Too Much Too Young: Tonight – Kids Under Pressure

Tonight begins 2011 with a series of three reports into the lives of Britain’s children, the pressures they face and their often remarkable stories.

Programme one asks if we are putting our kids under too much pressure. Presenter Julie Etchingham will exclusively reveal the results of a poll run by the mumsnet website revealing the concerns of parents about raising children in the 21st century.

Tonight looks behind the statistics that show a dramatic rise in the level of childhood depression over the course of a generation as Julie meets a young woman who has battled with the disease through her teenage years – and she hears from her mother about what it was like to support her daughter through such difficult times.

The programme investigates whether the current education system is adequately preparing children for the challenges they face in modern society and discovers how some schools are looking at new ways to improve pupils social and emotional skills, such as a revolutionary scheme involving children interacting with a baby in classes, as well as a ‘happiness class’ at one public school whose head teacher is critical of the emphasis on testing in mainstream education.

The report asks whether children have enough freedom nowadays and meets the parents who have blocked off their own road to traffic to give their kids the chance for the kind of free independent play that was once commonplace. We look at the level of mental health issues and behavioural problems children are experiencing, as well as body image anxiety.

Tonight investigates the current state of Britain’s kids and asks the question: what can we do to raise happier and more fulfilled children?

Tuesday, 4 January 2011, 7:30PM – 8:00PM ITV1