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    Thread: British Children so Unhappy


    1. #1

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      British Children so Unhappy

      I have attached the report so you can have a look through yourself.


      Why are British children so unhappy? Four years after Unicef sparked national soul-searching with analysis showing child well-being in the UK at the bottom of a league of developed nations, the organisation has attempted to explain our problem.

      The answer, it seems, is that we put too little store on family time and too much on material goods. Unicef paints a picture of a country that has got its priorities wrong - trading quality time with our children for "cupboards full of expensive toys that aren't used".

      "Parents in the UK want to be good parents, but aren't sure how," the research suggests. "They feel they don't have the time, and sometimes the knowledge, and often try to compensate for this by buying their children gadgets and clothes."

      The research compares Britain with Sweden and Spain. While the UK languishes in 21st, and last, place in the child well-being table, they come second and fifth respectively.

      One reason they perform so much better, according to Unicef, is that in both countries "family time is protected" and children "all have greater access to activities".

      "In Sweden their social policy allows family time and their culture massively reinforces it. In Spain fathers do work long hours, but the extended family is still very important and women stay at home to look after their children."

      The report argues that the pressure of the working environment and rampant materialism combine to damage the well-being of our children. They want our attention but we give them our money.

      "All children interviewed said that material goods did not make them happy, but materialism in the UK seems to be just as much of a problem for parents as children," the research concludes. "Parents in the UK often feel compelled to purchase consumer goods which are often neither wanted or treasured."

      It is a profoundly depressing analysis of British life, not least because it rings true.
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    3. #2

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      Where on Earth do these surveys come from ? So France that is apparently the Best Country in the World to live in is ranked almost bottom as far as education well being and in various other categories ? The UK seemed to either average or in the top half in most of the charts shown and in the comparisons that included Australia were almost identical which is interesting possibly because materialism is so 'important' here too ?
      Soon to be back in the undisputed NUMBER 1 country in the world.....ENGLAND.

    4. #3

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      I pull into my little close every afternoon and see about 10 very happy kids playing on scooters, roller skates, conkers, and swapping pokemon cards all looking extremely happy and content. But then I never saw anyone with a clipboard asking them how happy they where.
      it happens a lot everywhere in the world...

    5. #4

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      Ours friends kids in the UK and all happy and well balanced and content, these surveys really do make me laugh. I must admit I didn't read it all so didn't see how they came to the conclusion that British kids were the most miserable in the world though.
      Soon to be back in the undisputed NUMBER 1 country in the world.....ENGLAND.

    6. #5
      sunseasand
      This is a strange one. It seems to me that kids have a pretty good deal in England- surely kids in starving African countries have it pretty tough?!

    7. #6

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      I think you have to look at the aspects that the report is concentrating on and of course they do ring true in a lot of cases. They're not really talking about economic poverty. I havent read the whole report but I believe they are saying parents substitute their time with material goods....this is true to a degree with loads of parents in developed countries. Maybe the poverty stricken kids are 'happier' as they dont have those external influences...just family/community and a sense of togetherness.
      Last edited by guest3160; 07-01-2012 at 04:39 AM.

    8. #7
      John West
      I agree that all this has to be subjective, but in my experience Children in the UK are certainly not as socially well integrated into family and community life as they are here in SW France. It is almost the norm around here that you will have three generations sitting down to eat together ... in restaurants ( where French children are so well behaved ) and especially on Sundays where parents and children regularly go round to 'la maison de grand-mère' to spend time together ... you tell me when you last saw a teenage eating out with their parents and grandparents .. except on a special occasion like a birthday .. and then the kids would probably be running around sliding on the floor. If all that sounds reactionary , I can assure you I'm not .. I was a "Sixties Hippy Child" .. hitch-hiking barefoot through Europe, guitar on my bask , sleeping in caves in Crete partaking in ... well we wont go into that here !! However, since the turn of this Century I have been based near Angouleme in SW France, and wouldn't be anywhere else

      But to get back to 'Happiness of Children' .. this survey has just come out from the "A Place in The Sun" Team and rates France as the best place for ex-pats to bring up children .. and I for one can certainly endorse that.
      link is here

      http://bit.ly/vIZONu
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    9. #8
      sunseasand
      They also have this survey which says that expat children have a better quality of life which is interesting - http://bit.ly/nxRiY1

      Do people think their children are more or less happy since moving? What about leaving behind friends etc... I suppose that kids are pretty resilient, huh?


    10. #9

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      I dont think mine are any happier...the eldest appreciates the surroundings, beach etc but was perfectly happy in the UK. The youngest knows no different but keeps banging on about living in an 'upstairs house' Stairs have become a novelty! I dont think kids fully appreciate where they grow up till theyre older and can reflect on it.
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    11. #10

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      I dont think a survey can tell us if kids are better off or not. Some will be better off and others wont be. it is impossible to make sweeping statements. I thought this was interesting '80% of expats surveyed by a British expat forum believe that their children have enjoyed a better quality of life since their relocation.' basically what people are saying is that we took our children to a new country, they had no say in the move and we reckon they are better off because we have invested everything we had in doing this.
      Last edited by Cal; 11-01-2012 at 06:07 AM. Reason: removed other forum name
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      Soon to be back in the undisputed NUMBER 1 country in the world.....ENGLAND.