New research by Ipsos MORI for UNICEF UK has shown that children in the UK feel trapped in a “materialistic culture” and don’t spend enough time with their families.
The research compared over 250 children’s experiences across three developed countries: the UK, Sweden and Spain. Reassuringly, children in all three countries told researchers that their happiness is dependent on having time with a stable family and plenty of things to do, especially outdoors, rather than on owning technology or branded clothes.
But parents in the UK said they felt tremendous pressure from society to buy goods for their children; this pressure was felt most acutely in low-income homes. The research also shows that UK parents lose out on time together as a family due in part to long working hours. They often try to make up for this by buying their children gadgets and clothes.
This might be something you could explore with children in class, as there is also a ‘child friendly’ version of the report on the UNICEF website.
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