Giving children a voice
Back in the day my grandma would say, ‘children should be seen and not heard”. But now our children are demanding a voice. At only 12 years old, Billie wasn’t afraid of using hers. She would often say “I know I am only 12 but I know I can make a difference”. A mere 3 decades ago, television and newspapers were the only source of media for most children and even then they were sheltered from news not considered appropriate.
Nowadays children have access to worldwide media on their own devices. There is no sheltering them from the breaking news and graphic content that continually inundates the news feed. Children today have strong opinions and it is imperative to listen to them so they in turn can build their self-esteem. Being heard makes children feel valued and builds their confidence and resilience. It is imperative we listen to their perspectives which in turn helps them decipher their thoughts, feelings and ultimately, the choices they make.
I remember Billie came home from school one day and told me that her friends had formed an Instagram group but some of them wouldn’t let a girl from another group join in. Billie asked me what she should do. Instead of telling her what I thought, I prompted her to tell me how this made her feel, what options she felt she had and what she thought would be the right thing to do.
Billie went to school the next day and told her friends that she didn’t want to be in a group that left other people out. Her friends then said that ok, the other girl could join them on Instagram. Billie said that was great but opted to leave the group anyway. Billie found her voice and used it to make a stand against injustice and bullying. Showing children that they have a voice and that their actions do matter can help them see that they do have the power to make a difference. Believing in themselves and their voice encourages them to stick up for others being bullied or situations they feel need changing. Let’s encourage, guide and role model for the children of today so that they can become the leaders of tomorrow
The b kinder workbooks encourage children to think about their footprint, their legacy and the difference they can make in the world.
“They are of great help in initiating discussion surrounding emotions that can be difficult for the young to communicate and they do this in a charming and creative way that encourages clarity, comfort and kindness and allowing open, free expression and valid self-introspection”. Dominic Westbrook – Counsellor – Gifted Minds
Written by Danny Mason-Kinder