Parents buy things for kids instead of spending time with them

A recent study has been published by an international charity that says there is a materialistic culture in the UK because parents are not spending enough time with their children. The report was based off speaking to many families in the UK and found that they feel there is a great pressure from society to buy things for their children. Interestingly this pressure was felt the most by lower income households.

The report found that UK parents were very dedicated to their children but their relationships suffered because the parents were often having to work long hours. The reason  people feel pressured to buy things for their children, according to the survey, is to make up for this loss of time spent with the child. Some commentators have said this links with the riots in London which showed a culture that has a consumerism that is out of control.

The report by UNICEF agrees with this saying that the looting was a direct reflection of the materialism of young people. Other notable people have said that the country needs to move away from this culture of people defining themselves by the things that they buy.

The Executive Director of UNICEF in the UK is David Bull, who commented, “Politicians are really now trying to understand what the rioting means about the state of our culture and society. This report says something about this and it is essential that the government listen to what families are saying.”

The report also looked at the situation in Spain and Sweden where something quite different was found. Those countries were found to have families that ensured that spending time together was the most important factor – not just owning nice things.

The research has lead UNICEF to make several recommendation to the government. An important one is demanding that companies pay people a wage that is enough for them to live off, without having to take on another job. They also have recommended that the UK introduce a ban on advertising during television programming aimed at children under 12, this is currently in place in Sweden.

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