Learning to Listen
Every child has the right to say what they think in all matters affecting them, and to have their views taken seriously.
Article 12: UN Convention of the rights of the Child, Unicef 1989
Adults are very good at telling children and young people what they need to do or learn. We tend to think we know best. But children and young people are full of ideas. They often notice things which adults miss. They have views and concerns which can help shape the church and the world. Listening to children and young people is important. Often adults make assumptions about and decisions for them without taking into account their thoughts and concerns. We need to learn to listen to what they have to say so that they can be involved in:
- Challenging our assumptions
- Shaping the future
- Decision making
- Bringing about change
- Evaluating impact
Listening to children and young people in this way will help to challenge and shape the future of the church.
Don't assume you know what's best for us without our opinions. You don't. Maybe you know what would be best for you if you were a child, but you're not in our minds now, are you?
16 year old, The Good Childhood Inquiry