Last updated at 10:16 BST, Friday, 26 August 2011

Unhappy kids

Every week we ask you a different question. Hear what people in London say, then join the conversation!

What makes children unhappy?

Join the conversation. What makes children unhappy? Use the form below to let us know.

The Express English team

One girl is unhappy because she does not like to study science.

Doing boring stuff like golf or watching TV annoys others.

And some hate eating vegetables, of course!

Did you know?


Friends, family and birthdays top the list of things that UK children say make them happy, a survey conducted by the company Opinion Matters suggests.

Language tip

The idiom 'down in the dumps' means unhappy, miserable or depressed.

Cultural tip

The national minimum age to vote in UK general elections is 18. In Cuba and Austria it is 16.

End of Section

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What makes children unhappy?

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    • 1. At 12:35pm on 29 Aug 2011, David Deng wrote:

      Many parents think that what they did is good for kids. Actually, they were annoying what the most important to kids is to concentrate to play.

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    • 2. At 1:29pm on 29 Aug 2011, Ali wrote:

      Hello everyone,

      In my opinion, children may generally feel unhappy when they are deprived of something of their own. It's a matter of upbringing! If they were given everything they have asked for at the beginning, it would be difficult afterwards to stop this habit without making them sad, because they would think that they could always have everything. Spoilt children may be sadder than others.
      All the best.

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    • 3. At 1:32pm on 29 Aug 2011, renee49 wrote:

      In my opinion, neglected children are the unhappiest in the world. Maybe things like eating vegetables or playing golf aren't pleasant, but if children are loved by their parents they won't be really unhappy. What makes them depressed, anxious or agressive is when they don't have anybody to talk about their problems.

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    • 4. At 1:44pm on 29 Aug 2011, Elkagirl wrote:

      When I was a child, the most unhappy matter to me was to see my parents had fight or quarrel.

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    • 5. At 2:14pm on 29 Aug 2011, Vera_Kuzub wrote:

      Children feel themselves unhappy by reason of many different things. It is may be, for example, when parents don't buy toys which their child wants. A child is unhappy when there is a violence in a family, when parents don't pay attention to him and don't play with him. When he doesn't have any friend.

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    • 6. At 6:13pm on 29 Aug 2011, Demetce wrote:

      Hi everyone, I think children unhappy when they are at home without doing anything like adult. Children like open area.

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    • 7. At 7:32pm on 29 Aug 2011, Renata wrote:

      Things that make children unhappy are: when a desired gift was not received, when they want to play more with their friends but they have to go home, and specially when their loved ones don't give them the necessary attention.

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    • 8. At 06:29am on 30 Aug 2011, Tenzin wrote:

      Taste and preference of an individual varies from adults to children. When parents could not fulfill the demand of their children, such as asking for a doll while rolling in the market, it is the time the child becomes unhappy, crying, even rolling himself or herself on the ground.

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    • 9. At 2:33pm on 30 Aug 2011, Vfvfksuf wrote:

      Every child doesn't like to study, read; every child likes to play and get what they want.
      When i was a little girl i studied at music school.My mum makes me to work, to work at new sonata?to work at self-improvement.I asked myself:why other girls have opportunity to go for a walk more often?"I thought i was unhappy.But now i tell "thanks" for the art school and my mum,cause she found balance between what should i do in my childhood to be happy in the future and how often i could play with my friend/She chose the right way of upbringing

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    • 10. At 3:22pm on 30 Aug 2011, love you 12 wrote:

      when I was a kid. I downed in the dumps when I saw my parents fightingand quarrel.I was so scared I always went to my room put the blanket on my head and tried to not hear any screams.
      It was bad memory I had

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    • 11. At 3:47pm on 30 Aug 2011, Juan wrote:

      One reason for chidren be unhappy is because they felt alone and they can play with other children and in some occasions they don't share time with their parents due to obligations of their work.

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    • 12. At 6:26pm on 30 Aug 2011, Astorga wrote:

      I think that te environment in wich children live is the essential point to determine if the guy is happy or not!

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    • 13. At 10:26pm on 30 Aug 2011, paatri wrote:

      When i was young, i really hated having to eat what my parents wanted,like fruits or vegetables and when my friends weren't with me and i couldn't play whit them.When this happened i had to play by myself and this was very boring.The fights between my parents were one of the worst thing that made me unhappy.Despite all this i miss my childhood.Last but no least when people didn't pay attention to me.
      I don't wanna keep growing.:'(

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    • 14. At 01:00am on 31 Aug 2011, DY Kim wrote:

      I think childrens are unhappy when they are alone, they can't spend much time with their father and mother and there is nobody to play with. Maybe, they are unhappy when they are hungry. ^^

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    • 15. At 01:06am on 31 Aug 2011, Minh wrote:

      I think all of us need listen to them.

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    • 16. At 10:05am on 31 Aug 2011, BobbyJ wrote:

      I think that what kids feel happy and what most adults(parents) feel happy have some differences.
      In sight of kids, Giving happiness is just something funny.
      but adults just wish that their kids get feeling happiness from success, healthy body and so on. sadly, because I'm an adult too, I also don't know what can make happy for kids.
      so we need to talk with kids and understand them about what they need for happy.
      Then our kids could be happy kids.

