Staunton, Jan. 25 – On many occasions, even when parents are pessimistic about their current or future circumstances, they try to arrange things so that their children are not and continue to believe that all is well or will be. Only when things get really bad for a long period does that change, and children’s attitudes come to resemble those of their parents.
That is what appears to be happening in Putin’s Russia if one judges by the results of the first ever survey designed to come up with an index of happiness among children that was carried out by the Timchenko Foundation (nakanune.ru/articles/120217/).
Yevgeny Ivanov, a commentator for the Nakanune news agency, suggests that this trend reflects not only that young Russians compare their own poverty with the wealth lifestyles shown on Moscow television but also and more importantly the fact that increasingly the Russian state treats children not as privileged as they were in Soviet times but as economic factors like adults.
Finding themselves in a situation in which they have to work either to cope with poverty or because they aspire to a better life, Russian children now encounter many of the same problems adults do and thus it is no surprise that ever more of them adopt adult attitudes, including widespread pessimism.