Canadian kids are hanging in there… kinda

May is always something of a bittersweet month for North American kids.

Final exams are coming.

But so is summer.

It’s actually a pretty good time to be young.

This spring, not so much.

Elementary and high schools are shut down in Saskatchewan (above) and in a lot of other places, possibly until September. (The National/CBC Archives)

A new survey from the non-profit Angus Reid Institute of 650 young people in Canada aged 10 to 17 suggests that times are not all that terrific for a great many of them.

Asked to describe how they’re feeling, 71 per cent said they were “bored.”

A significant segment (41%) said “normal” while 33 per cent per cent said “lonely.”

(Angus Reid)

The poll found that the vast majority, (54%) said they missed seeing their friends the most while staying at home, followed by extra-curricular activities (16%), being able to go out without worrying (11%) and going to school (8%).

Older young people, Angus Reid reports, are twice as likely as younger ones to say they feel “angry” compared to those aged 10 to 15, and half as likely to say they feel “good.”

(Angus Reid)


  • Asked how they were spending their time in isolation, two similar activities rose to the top of the list: watching movies and TV/streaming media content (88%) and playing video games (74%).
  • Older teenagers (ages 16-17) were more likely to be spending isolation staying in touch with their peers, with three-quarters both texting/calling friends (76%) and spending time on social media (75%).
  • Asked how they would feel if they had to return to the classroom in the next month, kids were more likely to say they were looking forward to it (36%) than not (26%). That said, nearly four-in-ten (38%) felt just “okay” about the prospect.
  • The majority of respondents (75%) said they were keeping up with online classes, but 60 per cent also said they were “largely unmotivated.” Over half (57%) said they didn’t like trying to take classes over the internet.
  • A quarter of respondents (26%) said their friendships had deteriorated during the pandemic.

A sample size of 650 respondents normally carries a margin of error of +/- 4 percentage points, 19 times out of 20. 

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