||"Americans are frightened
for - and in some cases frightened of our children - and fault
parents for the problems they see," says Public Agenda executive
director Deborah Wadsworth. "The public does acknowledge how
difficult it is to be a parent in today's world, but is riveted
by one goals: the necessity of teaching all children the values
of integrity, ethical behavior, concern for others, respect,
civility, compassion and responsibility."
The polls shows that
adults in general are sympathetic to the problems modern parents
face; about 70% of those questioned say substance abuse and
violence on TV and in movies are major impediments to
child-rearing. The poll also shows that such things as improving
public schools and support for after-school programs would help
parents do their job properly.
But, in the end, the blame falls squarely on moms and dads.
About 63% say it's common for parents to have kids before
they're ready, and 50% say it's common for parents to equate
buying something for kids with caring for them. Only 19% of
those polled say it's common for parents to be good role models
and teach kids right from wrong.
The poll of 2,000 adults age 18 and older was conducted by
Public Agenda last December for the Ronald McDonald House
Charities and the Advertising Council. "What is key
is Americans don't want to give up on kids and believe in
programs that will develop young people's character," says
Advertising Council president Ruth Wooden. "Our efforts
will focus on mobilizing Americans to volunteer in ways that
will address their concerns and meet the needs of our nation's