As a result of A Good Childhood, the report commissioned by the Children's Society, the stories about the secrets of happy childhood have spawned hundreds of features in the press and a lot of bickering between columnists about whether or not mothers should work, the benefits of nurseries and whether parents should stay together for the sake of the children.
Listening to the reports made me think of an interview I had with one of our Changemakers, Sobiya Zafar, who worked on a drugs project with young women in Small Heath in Birmingham. At the end of our chat she mentioned the careers advice she'd had in school - negative she said. The young women in her project group were between 13-19, mostly on the younger side, and she talked about their lack of confidence and how apprehensive they'd been even about doing presentations in front of each other.
The part that struck a chord with me in terms of the happiness issue was when she said they do have things they want to do, but they are dreams. If you know what you want to do and how to get there, that's an ambition. If you haven't got a clue how to get there, that's just a dream.
The report did not say much about being able to see a future for yourself being part of happiness for children. Having listened to Sobiya I'd say it's pretty important.