when magazine Ouders van Nu carried out the original survey. In 1983, parents wanted their children to be able to speak for themselves and be independent.
International surveys repeatedly show Dutch children and teenagers are among the happiest in the world.
Last year, the World Health Organisation said Dutch teens are the most satisfied with life. Dutch teens do not feel pressured by school, can talk to their parents and feel they have enough friends, WHO said.
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