New research on youth in Ireland found just over half of teenagers think their parents would be upset if they drank alcohol.
That’s down from three quarters of parents in a study completed in 2018.
Planet Youth conducted research with over 4,000 15 and 16-year-olds across Galway, Mayo and Roscommon.
It found that 56% of teenagers are not getting enough sleep, and 38% had stayed out past midnight in the last month.
The survey also found that 83% of teenagers have a phone in their bedroom at midnight and are typically on their phones before they go to sleep.
Newstalk Breakfast’s Ciara Kelly said parents have become “more permissive and a little bit slacker about what we tell our kids to do”.
“I think I've become more permissive, and I don't know if it's because I'm on my younger kids and my older kids are okay,” she said.
“[My older kids] went out and I was always worried about them getting it wrong, so I was always more strict and then they turned out fine.”
"We're too indulgent"
Shane Coleman agreed that parents are more relaxed about their children’s behaviour.
“As parents we have become overly permissive,” he said. “We're concerned about being their pals as opposed to be parents.”
“There should be certain rules that are hard and fast... but we’ve become too indulgent.”
“We’re letting kids have their phones in their rooms and now they’re getting a total lack of sleep,” Ciara agreed. “Parents are allowing their kids who are 15 and 16 to drink, so now our kids are drinking at a younger age.”
Sleep consultant and author Lucy Wolfe told the show the results of the Planet Youth study have far reaching implications for teenagers’ health.
“The less children getting under six hours’ sleep, the more heightened [results],” she said. “Lower school engagement, they don't feel happy.”
She said this study should be a “wake up call for parents” to support their children “in such a difficult time in their lives”.
Ms Wolfe doesn’t think phones are the only reason for a lack of sleep, but there is a “big relationship” between electronic use and sleep patterns.
“It’s a difficult parent boundary,” Ms Wolfe said. “Parents maybe say ‘okay, no phone in the bedroom’, and then in turns into a big argument.”
“What we need to explore is what do we replace the absence of the phone with."
Ms Wolfe suggested parents set a "digital boundary" and spend time with their teenager when they would normally be on their phones.
"It's just trying to find ways that you can keep working on your relationship with them and let the phone take a backseat," she said. "Make the transition to sleep easier."
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