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    • 17. At 12:43pm on 31 Aug 2011, SpanishWho wrote:

      Hello everyone, here's a spanish proud of it hahahaha.
      I think that one of the saddest reason for a child to be sad is not feeling their parent's love and attention, for so many of them (parents I say) it's easier to leave them in front of TV than making them to do some reading (it is not neccesary to read "El Quijote" but to read something) with them, or going out to play sports, or taking them to the theatre or cinema for watching a theatre play or a movie.
      I think children need above all is their parent's love and care, moreover a healthy social environment before any "technological device".
      Sorry if my english is not too accurate, I hope you could understand my point of view by reading this.

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    • 18. At 4:02pm on 31 Aug 2011, pierrick428 wrote:

      To my mind, children are unhappy when they are forced to do something (as the video shown, most of them do not want to eat vegetables or fruit). They do not understand that rules are made for their own good.

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    • 19. At 5:44pm on 31 Aug 2011, solidhornet wrote:

      “No matter which plan we go with, somebody is going to be unhappy. Please try to accept the plan as it comes forth and be positive about it so the children can be positive about it.”

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    • 20. At 9:24pm on 31 Aug 2011, soso wrote:

      the resons which make kids unhappy somehow must be solved and end at the know kids are so sensitive to face problems in their life , these resons must be taken into account seriously whatever they addition , we must show thses kids that these reasons are so important and that we're struggling to make their life as best as we can

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    • 21. At 00:31am on 01 Sep 2011, Fredy wrote:

      In my opinion, what make child unhappy is lack of love and affection. Some parents think: i have to work hardly for give the best to my son, but them forget that just a kiss at nigth or say "i love you" can to change forever the relationship between parents and children.

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    • 22. At 8:59pm on 01 Sep 2011, Olga wrote:

      Parents, who do not love their children make them unhappy, all other things are so important on my opinion..........

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    • 23. At 05:26am on 02 Sep 2011, zhangyuanxuan wrote:

      I think the main reason is that some people don't respect these kids. Bullying them or neglecting what they are thinking...

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    • 24. At 2:52pm on 02 Sep 2011, nhodinh wrote:

      hey u!
      I think the most important reason why children are unhappy is that their parent are often scold and punish them when they have some mistakes. This fact is so sad and need to be changed

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    • 25. At 11:15am on 04 Sep 2011, easycola99 wrote:

      When I was a little girl, I dreamed I could joined the dance club in the school. But my home was far away from my school. so I have to gave up this dream. so, I was unhappy very much. From this point, I think the reason why children are unhappy is that they could not do something as they like.

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    • 26. At 2:33pm on 04 Sep 2011, Yulia wrote:

      In my opinion children are unhappy when their parents don't care about them properly because of their long-hours work. And sometimes parents are trying to compensate their attention to children by buying them expensive clothes, toy, etc.

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    • 27. At 00:37am on 05 Sep 2011, paulomgloria wrote:

      I think when they don't have parents who support them. In my opinion, parents suport it is very important to development of the children.

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    • 28. At 01:08am on 05 Sep 2011, castleontheriver wrote:

      The lack of a familiar context adapted to grow of integral way is for me the main source that make unhappy to a kid. Although, if it is certain that the children react with anger or sadness by different things, for example, when they do not find the time to play or to see his program of favorite television. It is not possible to forget, that the conflicts with other children, for example in the school, usually are important problems for them.

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    • 29. At 04:35am on 05 Sep 2011, April wrote:

      This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

    • 30. At 10:02am on 05 Sep 2011, Anne wrote:

      Many parents often keep nagging their children about their behaviors, especially they seldom or even don't care and concern their kids. This really hurts the parent-child relationship.

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    • 31. At 10:06am on 05 Sep 2011, l-orchidee wrote:

      Hmm ... when I was a kid, rudeness annoyed me most because, as a matter of fact, I was a victim of domestic violence. I did enjoy reading books and eating vegetables though, still do.

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    • 32. At 10:28am on 05 Sep 2011, aeromecha wrote:

      I think the mixture among loneliness, fights between parents and lack of attention make children unhappy.
      Parents due to obligations of their work don't have much time for their children. Maybe, it would be better if our children wouldn't have much stuff but more quality and quantity time with their parents.

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    • 33. At 3:28pm on 05 Sep 2011, Soler wrote:

      In my opinion the children are unhappy when they don't feel them self loved. Also when parents are too strict to them. Such children, when they become adult, have many problems and as rule, their family life are also unhappy.

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    • 34. At 03:22am on 06 Sep 2011, Ricardo wrote:

      Hi. We should not forget that we are adults thinking about children feelings. Children need love. Whenever love is present no children willl be unhappy. However, they will always be unsatisfied, unfortunately for us.

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    • 35. At 07:40am on 06 Sep 2011, Betty wrote:

      When I was a kid, I was forbidden from my parents to eat fast food and coke because they think it's bad for health. Therefore, I need to eat a lot of vegetables. Although I was always unhappy I have to thanks my parents to make me healthier.

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    • 36. At 08:25am on 06 Sep 2011, Miumiu wrote:

      As a child, what made them unhappy made due to recognizing the fact - They may face up to challenges, knowing their obligations and have a right to do sth. And learning that nothing comes from nothing.

      Growing up is a road full of pain and joy. Sometimes they may feel sad, upset or disappointed and lost their faith. At that moment, perhaps they don't know why. However, as time passes, they will find out all the arranges were the best.

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