How children feel at home

UNICEF/HQ99-1081/ ROGER LEMOYNE
A boy tapes a picture of houses and flowers in a collective centre for ethnic Albanian refugees in Kosovo.

Strong family ties are evident in all countries polled and most children (90%) report good or very good relationships with their mothers. This differs with fathers where between 80 and 70 per cent (in the Western CIS and Baltic States) report a similar relationship and seven per cent of the respondents do not live with their fathers.

The family's economic situation and area are related to the quality of relationships. More children from higher income families or rural areas rate their relationships with parents as positive than those from poorer or urban families.

Although they describe relationships with parents in strongly positive terms, 60 per cent (representing some 56 million children), report violent or aggressive behaviour in their families. Hitting (16%) is more common in lower income families and is proportionately highest in Central Europe (21%).

Eleven per cent of children reporting violence or aggressive behaviour at home say it occurs often (16% in the Western European countries polled). It is more likely to be reported by older children or those from larger families.

Nearly half the children, particularly girls, believe that talking things out is always a good way to solve problems. However some think shouting (15%) and hitting (6%) can sometimes be a good solution.

UNICEF/HQ97-0528/ MAGGIE MURRAY-LEE
A mother and her daughther in Kulandy, Kazakhstan.

Nearly 60 per cent of children say their opinions or views are taken into account when decisions concerning them are made at home (falling to 47% in Central Asia), however other's opinions are considered only some of the time (almost 33%) or not considered at all (9%).

Roughly one quarter of those who say they are generally unhappy also say their opinions are not taken into account by their parents at all. Children from one child families are more likely be involved in family decisions that concern them, as are older children and those from higher socio-economic groups.

Click below to view the responses to the questions related to this issue:

• I get along with my parents…(by region) [view]
• I get along with my parents
(by gender, age, area or socio-economic group)

• Violence or aggressive behaviour at home…(by region) [view]
• Violence or aggressive behaviour at home
(by gender, age, area or socio-economic group)
• Violence or aggressive behaviour at home… (by detailed regions) [view]

• Is talking a good solution to problems? (by region) [view]
• Is talking a good solution to problems?
(by gender, age, area or socio-economic group)

• Shouting at each other can be a good solution… (by region) [view]
• Shouting at each other can be a good solution
(by gender, age, area or socio-economic group)

• Hitting each other can be a good solution… (by region) [view]
• Hitting each other can be a good solution
(by gender, age, area or socio-economic group)

• Is my opinion considered? (by region) [view]
• Is my opinion considered?
(by gender, age, area or socio-economic group)

This information is provided as a contribution to discussion on important issues affecting children. UNICEF Regional offices conducted the polls, analysis and interpretations of the findings. For more information, please contact the regional poll contact person directly.

About the survey
How happy children are
How children feel at home
How children feel at school
How children feel in today's society
How safe children feel
Children and harmful or illegal substances
How informed children are
Children's views on government and politics
How children see the future