Climate change and school work among biggest concerns for children

A worrying statistic.

Climate change, school work and physical pains are among the biggest worries of children growing up today.

New research has revealed that ‘tweenagers’ are increasingly battling troubled minds, with nearly a quarter feeling concerned about something every single day.

For the younger demographic – seven to 11 year olds – the pressures from school and forming friendships results in nearly half feeling ‘scared’ at times about growing up.

Of the older group – 12 to 15 year olds – nearly half are ‘anxious’ about wider world issues such as climate change and more than a third worry about their future.

Clinical Psychologist Dr Kate Mason, who specialises in the well-being of young people, speaking about the research commissioned by Nurofen, said: “The pre-teen years are undoubtedly a distinct and special time in children’s lives.

“This is when they are psychologically and emotionally developing their unique identities and perspectives, comprehending their place in the world, strengthening their relationships with peers and family and undergoing many physical and neurological changes.

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“However, these changes understandably bring a cocktail of emotions for children and their parents as well as tricky practical challenges to overcome as they let go of the comforts of childhood, and face the uncertainty of the coming adolescent years.”

The research found adolescents aged 12-15 years old also experience certain types of physical pains with two thirds dealing with headaches, a fifth having discomfort from braces and more than half feeling general body pain.

For nearly one in five, being in pain was cited as a worry and 77 per cent will turn to their parents when they are suffering physically.

The 1,000 parents who were also polled shared their view on the emotional impact of their child growing up and the practical challenges they face.

children concerns climate change school work

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The survey revealed more than a third of youngsters are spending more time away from their mums and dads than they ever have.

One in five said their child is becoming more independent and distant with age but more than half view the increasing self-reliance as positive, and enjoy their new found freedom.

However, 46 per cent worry about their offspring going elsewhere for advice and two in five struggle to ‘let go’ as their youngster grows up.

A third struggle if their tween shows ‘out of character’ behaviour but equally the same amount find humour when their child acts a bit ‘irrationally’ and 40 per cent actually go on to share stories with fellow parents.