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Wednesday 29 March 2023 Dublin: 11°C
AP Photo/Oded Balilty/PA Images
# Children
Parents concerned about 'commercialisation and sexualisation' of children - survey
Parents think today’s children enjoy a better childhoods than their own but have also raised concerns about messages being aimed at children.

THE MAJORITY OF parents believe that contemporary Irish childhoods are better than their own – but are concerned about commercial and sexual messages aimed at young people today, according to an Irish family website.

Parents were asked to express their views on Irish childhood through a series of weekly online surveys and Facebook discussions on a variety of topics from last October on The results to date show that just under half of parents (49 per cent) feel that childhood nowadays compares favourably with their own.

However, some aspects of children’s experiences today were a cause for concern: 66 per cent of parents said that clothing being sold for children was not age-appropriate, and 59 per cent believed that food and drink manufacturers did not provide enough information for parents to make healthy nutritional choices for their children.

One of the sites founders, Michelle Davitt, said the surveys highlighted the need for the authorities to enter dialogue with Irish parents: “Nowadays, there are numerous task forces and bodies that examine different issues such as obesity and internet safety. However, they often neglect to ask parents themselves directly how they feel about the issues.”

Youth and ethical specialist Sheena Horgan echoed this sentiment, commenting: “For all the discussion in political and educational circles, there is a dearth of parental perspective.  This research closes that gap and should be used by all stakeholders to inform the debate on Irish childhood”.

In pictures: Small Lives: The Irish childhood in pics>

Read: Almost 1 in 3 Irish children deprived of basic necessities>

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