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Do adults value the contribution children can make to society fairly?

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Guest Jane

I think it depends on the context, some children have more opportunities to be actively involved in society outside of their families than others.

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Guest Fred Uganda

No I think we always look down on children like they are too small. Yet for me I say children need listening to, they have honesty compared to adults.

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Guest Sara

If children are involved in activism, or have expertise on a subject, should they be allowed to speak at international conferences?

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Guest Chloe
Just now, Guest Sara said:

If children are involved in activism, or have expertise on a subject, should they be allowed to speak at international conferences?

Yes, children should have the right to shape their futures, however I think they would have to be of a certain age to understand the topics up for discussion at an international conference.

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Guest Hazel
Just now, Guest Sara said:

If children are involved in activism, or have expertise on a subject, should they be allowed to speak at international conferences?

 I think they might make more impact than adults.

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Guest Lily

I think children have the potential to transform debates as they might motivate their parents and older family to take action to preserve young people's future

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Guest Peter Uganda

Adults don't value children's thoughts because young people are taken to be young and meant to be guided by the elder. 

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Guest Jake the salmon fisher

I think there are many factors to be considered before this can be answered, a few of thesw factors could be:

Age of adult - younger adults are closer in age to children, could they be more likely to value childrens contribution?

Are they a parent? - could parents be more likely to?

Community/religious perception - religious people may be more or less likely to value children more

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Guest Gary UK

Interesting question. I think it depends, there are so many stories of youths doing incredible things!

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Guest Leanne

Not always but I think this is down to many factors, such as the age of the children and where the children live. As children in different cultures are expected to have more of a contribution to society at different ages for different reasons. But in certain aspects such as debates or conferences, a lot of young children don't have any interest in it or a full understanding. This maybe a reason adults don't take into account what some children want to contribute to society. 

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Guest Zoe

No, I don't think so (in the UK anyway). The current rhetoric towards children who question the views/practices of adults, is "you're too young to understand"/"wait until you get a job and enter the real world" etc. Sometimes very dismissive. Especially with terms like snoflakes being used to instantly put down someone (normally young people) who are normally speaking up about an insensitivity towards others. 

Children can have a refreshing viewpoint but I think it isn't valued enough, especially if it questions the status quo.

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Guest Zoe

I taught as part of a scheme to get disadvantaged secondary school children involved in politics. They were 15-16 years old and engaged in education, but it felt strange telling them about the importance of voting. It would be at least another two years before they would be viewed as able to have a say in how the country is run , and vote in an election. It think that in itself shows that children (young people) aren't valued as much.

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Guest Zoe

I taught politics at a secondary school in a scheme which wanted to get disadvantaged children involved in politics. The children were 15-16 years old and engaged in education. However, it felt weird to be telling them about the importance of voting, when it would be at least two years before they would even be eligible to have a say on how the country is run and vote in the next election. I think that in itself shows that the view of children (young people) are not as valued. 

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Guest Abdul

Yes!! Children are proven to be more creative than adults. They provide different ways of looking at societal issues. 

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Guest Rachel

I think some adults see children as less wise than themselves and therefore may not value their opinions on certain topics

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Guest Lauren

I think it depends who the adult is. A lot of parents, in my opinion (and also from experience), will always value the contribution their child makes to society more compared with children who are not theirs. I also think it depends what profession an adult is in. I felt respected by teachers whilst at school and they were always interested to hear my opinion and encouraged me to contribute in class. However I feel an adult who is in a ‘high powered’ position would definitely not value, or value as much, the contribution a child makes to society. I think such people would usually be more career orientated and perhaps not interested in children/do not have children until later on in their life compared with others. 

Additionally it could also depend on who the child is. For example if they are exceptionally clever/talented and people are aware of this then adults might automatically value the contribution these children make to society more than a child who is in bottom sets at school. I also think a child of a high social class would be taken more seriously than a child of a lower social class, even though there is absolutely no logic in this! 

Finally, it says a lot that the minimum voting age is 18! 

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Guest Ruth

Not as much as they should. At times adults tend to disregard children largely due to their age and lack of experience, so their contribution goes unnoticed. But children bring a unique perspective to table because they are not caught up with the usual way of doing things. They provide a fresh and keen insight and question things that have been taken granted. That's very important in propelling society forward.

 

 

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Guest Elsa

Children have an innocent view of the world. The simple answers they can give could teach adults to think more pragmatically and without bias, make more positive decisions.

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Guest Hannah

Whilst not as experienced in life as grown ups, I think a child's innocence and straight forward way of looking at the world can be valuable. Grown ups are weighed down by what other people think and social norms. We need to think more like children 😀

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Guest Antonio

It’s diffcult to specify the contribution children make to society, but I believe anybody can make a difference to the world

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Guest Hol

Children are the future so I believe children’s opinions should be valued. However, not all adults will consider children’s contribution and opinion because they may believe that children don’t have enough knowledge and experience 

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Guest guestnaz

I think it varies between people. