Most Netherlands kids happy with life; 1 in 7 unhappy
The children in the Netherlands give their lives an average score of 7.7. So they are generally very satisfied with it. But 13 percent of 8 to 18-year-olds give their life a 5 or less, the Children’s Ombudsman reported after surveying 2,347 children.
Children mentioned various negatives. For example, they are not satisfied with the support they get and the examples set to them by adults other than their parents. They are concerned about the war in Ukraine and the state of the climate. They also want more say in what happens and a good approach to poverty.
“What we find worrying is that children look for the solution to many problems within themselves. They believe they should improve their own behavior and feelings. We think this is because they have less and less confidence that adults, not their parents, will solve the problems in society,” a spokesperson for the Children’s Ombudsman said.
The Ombudsman believes that “all adults in the Netherlands should take responsibility for this. They should take a good look at their own behavior and set a good example. For example, for how you treat each other and how you solve problems together.” According to the organization, municipalities and the Ministry of Public Health, Welfare, and Sports should also consider what they can do to make children more comfortable in their lives.
Children in Drenthe are the most positive about their lives, giving it a score of 8.1. In nearby Friesland, children give their lives the lowest rating at 7.2, which is still more than a sufficient score. In Friesland, Groningen, and Limburg, there are more children facing problems caused by poverty or quarrels, sometimes with physical violence, than in other provinces. These children also more often have parents with mental health problems or are themselves struggling with physical or mental health problems.
“Of course, I think it’s great that most children are satisfied with their lives. Despite all the major problems that are going on in the world and that worry them. At the same time, I find it very worrying that the well-being of children seems to depend on where they grow up. Children deserve equality, in perspective and in development opportunities,” explained Children’s Ombudsman Margrite Kalverboer.
Reporting by ANP