The Good Childhood Report

'We rarely get a choice to say what we have to say or we are never heard' - Secondary school girl

 

Our Good Childhood Report estimates that almost a quarter of a million children in the UK could be unhappy with their lives as a whole.

It's time to listen to young people and show a whole generation they matter.

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Our key findings


  • An estimated quarter of a million 10-15 year olds in the UK may be unhappy with their lives
  • Boys are becoming less happy with their appearance
  • Happiness with friendships is in decline
  • Any experience of financial strain or poverty in childhood is linked to lower well-being by age 14

 

DOWNLOAD THE REPORT

The reality of modern childhood

While most enjoy their childhood, young people are less happy now, due to issues around boys’ appearance, friendships and school as potential driving factors. They struggle as a result of their family finances and worry about what their future might be like. On top of that there are increasing concerns around crime, climate change and the dangers of technology.

This isn’t what growing up should be like.

Only by listening to young people can we help them overcome the challenges of modern childhood and face their future with hope, confidence and optimism.

store of modern childhood

For two days only the store will bring to life the themes of The Good Childhood Report and create a wider understanding of the realities of modern childhood. Every product that is ‘on sale’ is based upon an overlooked child’s voice.

From uniform that’s too small, tattered and dirty for school, notebooks with dark thoughts in them, to an anxiety concealer make up range and a child-sized stab vest – each product in the shop brings to life the stories that young people tell us, both in our work and in The Good Childhood Report.

ENTER THE STORE

'I really wouldn't want my children growing up here' - Secondary school pupil

We looked more closely to identify the factors linked to unhappiness in children

 

infographic with brexit, crime, environment and homelessness on

Visit the Good Childhood Hub for information and resources on the issues affecting young people today.

'What I am not looking forward to is the struggles that life holds and not knowing what the future would be like' - Secondary school girl

Stepping into the unknown

Every year, children tell us they are less happy with how they feel about their future than they are with other areas of life. This year, we looked more closely, asking children questions on their personal future and the wider societal future.

We found that a third of 10-17 year olds worry about having enough money in the future, with more than a quarter worrying about getting a job.

Children as young as 10 are also concerned about broad societal issues with the most common concerns being crime, the environment and sharing information online.

Children are concerned about their future

 

infographic about fears for the future

'Social media portrays people in a "perfect" way. It rarely shows people's imperfections...it damages people's self-esteem' - Secondary school pupil

Pressure to look a certain way

There has been a significant decline in boys’ happiness with their appearance.

For years, we have reported girls’ struggles with how they look, but the latest data shows the gap is narrowing as more and more boys are affected by the societal pressures about how they should look.

1 in 12 boys aged 10-15 are unhappy with their appearance

This could be attributed to the prevalence of toxic masculinity in society, putting unrealistic pressures on boys to look or behave in certain way.


The importance of friendships

Children's unhappiness with their friendships is increasing. 

This could be down to factors as varied as bullying, being unable to spend time with friends outside of school, excessive social media use and loneliness.

Pressure to look a certain way

There has been a significant decline in boys’ happiness with their appearance.

For years, we have reported girls’ struggles with how they look, but the latest data shows the gap is narrowing as more and more boys are less happy with how they look.

1 in 12 boys aged 10-15 are unhappy with their appearance

There could be all sorts of factors at play here. Some boys told us they feel pressure to go to the gym and that films, TV and social media all affect the way they feel about how they look.

The importance of friendships

Children's happiness with their friendships is decreasing.

Good childhood friendships

This is of huge concern. Wider research suggests factors as varied as bullying, being unable to spend time with friends outside of school, excessive social media use and loneliness could all be playing a role.

'Children need to have a say in what happens to our world. The Government needs to listen to young people’s views' - Secondary school girl

#IHearYouth

We need to stop side-lining young people and use their enthusiasm, energy and hope to change society.

We need to demand that those in power listen to what young people are saying and take action to change things for the next decade.

It’s time to show young people they matter. Sign our petition and demand the Government measures young people’s well-being across the country.

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