We all know that there is terrible injustice and poverty in the world, and indeed within our own society.
So, I was actually quite disturbed to read the new report commissioned by The Children's Society about children's perception of their own happiness.
Whilst many of the write-ups I've read this morning try to point out that actually, some of the measures that children have indicated impacting on their well-being are focused on family togetherness and days out, there is still an alarming weight placed on material possessions.
The University of York surveyed 5,500 boys and girls for the Children Society research, and concluded that children who lack more than 5 out of the 10 items on their new 'deprivation index' are over 5 times more likely to suffer low levels of well-being than children who have all 10 indicators.
So, what are these 'items of deprivation'?
1. Some pocket money each week to spend on yourself
2. Some money that you can save each month, either in a bank or at home
3. A pair of designer or brand name trainers (like Nike or Vans)
4. An iPod or other personal music player
5. Cable or satellite TV at home
6. A garden at home, or somewhere nearby like a park where you can safely spend time with your friends
7. A family car for transport when you need it
8. The right kind of clothes to fit in with other people your age
9. At least one family holiday away from home each year
10. Family trips or days out at least once a month
Will my child really feel deprived without the latest pair of sneakers or an ipod?
What message does this report send out to parents? Parents who are already placed under pressure and feel guilt laid on from every direction. Parents who are trying to make ends meet in these austere times.
Will it make us try to instill other values in our children. To show that they are safe; loved and wanted in ways other than material possessions you can buy? Or will it make us rush out to JD Sports?
What do you think?
You can read the full report here:
Missing out: a child centred analysis of material deprivation and subjective well-being