Put negative ideas of today's youth aside. Yes, cyberbullying
and peer pressure are in full force. But a new study says most
youth today want to do the right thing. They are responsible, aware
The Girl Scouts Research Institute released a national study
that suggests many American children and teenagers would make
responsible decisions on a range of issues. The institute surveyed
3,263 third- to 12th-graders on what they value and how they make
The study, "Good Intentions: The Beliefs and Values of Teens and
Tweens Today," found:
"We have a generation that is clearly telling us they are
different, that they intend to be good citizens of the world, and
the message to parents is we have a great opportunity to make that
happen," says Maria Wynne, CEO of Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago
and Northwest Indiana.
A similar study was conducted in 1989 and a comparison shows
this generation positively shifted toward better intentions.
"Something that helps me make better choices is the Girl Scout
way, and I also think, 'What would my dad or mom think?'" says
11-year-old Keena Preston, a Girl Scout who says she doesn't really
feel peer pressure and lists chores as the hardest part about being
The survey reflects a generation ready to take on the world.
"Be aware of the different areas where kids want to do the right
things and bridge the gap by maintaining focus with their goal,"
says Wynne. "Help them to become who they are saying they want to
be. Listen to them. Emphasize the role of actions taken. Helping
the child understand how to make decisions and choices is
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