Respecting children as human being remains the biggest issue I stand up for at all times, against all comers...
I've had firestorms in online chat rooms, facebook groups and email list (see how old I am, it's only because I was slightly too old that none of it happened on MySpace)... someone says something that is reasonable and popular, and Linda loses her bits, all over the place.
Someone says, 'but kids have to fit into the real world.'
No. No they don't. They're here to be cherished, nurtured, cared for. They didn't sign ANYTHING. They are not here to be convenient, quiet, pretty, helpful, productive or selfless.
They are here, like the rest of us, to be themselves. Just like real people.
There are so many reasons why respecting kids is right... and here are some of the most important ones:
Dignity and value: Children, like all human beings, have inherent dignity and value that is worthy of respect. This means treating them with the same kindness and empathy that we would want for ourselves, and for every other human being.
Autonomy and agency: Children have their own thoughts, feelings, and ideas, and they should be given the opportunity to express themselves and make choices about their own lives as much as possible. Respecting their autonomy and agency helps them to develop a sense of self-efficacy and confidence.
Development and growth: Children are constantly learning and growing, and they need to be given the space and support to explore the world around them, ask questions, and make mistakes. When we respect children as human beings, we create an environment that fosters their natural curiosity and creativity. (P.S. It's messy. It's supposed to be.)
Relationships and connections: Respecting children as human beings helps to build strong and positive relationships with them. When children feel valued and respected, they are more likely to trust and confide in adults, which can help to create stronger bonds and deeper connections. (and they are more cooperative, too!)
Human rights: Children have the same human rights as adults, and it is our responsibility to protect and promote those rights. This includes the right to be free from violence, exploitation, and discrimination (including age discrimination) and the right to have their best interests taken into account in all decisions that affect them.
Respecting children as human beings is essential for their well-being and development, as well as for the health and vitality of our communities and societies.
When we treat children with respect, we create a world that is more just, compassionate, and inclusive for all.
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