Are you happy?

Unhappy-child

Research by “Children’s Worlds” has shown that children living in England ranked 13th out of 16 countries in terms of children’s life satisfaction. This is something that saddens me greatly.

England came bottom on the list in many aspects including:

  • body dissatisfaction
  • poor relationships with teachers
  • dissatisfaction with school performance

Many of the points listed above could be tackled immediately.

I feel that many young girls, in particular, suffer from body dissatisfaction due to the media portraying women  in a certain way. The women we see on the television, in films, in magazines all look “perfect”, they have tanned skin, their bodies are perfectly proportioned, they wear expensive, designer clothes and branded make up, they always seem upbeat and happy but in reality this is all a lie. Many celebrities have problems which the media fails to touch upon, instead choosing to focus only on the good. One example of this is Zoe Sugg also known as “Zoella” who is a beauty guru/YouTuber. She documents her life online and has a loyal following of 10 million people from all around the world. Although Zoe’s channel focuses on beauty she also speaks of her struggles with Anxiety and offers advice about how she copes with this. I feel that the children of today need more people like “Zoella” and fellow YouTubers such as “Sprinkle Of Glitter” to help them through childhood and to make children realise that it’s ok to feel sad sometimes and to not look “perfect” 24/7. There are more important things in life than looking good.

As for the points regarding poor relationships with teachers and dissatisfaction with school performance, I feel that teachers need to be trained more in child Psychology. I am fully aware how difficult and time consuming a Primary Education degree is but I feel time needs to be set aside to educate teachers in recognising if a child is unhappy and ways to overcome this. Teaching is more than just education, it is a job that involves caring and passion which is often overlooked by the Government. The UK Government places a lot of pressure on Primary School aged children, it’s therefore not surprising that children are dissatisfied with their performance and they’re constantly reminded to strive for more and to work harder. Sometimes we need to take a step back and praise children for their achievements no matter how big or small. A simple well done could lift a child’s mood and remind them that they are special.

The article I was referring to in this article is linked below:

http://www.theguardian.com/society/2016/feb/16/children-in-england-rank-near-bottom-in-international-happiness-table

“Zoella” and “Sprinkle of Glitter’s” pages are also linked below:

https://www.youtube.com/user/zoella280390?gl=GB&hl=en-GB

https://www.zoella.co.uk/

https://www.youtube.com/user/Sprinkleofglitter

Picture from: http://geniuspregnancy.com/parenting/how-children-react-parents-stress.html

More Playtime!

I personally believe that children should be given the opportunity to play more.

One American Elementary school in Texas has taken a step in the right direction and have based themselves around the Finnish School system which encourages more playtime for the children in the younger years.

Improvements in the children’s behaviour has been noted by teachers, the children now make more eye contact, they are more engaged with lessons, they’re physically healthier as they’re spending more time outside being active and their social and emotional development has improved at a rapid rate.

It is clear to see that by increasing the amount of playtime and free play on offer to children drastic improvements are made.

For more information have a read of the article linked below:

http://ww2.kqed.org/mindshift/2016/01/04/more-playtime-how-kids-succeed-with-recess-four-times-a-day-at-school/