Are Children Happy Or Sad?

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Are Children Happy Or Sad?
This week, two wildly differing surveys have been released on children in the UK - one by CBBC's Newsround programme into children's lifestyles, the other by the Child Poverty Action Group on child wellbeing and poverty.

Sue Atkins, parenting expert, has subsequently concluded that by-and-large, today's children are actually quite happy with their lives. She says:

'For me the CBBC's Newsround survey is really encouraging and positive. It uses current data, rather than that which is three years old as in the 2006 snapshot used in the Child Poverty Action Group released today. Of course, as a country, we can always do more to fine tune and improve the lives of children in the UK, but the results shed a positive light on how our children feel today."

According to the CBBC Newsround survey:

• 96% of children have positive perceptions of themselves • 90% of families eat together at least 4 times a week
• 80% of children spend 3 hours or more with their parents every day
• 75% of children thought their childhood was better than that of their parents

'There is a lot to celebrate and be positive about. Apart from the usual squabbles over untidy bedrooms, bedtimes and undone homework still being up there on the list of family trigger points, children are optimistic, well drilled on internet safety and expect their future to be positive. I am really excited and cheered by the report's findings. I think parents should go and pat themselves on the back today and celebrate as we are getting it right in most cases and moving in the right direction."

On the other hand, you have the bleak results of a CyberSentinel survey which reveals that one in five 11-year-old girls is currently on a diet and one in three has dieted at some stage. Of the 1500 girls aged between six and 15 who were polled, one third of the 11-year-olds said they were 'too fat' and one in three also said they hated their tummy.

To end on a cheery note however, according to the Newsround survey, Barack Obama is an inspiration to children from all sorts of backgrounds in the UK, most Mums and Dads need to listen more and talk less and some kids think Gordon Brown is a celebrity chef and !

April 2009

Sue Atkins' is a parenting coach and her company is Positive Parents Confident Kids. In addition to being a parent coach, Sue is a

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