Guidelines
For Parents

Family Time

The Planet Youth survey had some really positive findings related to family life and the relationships that our teenagers have with their parents. 91% stated that it’s easy to receive caring and warmth from their parents.  Teens report spending a lot of time with their parents and 92% stated that their parents know where they are in the evenings.

Having shared interests, regular family mealtimes, family activities and meetings creates enjoyable time and space to chat with and listen to our teenagers.  As they get get older, it is important to maintain good quality communication with them and to stay connected, interested and engaged in what’s happening in their lives.

As parents, we are the most important role models for our teens so it is important that we set a good example with our own behaviours.

care-icon-blue
0 %
Easy to get
Caring and Warmth
from parents

Screen Time
Guidelines

The Planet Youth survey showed us that 58% of our young people are spending 3 hours a day or more on social media. We know that too much screen time impacts upon homework and hobbies and can be detrimental to good mental health. Screen use should be kept to a maximum of 2 hours per day after homework and other activities are completed.

Screens should be off at least one hour before bed and kept out of bedrooms after bedtime.

If you can have these guidelines in place from first year they will become increasingly important as your child gets older. Talk to your child about their online life and be a good role model with your own screen use.

0 %
spend 3hrs or
more on social
media daily
phone-icon-blue
0 %
don't get
enough
sleep

Bedtime Guidelines

The Planet Youth survey showed us that half of our young people are not getting enough sleep.
The suggested guidelines for bedtime are:

First

Year

09:30PM

Second

Year

09:45PM

THIRD

Year

10:00PM

TRANSITION

Year

10:15PM

FIFTH

Year

10:30PM

leaving cert

Year

10:45PM

Sleep is just as important to your child’s development and well-being as nutrition and physical activity. It is recommended that teenagers get a minimum 8 to 10 hours of undisturbed sleep per night. For example; a first year that has to get up at 07.30am should be asleep by 09.30pm in order to get their 10 hours of sleep.

Interests,
Hobbies & Sports

It is important that young people are encouraged to keep engaging in quality supervised, structured activities that interest them as they get older.

Physical activity is important for good health and wellbeing but not every child is interested in sports. Other hobbies and interests that provide opportunities to get involved in their community outside of school allow our children to further develop their social skills and build emotional resilience.

Good quality supervised and structured activities are also a known protective factor against substance use and anti-social behaviour.

0 %
Exercise
3 times a
week or
more

Substance Use

0 %
Drunk in
the last
month
0 %
used cannabis
in the last
month

As your child gets older, they will become more and more curious about alcohol and other drugs.

The survey shows us that teenagers that are given alcohol by their parents are twice as likely to have been drunk in the last month. Daily smoking rates and monthly cannabis rates are down since the last survey. However, daily vaping rates have increased threefold to 15%.

Use of alcohol, drugs or nicotine at a young age can impair brain development and will increase the chances of developing a dependency later in life. It also increases the likelihood of other risky behaviours.

0 %
get alcohol from
a friend's parent

Parental Supply of Alcohol

Teens that get alcohol from their parents are over 3.5 times more likely to have been drunk in the last month.

As well as getting alcohol from parents, nearly a third of all teenagers reported that they were doing their drinking at a friend’s house.

The evidence is clear that the best thing we can do as parents is to defer any alcohol use for as long as possible. By agreeing, as parents collectively, to not give any alcohol to other children in our homes we can make a big difference to the long-term health and wellbeing of our young people.

0 %
regularly get alcohol
from a parent

Planet Youth is an innovative public health project being adopted in counties Roscommon, Mayo and Galway. Its aim is to improve the health and happiness of young people in our communities and assist them in achieving their potential.

The most recent Planet Youth Survey was conducted amongst 4,339 15-16 year olds in all of the secondary schools in Roscommon, Mayo and Galway during November 2022.