Most parents are worried that their teenage children don't have the essential life skills they need, research has shown.

A whopping six out of 10 parents of children aged 13 and over are concerned their kids can't deal with stress, budget their money or even look after themselves on a night out.

One fifth of mums and dads said their teen would not be able to deal with a broken heart, while 16 per cent know they can’t stand up for themselves in the real world.

How to say 'no' if they don’t want to do something, public speaking and how to exhibit confidence are also among the skills modern teens lack, as is how to be independent.

On the practical side, many parents still don’t think their child can sew on a button, read a map, eat a balanced diet or iron a shirt.

Working as part of a team, knowing how to be empathetic towards others and having resilience are also skills parents wish their teen was armed with – but fear they are not.

Claire Round of National Citizen Service (NCS Trust), which carried out the study in conjunction with its programme to help 16-17 year olds build confidence and learn life skills, said: “There are a multitude of ways in which youngsters today can learn essential life skills for their future.

“And while it is so important for parents to have a hand in teaching qualities such as politeness, trustworthiness and confidence, they can’t be held responsible for shaping their child’s entire personality and characteristics.''

The study also found one in six parents don’t think their teen can manage their own time effectively, understand interest rates, cook a roast dinner or have the first clue about building a good credit score.

And while 29 per cent of parents are most worried about their child having the emotional skills to cope with difficult situations, 22 per cent also fear they don’t have the practical skills either.

Which is why having the ability to shave, make the bed, build a fire and clean a toilet also feature on the top 50 list of skills parents fear their children don’t have.

It also emerged 63 per cent of parents think schools have a responsibility to teach things like how to save money, how to speak publicly, and how to be a good friend.

Today’s teens are learning the majority of their life skills from their parents (61 per cent), followed by their experiences (seven per cent) and friends at school (six per cent).

Seven in 10 parents said it is most important for their children to learn financial skills, while 63 per cent want them to be able to manage their emotions effectively.

Personal hygiene, cooking and health and fitness are other areas a third of parents would like their teen to get the hang of.

And 73 per cent of mums and dads agree their child needs to go through challenging experiences as a teenager to build character, according to the OnePoll study.

Round added: “On the NCS programme, we find that teenagers on the cusp of adulthood particularly benefit from time away from the home during the school holidays where they mix with teens from different backgrounds, get out of their comfort zones, develop skills for life and give back to their local community.

“Being away from their usual family and friends enables them to expand their horizons and help them look beyond the day-to-day in order to grow, develop independence and build confidence.”

Almost 500,000 young people have taken part in the NCS programme which offers the chance to learn new skills outside of the academic environment for 15-17 year olds who want to expand their range of life skills and take on challenges that may help them on their future path.

There are still places available this summer for Year 11 students to take part in this once in a lifetime opportunity.

Parents and teens can find more information and sign up to NCS via


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