Daily Mail (UK) 14th September 2011
Children are bombarded with computer games and designer clothes by parents trying to compensate for not spending time with them, a UN-backed report said. It said youngsters feel trapped in a materialistic culture and, as a result, British families compare badly with countries such as Sweden or Spain. Unicef, the UN children’s agency that commissioned the report, said the pressures of materialism on families could be linked to the causes of the riots in British cities last month. The study said that families often ‘co-exist’ under the same roof rather than share time and space together, with children in their ‘media bedsits’ where they have their own TV, internet, games consoles and phones.
The findings came from a project looking at children in 24 families across the three countries. The results were discussed in focus groups with 250 further children. ‘Parents in the UK are committed to their children but they lose out on time together as a family due in part to long working hours,’ the report said. ‘They often try to make up for this by buying their children gadgets and branded clothes.