A new survey tells us the same gloomy details about how unhappy our children are. It’s not that I discount their findings or wish to in any way dismiss the issues raised, but where is the companion article with ideas and initiatives for making our children happy.
The internet and other technology are not to blame for the state of our children. Blaming these things both undermines the problem and makes it harder to raise solutions.
So my message is to read this with a desire to make a difference rather than to wallow in the current state of affairs:
Children’s happiness drops after the age of 11 as they get caught up in modern issues such as cyber-bullying, online porn and sexting, a study has found.
Charity and youth workers surveyed almost 7,000 children over three years and found girls were far worse affected than boys.
Their self-esteem, ‘emotional well-being’ and satisfaction with their community sank sharply after the age of 11, continuing to get worse up to the age of 16.
Boys’ happiness, meanwhile, remained far more stable.
The researchers blamed the march of technology as one of several factors making teenagers unhappy.
Dr Simon Davey, Programme Leader of the Emerging Scholars’ Intervention Programme, said: ‘Technology and the pace of change have accelerated pressures, made them more extreme and increased competition.
‘Girls in particular are more vulnerable to social pressures affecting their confidence and capability.
‘Measuring well-being – one of the ultimate expressions of confidence and capability – has been difficult for us but [these] well-being tool helps us take a quantitative view for the students we work with.’
The study, carried out over three years by around 50 youth charities, is due to be released on Tuesday.
In total the charities surveyed 6,890 children aged 11 to 16 – 3,176 girls and 3,714 boys – and ranked them on eight measures of happiness.
They were overall satisfaction, self-esteem, emotional well-being, resilience and satisfaction with friends, family, community and school.
Tags: Charity and youth workers, Child Welfare, Children, Children's happiness, Cyber Bullying, Dr Simon Davey, emotional well-being, Parenting, rogramme Leader of the Emerging Scholars’ Intervention Programme, Sexting