Mental healh timebomb is ticking for our children

Our childen deserve a happy childhood
Our childen deserve a happy childhood
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They’re spoilt rotten, the kids of today. They get far more than we ever did.

We remember when getting a new pair of shoes was a really big deal; when a wish-list to Santa was governed by what the Grattans catalogue had to offer, because your mum could pay off the bill at a few quid a week. We remember the birthday we got the bike that wasn’t quite a Raleigh Chopper, and not saying a word because it had been so hard-saved for.

Kids now expect expensive iPads. Some schools insist on them, Our offspring have phones and clothes more expensive than their parents’. But the trappings of modern childhood come with another pricetag; pressure. Kids today communicate not via a Trimphone partyline, but 24 hours a day. Which means constant comparisons and exposure to influences that make them feel inadequate (we just had Jackie once a week for idolatry inspiration). Straight As aren’t enough; it’s got to be A-stars. They feel they have to be thin, attractive and successful; have an A-star life.

Our have-not childhoods were actually the halcyon days. We roamed cornfields, they roam the world via the web - but only from the safety of home, the irony being their www.adventures are more dangerous than our real world ones ever were.

The world they live in is poisoning their minds and a mental health charity has this week issued a terrifying warning; mental illness threatens to engulf our children before they reach adulthood. Four in ten kids aged 11 to 14 skip meals to stay thin. Over half have watched porn online. The same number have been bullied. Charity Young Minds say we should all scared witless for our kids and grandkids. Its new campaign, Young Minds Vs, has children and young people nationwide rooting for change on issues that concern them most - sexual pressure, bullying, unemployment, school stress and finding help when life gets too much for them.

We parents cannot let the kids do all the work.