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Why is the UK such a bad place to be a child?

(104 Posts)
Rantum Fri 23-Feb-07 17:24:07

Unicef's survey of 21 industrialised countries looked at 40 indicators including family relationships, health and poverty and the UK came BOTTOM for the well-being of children. We are a country of relative wealth so why are we failing our children?

brotherbear Fri 23-Feb-07 19:18:40

this country is the pits. its a disgrace. that is why i am emigrating.

brimfull Fri 23-Feb-07 19:20:59

load of bollocks imo

Saturn74 Fri 23-Feb-07 19:21:44

<<clambers onto soapbox>>
because the education system fails to provide appropriate support for children with special needs, so many of them become turned off to learning, and lack self esteem.
<<hops off, collapses soapbox, and bimbles off to watch Corrie>>

brotherbear Fri 23-Feb-07 19:22:52

why is it a load of bollocks ggirl?

Saturn74 Fri 23-Feb-07 19:23:06

<<disclaimer - my soapbox is made out of wood taken from a sustainable source, and is in no way a Mumsnetter of a similar name>>

TwoIfBySea Fri 23-Feb-07 21:02:17

Because children see that they have nothing to work toward.

If they want to go to uni they end up in debt. That is if they went to a school where they were allowed to dare to think they could be something.

If they want a house of their own they need to earn a fortune which is tied in a way with above point.

They see their parents struggle just to pay the bills and the stresses that cause on the family.

Some see their parents on benefits and wonder why others bother working because then you have to pay the rent and council tax etc. so therefore why should they go to school and have ambition to do anything.

Children having children just to have something to love unconditionally that will love them back.

Oh the list is endless. Only some have the wealth and those who do probably think the survey was guff and if Ugly Betty hadn't just started I would think of lots more.

southeastastra Fri 23-Feb-07 21:03:46

i don't think we're failing them, just spoiling them

brimfull Fri 23-Feb-07 21:18:41

Well "a load of bollocks" was probably a bit strong but I think you do have to take these things with a pinch of salt so to speak.
I know poverty is a real problem for this country despite our overall wealth which does need sorting out.
But the survey places emphasis on the greater proportion of single parent families on GB and USA and that certainly doesn't automatically mean an unhappy unfulfilled child.
I guess it's just the sweeping generalisations that these surveys convey i dislike.
My children are happy and fulfilled as are most of the children I know,and yes I do feel privelaged because of that.But if you read the press surrounding the survey you'd come away thinking all british children were wailing miseries.

hellobello Sat 24-Feb-07 12:44:30

Things to look forward to in England: Debt, tax, then death, unless you are a criminal.

Saturn74 Sat 24-Feb-07 12:45:35

Don't criminals die in England?

southeastastra Mon 26-Feb-07 08:16:19

ooh (off to rob a bank with hope of eternal life!)

FioFio Mon 26-Feb-07 08:19:26

Message withdrawn

FioFio Mon 26-Feb-07 08:19:41

Message withdrawn

elclose Mon 26-Feb-07 08:40:42

so you dont think there are bills to pay ect ect in other countries??
getting into debt for an education which you only have to pay back once you are earning, whats wrong with that?
Free education untill the age of 18!(ok so some schools arent as good as others)
The problem with half the people in this country is they expect everything for free?
The survey does bring to light problems i admit but like ggirl says it reflects a high proportion of single parent families.
Dont get me wrong there is some real work to be done in this country but headlines like that dont help, all those poor kids and parents that were feeling like crap just feel a whole lot worse now!!!

hellobello Mon 26-Feb-07 10:08:45

Can you be a bit more specific about single parent families? A lot of people are single parents not through choice or design.

LowFatMilkshake Mon 26-Feb-07 10:30:22

My mum was single parent when I was 6 as my dad died - no choice or design there.

However getting back to the opener. I hate this country, DH and I struggle to provide everything we can for our children including holidays. And within our onw family unit we have a pretty good quality of life. But we want them to see that hard work can pay divdends by allowing them to travel and see things they therwise would have no knowledge of.

However this country is making that harder and harder, everything is on the increase! We have to work hard just to pay bills for essentials such as heat and light and water, not to mention food. All you do here is work to pay. Other conuntries are much better when it comes to encouraging quality family time.

Emigratio is the next step for us!

elclose Mon 26-Feb-07 10:51:30

i agree the term single parent families is used loosely and covers a great number of people who are doing just fine and got there by no fault of their own, Sorry if offence caused.
I think it relates to absent fathers that arent around genrally because they cant be bothered, again this is not always the case.

ernest Mon 26-Feb-07 11:10:02

I've lived for the last 7 years in Switzerland. Return regularly to UK. Dh not looking for job, possibly in London. I will do my utmost NOT to move back and 1st reason is the quality of life, for my kids especially, but the fa,ily as a whole is way, way better here than in UK. Really, it's a different world completely. The freedon the kids have, the attitude of kids, towards kids, towards each other. I don't know how to fix it, but the life my kids have here compared with UK, well, there's no contest.

ernest Mon 26-Feb-07 11:12:08

incidentally, talking of single families, it struck me the other day, of the 20 kids in ds's kindergarten, only 1 lives in a single family, and in this case the mother sadly died. Not one single mum where the 'dad' f*d off because he couldm't be arsed (I grew up in a single family, where my dad f*d off when I was a baby becasue he couldn't be arsed, btw)

expatinscotland Mon 26-Feb-07 11:12:36

Because it costs so damn much to live here.

charlieq Mon 26-Feb-07 11:18:10

It's overcrowded. It's got a hideous sub-US privatisation, greed-is-good ethic without any of the benefits of living in the US (i.e. space). There's a culture of putting down difference and creativity imho (unless it makes lots of money). Vulnerability (illness, emotionality, being a mother, or a child, etc) is put down and treated as the vulnerable one's fault. It's shit basically.

expatinscotland Mon 26-Feb-07 11:19:05

Because it's a rip off.

belgo Mon 26-Feb-07 11:23:48

I think it takes more effort to give children a good childhood in England.

We moved to Belgium because we wanted children and my dh's hometown is a wonderful place to bring up children.

Practically all schools here are good, and private education is unnecessary.

Many children here cycle and walk every day.

There is less unhealthy food in the supermarkets, people aren't obsessed by their children's diets and the result is far less obesity then in England.

We can very easily travel to other countries.

There are loads of camps and activities for children in the holidays. Scouting is extremely popular.

Cost of living is less, and so is the emphasis on material goods. (but taxes are extremely high)

The main downside is that it seems to be less socially acceptable to be a SAHM. Mothers who work four or five days a week is the norm - therefore babies go to creches and stay with grandparents from a very early age.

GrumpyOldHorsewoman Mon 26-Feb-07 11:31:28

IME the UK is a bad place to live full stop.

I can't help where I was born, and it's only for the fact that certain members of my family would be devastated if I emigrated (as we are becoming increasingly scattered) but I have resolved that I will not live here forever for all the reasons everybody else has stated. I can't wait to leave, my life here is shit and I have lived in several parts of the UK, each one a bit worse than the one before it (or maybe it's just all getting worse with time)

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