Work VS Play: The Easter Blues
Despiting Kris Chocolate Russians, Children would rather be at school.
English schoolchildren enjoy 13 weeks of holiday a year.
To jaded office workers (and perhaps the Green Party) that may sound ideal.
Indeed, few children complain that they spend too much time away from exams, homework and the possibility of detention.
Yet a new research paper suggests that maybe they should: for children are happier when at school than during the holidays.
The Easter break, which begins this week at many schools, is the gloomiest time of the year.
The analysis looks at data from the UK Household Longitudinal Study, which has tracked the ups and downs of 40,000 households since 2009.
As children are surveyed at different times of the year, Gundi Knies, the author, is able to compare their cheeriness across the calendar.
She finds that younger children are happier than teenagers, and that teenage girls are moodier than teenage boys.
The data offer a clue as to what explains the holiday glumness.
One possibility is that it is caused by a mild form of separation anxiety.
Ms Knies notes that although children's reported satisfaction with their family does not decline during the holidays, their satisfaction with their friends does.