Jump to content

Our worried children

Guest dnp52td

Recommended Posts

Our worried children


By Clair Weaver

July 30, 2006 12:00

AUSTRALIAN children are experiencing more worry, stress and sadness than ever before, according to a new study.

Instead of being the most carefree time of life, their childhood is being marred by insecurity and fears for the future.

Developing cancer, facing terrorism and falling victim to crime were the biggest concerns of children who participated in the research for the Australian Childhood Foundation.

More than three-quarters believed they had to grow up faster than children of the past, with 62 per cent indicating they did not believe they would be better off than previous generations.

Sue Leitch, deputy principal at Eastwood Public School, believes today's children are less protected from the darker side of reality.

"I think children are more worried these days because the frequency of violence is greater,'' she said.

"Our schools are so multicultural so trouble spots from all over the world affect them personally.

"They see everything so graphically on TV and I think they do genuinely worry about their safety.''

She told how parents had been concerned when their children asked to go to the doctor fearing they had the symptoms of cancer after a school fundraising drive for charity CanTeen.

Another pupil had been reduced to tears because he had not met family expectations to achieve a high distinction in an exam, she said.

"We have got to be more aware of what they might be worrying about,'' she added.

"They have got so much pressure to do well in the school system too.''

Eastwood student Amit Dharamdasani, nine, said said he didn't worry much "except when my grandmother went away for six months and there were bombs''.

Classmate Gemma Black, 10, said she felt sorry for people in war zones and sometimes worried about her school work.

The study showed that while 84 per cent of children felt happy in the preceding month, 53 per cent also felt worried, half felt stressed and 45 per cent felt sad.

Family was the most important thing in life for 87 per cent and parents topped the list of role models.

Children have retained a firm belief in authority, with doctors, police and teachers earning their confidence.

To tackle childhood problems and help prevent child abuse, the Australian Children's Foundation is launching Become A Childhood Hero month for August.

Home and Away actors Kate Ritchie and Chris Hemsworth are fronting the campaign as celebrity Childhood Hero champions.

Ritchie said she had been inspired to join the campaign by Hemsworth, whose father worked in child protection.

Of the study's findings she said: "I thought, 'hang on a second when did being a kid become so stressful?'

"We just want to raise awareness and let people know how important it is to be someone's hero.''

Link to comment
Share on other sites


This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.