Youngsters reveal world of worries
Youngsters have the weight of the world on their shoulders, worrying about everything from friendships to the environment, a survey of parents suggests.
Rather than the traditional image of the celebrity-obsessed youngster, pre-teens are more concerned with the world around them and helping others, according to a poll by parenting website Netmums.
The survey questioned more 1,500 parents of eight-to-13-year-olds - so-called "tweenagers", who are no longer small children but not yet teenagers either.
The findings show more than four-fifths (81%) of parents say their "tween" worries. Fretting about friendships was cited as the top worry (69%) followed by schoolwork and tests (57%).
But almost one in four (24%) of those questioned said their youngster worries about natural disasters, and one in six (15%) said their child is concerned about the environment. One in 10 (10%) said their "tween" was worried about terrorism and wars.
A total of 44% said their son or daughter does worry about their looks, while just over a third (38%) said their youngster was worried about their body.
Asked to describe their "tween", the most common words chosen were happy, sensible, responsible and knowledgeable.
Netmums co-founder Siobhan Freegard said: "Tweens are often represented as self absorbed and only concerned with trivial matters but our research shows just how wrong this perception is.
"Growing up in a world where war, terrorism and financial meltdown are top of the news agenda, today's Generation You is philanthropic, caring towards others and they take on the worries of adult life. Talking to our children and understanding the issues they face on their tumultuous journey into their teenage years enables parents to offer the right sort of support and guidance so they can be happy, confident and responsible tweens."
The poll was conducted to mark the launch of Netmums' new book, You and Your Tween. A total of 1,598 parents of eight-to-13-year-olds were surveyed last month.