The Italian Almanac

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Italian Kids

Italian children are now more likely to talk to their friends about a problem than to their mothers as a result of a new trend towards hands-off parenting, an annual survey by the Italian Pediatric Society said. Around 45% of children said they would confide in friends, knocking mothers - formerly the traditional confidantes - off the top spot, although 42% of children said they would still seek their mum`s advice. Only 20% said they would speak to their fathers, and 3.3% to a teacher.

According to the survey, this turnaround is the result of parents becoming less interfering in their children`s lives, with only a third trying to influence their offspring`s choice of wardrobe, friends, schools and sports. Some 40% of children believed their parents should express an opinion on their choices. Children remained traditional in their values, saying family, work and friends were the most important aspects of life, with having fun in fourth place ahead of studying, money and sport.

But few placed importance on religion or voluntary work. Policemen are the most respected figures among children, followed by teachers, priests and doctors, while kids have little trust in politicians and journalists, according to the survey. Around half the children interviewed believed it would not be difficult to find work when they were older, but 83% said it was important to know someone in order to get a job in Italy.