- 500,000 Children in Britain are Unhappy, Study Claims -

By Sharon Moore republished on September 28, 2017

On a report published by Children’s Society, a charity organization in UK, researchers revealed that half a million children are unhappy in today’s modern setup.

The report entitled Good Childhood 2012 found that 9% of children in Britain ages 8 to 15 experience unhappiness during their childhood and that this lack of happiness triples over time. To come up with the results, the researchers studied 6,000 children in the given age bracket and they found out that these young people are less likely to enjoy being with their family at home. They also feel it safer to stay with their friends. Because of this, researchers suggest that these ‘unhappy’ children are more prone to behavioural problems such as eating disorders and depression. Said study was launched by the Archbishop of York Dr John Sentamu.

What Made these Children Unhappy?

The report cited plenty of reasons why children in UK tend to be unhappy. First is stability. According to the research, children who experience major changes in the people they live with are twice as likely to feel unhappy. Moving is also another reason. Out of the children who were interviewed, 23% have moved more than once in the past year. Their social relationships with their peers also contribute to this feeling of unhappiness. Basically, many children wanted to be like their peers.

Material factors have also contributed to the children’s lack of happiness. Every kid wants to have some of this and that. They would want to have what their peers have such as iPods, trendy clothes, and designer trainers. The charity said that these kids are three times more likely to be unhappy if they don’t have the clothes to ‘fit in’ with the rest of their friends. The study also mentioned that children from families who had reduction in income are more likely to experience low wellbeing.

Family Relations vs. Family Structure

The report gained commentaries and criticisms as much as it gained other people’s interest. According to the family campaigners, the study forgot to mention ‘marriage’ as an important factor that affects to the overall wellbeing of children. Norman Wells of the Family Education Trust said that children having married parents are less likely to experience behavioural problems. Nonetheless, the charity mentioned that the relationship between the family members is much more important than the family structure. Meaning, it doesn’t really matter if children don’t have parents who are married. What is essential is that they experience love and appreciation at home. Other than identifying figures and raising some points, the charity said that the report can also serve as a ‘call to action’.

Below are some recommendations on how to help your children gain more happiness and positive perception about their life.

·         Keep their Environment Healthy

Researchers suggest that children should live in an environment where they can learn and develop positive relationships with family and friends. They should live in a place where there are opportunities that will help them enhance their skills.

·         Help them Build Positive View about themselves

For them to be happy, children should develop respect for their identity and create a positive view of who they are this early.

·         Don’t Spoil Them

Giving them anything and everything they ask for will only create a sense of materialism in their minds. Children should be taught of the value of money. They must also understand that it isn’t the key to happiness. It’s their relationship with the family that must be given more importance

·         Become their Role Model of Values

It is every parent’s responsibility to teach their children the difference between right and wrong and instill good values to them. They say children do what they see. While we can’t avoid facing problems about finances, marriage, etc. from time to time in our family life, children should not be affected by these things as they don’t have any idea how to deal with such issues the way adults do.

 If you find the relationships within your family affecting your children, then you may find it helpful talking about your issues with a qualified counsellor. Please visit our homepage and use the search tool to find a relationship counsellor near you. Alternatively, if you can’t find the right counsellor, just fill out this confidential enquiry form and we’ are glad to help.  

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