Every day the newspapers lament the problems facing our children - broken homes, pressures to eat and drink, the stress of exams. The same issues are discussed in every pub and at every dinner party. But is life really more difficult for children than it was, and if so why? And how can we make it better?
This book, which is a result of a two year investigation by the Children's Society and draws upon the work of the UK's leading experts in many fields, explores the main stresses and influences to which every child is exposed - family, friends, youth culture, values, and schooling, and will make recommendations as to how we can improve the upbringing of our children. It tackles issues which affect every child, whatever their background, and questions and provides solutions to the belief that life has become so extraordinarily difficult for children in general.
The experts make 30 specific recommendations, written not from the point of view of academics, but for the general reader - above all for parents and teachers. We expect publication to be a major event and the centre of widespread media attention.
Richard Layard is Emeritus Professor of Economics at the London School of Economics, and author of the best-selling Happiness (Penguin, 2005). He was founder-director of the Centre for Economic Performance at the London School of Economics and now heads its programme on well-being. He is also a member of the House of Lords.
Judy Dunn is Professor of Developmental Psychology at the Institute of Psychiatry, King's College London. Her research interests are in children's social, emotional and communicative development, studied in their families and with their friends. She is Chair of the Good Childhood Inquiry.