There have been numerous studies that prove having a happy childhood reaps the benefits of improved mental and physical health, better relationships, and lifetime achievement. On the other side of the coin, an unhappy childhood can lead to many issues like physical and mental health issues, addiction, and more.

For the average person, looking back, you would find a mix of happy and sad memories with one (typically the kinder memories for the average happy childhood) outweighing the other. For those that consider their childhood to be in between, this can be attributed to many things, for instance, you could have had a happy home most of the time and an unhappy school environment, vice versa, or another mixture altogether. The aspects that contribute to either a happy childhood or an unhappy one are vast. A few of these factors can be:

  • Social
  • Environmental
  • Mental
  • Entertainment
  • Self-image

How are they different?

When it comes to the difference between the two, the line is a blurry one. You will always have people that consider their own childhoods to be bad ones and others that think they were perfectly fine. The question here is how do we measure the degree of the events that constitute a “bad” childhood and how can you tell if another was truly a “happy” one? Something worth considering here is whether things can be so black and white.

To answer the broad question of how these two types of categories differ, you need to look at major events that occurred during childhood. These can be important memories that can cause either a good or bad reaction to the former child’s psyche. First, to clarify, there is no such thing as a perfect childhood. There will always be a hiccup or inconsistency that is not 100% joyous. There are multiple reasons for an unhappy childhood, some examples could be:

  • A good relationship with one parent and a not-so-good one with the other
  • Social struggles with a great family behind you
  • A strong sports performance and a lacklustre academic record

For the sake of comparison, a “happy childhood” is the opposite of an unhappy one. This means that you did not experience enough trauma to affect you into your adult life in more than one way as mentioned above.

All children should be protected from horrendous and neglectful acts which is why there are such things as children’s’ rights and children’s rights attorneys to protect them, as well as, child custody lawyers  when a child’s first line of defense fails them.

Are you looking for a family lawyer in Durban? We have a team of lawyers who are equipped to help you with your needs or the needs of those around you. Contact Durban Law Offices on 031 836 0307 or email us at so that one of our lawyers may assist you and/or provide you with advice.