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In a new survey of parents, Public Agenda Online reports that "nearly half the parents surveyed said they worried more about protecting their child from negative social influences than about paying the bills or having enough time together."

A Lot Easier Said Than Done: Parents talk about raising children in today's America

Public Agenda Online

No one ever said parenting was easy. Public Agenda surveys in the past have found that the public typically finds today's youth difficult and disrespectful, even as they acknowledge the challenges parents face. In our latest survey, A Lot Easier Said Than Done, we turn to the parents themselves to see what challenges they face and what strategies they use to cope.

We found that a large majority of parents say American society is an inhospitable climate for raising children, where parents can never let down their guard in the face of popular culture, drugs and crime. As one mother put it in a focus group, parents are "keeping the world at bay until you've formed these kids, so that they can learn to make their own decisions and live in the real world."

FINDING ONE: Protecting Children from the World Outside

FINDING TWO: Television: A Worrisome Old Friend

FINDING THREE: Trying to Create a Responsible Adult

FINDING FOUR: The Complex Equation of Parenting

FINDING FIVE: Dating, Driving and Decisions: The Teen Years

FINDING SIX: Depending on the Circumstances: The Views of Low-Income Parents and Single Parents

Read the entire report on the Public Agenda website. Free copies of the report are available until November 27, 2002.