In general, children’s opinion on several fundamental aspects of their lives is undervalued. Even if the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child provides for it have the same rights as adultsthe truth is, we don’t always listen to them.
Children have the right to express their point of view in all aspects of your life and happiness. Both in the daily life of the family and in the important and relative decisions that have to do with their health, their well-being, their education and their development.
Children’s opinion and their legal rights
The opinion of children is as valid as that of adults, including their parents. And so all the countries of the world agreed when they signed the Convention on the Rights of the Child in 1989. Only the United States has not signed this international treaty.
Governments are the ones who have to ensure that the opinion of children is expressed freely. Likewise, this opinion must be listened to and taken into account in all proceedings in which they are involved, according to their age and degree of maturity.
For example, in processes such as divorcing parents or applying for a school penalty for some bad behavior, the little ones should express their opinion freely and their arguments should be heard.
Children expressing their opinions
Listening to and considering children’s opinions is not only about respecting their rights as citizens. Also it is related to the development of other values fundamental to their emotional and social well-being.
However, parents, who love our children the most, are not always willing to listen to them. How contradictory! From a position of authority, we give instructions and guidance, but we do not allow them to express their opinion freely, much less take their views into account.
However, when children are listened to by family and those closest to them, contributes decisively to their development and happinessas this demonstrates article published in next zone. A free opinion brings multiple benefits both for oneself and for relationships with one’s environment.
Taking children’s opinion into consideration increases their self-esteem
Children’s opinions in decisions that are made in the family environment, however small these decisions may be, makes them feel happy and taken into consideration.
They learn to make decisions
Children who have opinions can make decisions. They learn to appreciate the effort involved in making those decisions. By asking for their opinion, children become involved and take more responsibility for the results of those decisions.
Mutual respect is strengthened
To the extent that parents solicit and listen to their children’s opinions, they respect their children. That respect is also returned to the father figure.
The bond strengthens
The child who feels heard learns that he can count on his parents. And this is proved by this work done by CINDE professionals (International Center for Education and Human Development Foundation). In the face of any circumstance, even a negative one, you will be able to express what you feel and think. The child trusts that he will be taken into consideration.
Learn to express your emotions
Only the child can say how he feels in a given situation. By identifying the emotions that are overwhelming you, it’s easier to learn how to manage and regulate them. Your emotional intelligence is stimulated.
learn to communicate
Every time we open up opportunities for dialogue, we help our children be more assertive in their way of communicating with others. Moreover, their speech and language skills are stimulated.
Your critical sense is stimulated
Children of this 21st century, capable of multitasking and at the same time sensitive, do not blindly obey instructions, ask for explanations and try to understand what is happening. Have opinions about adults, their friends and the situations around them. Children who are listened to to strengthen their ability to observe and evaluate to express their opinion.
The position of parents regarding listening to children’s opinion
There is no doubt: the opinion of the children must be taken into account. Listening to them does not mean that we do their will, even less if their opinion implies wrong behavior or a risk to oneself. It’s about weighing your criteria and giving it the right value.
You need to listen and pay attention to what children are thinking and feeling. Through their arguments we learn about them. Thus, we will know how they think, what they like or are interested in and what strikes or disturbs them.
Furthermore, children have the right to freedom of expression. This right includes the freedom to seek and receive information of any kind and by any means the child decides, as long as the reputation of others or the national security of each country is not violated.
In this sense, parents must guarantee this right and assume responsibility for the improper use that our children make of it. For example, we cannot give them the freedom to use social networks and then not take responsibility if they are the protagonists of cyberbullying.
As for listening to children’s opinion…
In short, when the child is about to comment on something, avoid pretending to listen to him, let alone devalue what he said. Understand their circumstances, their age, and their maturity level. Not only is it a right for him, but you also contribute to his education as a full, loved and happy human being.
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