Action for Children is warning of a crisis emerging in modern childhoods, as a major survey published on 9th July reveals children, parents and grandparents fear childhoods are getting worse.
As young people face unparalleled social pressures and a collapse in investment from the government in children’s services, Action for Children with YouGov explored the biggest issues affecting childhood today through comprehensive research across three UK generations.
The research, involving discussion groups and a quantitative survey of 5,000 children and adults, showed the majority of grandparents (62%), parents (60%) and children (34%) say childhoods today are getting worse.
All three generations agreed bullying is the biggest problem preventing a good childhood, as children deal with it online, as well as inside and outside school. And in an age of intensive social media use, ‘too much pressure to fit in’ also came out as a top concern for adults and children alike.
With politics in turmoil, 91% of children – some as young as eleven – say they are worrying about ‘adult issues’. These included Brexit (38%), while half of all children surveyed are worried about poverty and homelessness, closely followed by fears over terrorism (49%). The environment (48%) and issues surrounding inequality (such as sexism and racism – 41%) also came out as key worries for almost half of youngsters surveyed.
The research also revealed where older generations are out of touch with children’s concerns. While children say pressure at school is one of the top three problems facing childhood, adults seem to be more concerned about screen time than children. And parents and grandparents significantly underestimate children’s personal fears around being a victim of crime, such as knife crime or terrorism, and the state of their mental health