Norwegian children are very happy with their life

Despite more than a year of pandemic and restrictions, the ‘Ungdata Junior’ survey from October 2021 paints a positive picture of children and adolescents’ conditions of upbringing. The majority of children report having good lives, a good self-image, satisfaction in school, and good relationships with friends and parents. Leisure time is characterized by sports and active screen use.

Choose language in the Google-box below. Some translations may be flawed or inaccurate.

About 7 out of 10 children completely agree with the statement my life is good and almost 8 out of 10 children find that they have everything they want in life. 87 percent of children are also very happy with themselves and the same percentage like themselves the way they are.

The figures paint an optimistic picture of children and adolescents’ conditions for growing up today.

The findings come from Ung i Oslo 2021  – Oslo Municipality’s Ungdata survey of school students from grades 5-7. Almost 15,000 students have participated in the survey, and this gives a broad picture of how children in Oslo are doing.

Although the findings originate from the capital, it can be assumed that the results also say something in general about children’s conditions of upbringing today.

Close ties to parents

97 percent of children say that they are quite or very happy with their parents. A whopping 98 percent also find that their parents like them as they are, and 96 percent like to be with their parents.

At the same time, a smaller group of five percent (depending on the questions asked) do not experience the parents as positively. These are children who find their parents not so supportive, that the children are dissatisfied with their parents or do not like being with them. Around 17 percent of children also report that their parents often yell at them.

The majority of children (95 percent) say that they have friends to be with in their free time. A slightly higher percentage also say that they have someone to be with during leisure at school. At the same time, only about 6 out of 10 state to have at least one friend that they can trust and talk about everything.

89 percent otherwise feel that they have someone they can talk to about sad or difficult things. For example, a parent, friend, public health nurse, or teacher.

Both sports and screen in free time

Almost 3 out of 4 children take part in regular leisure activities. For example, sports, dance, or instrument training. Children’s everyday life is also characterized by screen use. On a regular weekday:

  • 1-2 hours screen (20 percent of the children)
  • 2-3 hours display (25 percent)
  • 3-4 hours (23 percent)
  • 4-6 hours (16 percent)
  • 6 hours or more (10 percent)

Time on screen use involving schoolwork is not included here. A smaller percentage also states spending less than an hour on screen.

Among girls, most time is spent watching movies, TV series, and YouTube. Then social media, games on mobile and tablet, and then computer games. Among boys, the most time is spent playing computer games, then watching movies, TV series, and YouTube, and then games on mobile and tablet.

84 percent experience little or no bullying

More than 8 out of 10 children report that they experience never or rarely any bullying. However, 9 percent state that they are subject to exclusion, harassment, or threats at least once every 14 days.

When it comes to negative events on mobile, such as exclusion, threatening, or someone having written or shared hurtful text, photos, or videos about them, 32 percent have experienced at least one such episode in the last few months. Such incidents are a little more frequent among girls compared to boys.

The proportion of such incidents is fairly similar, regardless of age.

Satisfaction in school

Around 60 percent of children sleep 9-10 hours a night, compared to 40 percent who sleep 8 hours or less. Around 6 percent often or very often experience the feeling of being depressed. But the vast majority answer that this only happens sometimes. 10 percent also state having physical ailments daily (headache and abdominal, neck, or shoulder pain).

More than 9 out of 10 children are very or quite happy with the school they attend. Just as many report that their teachers care, and 88 percent state that they fit in with the students in the class.

However, 65 percent say they are bored at school, and around 23 percent often feel nervous to go to school.

Read the full report here

Read more here.

(Written on 22nd November 2021 and translated by Ratan)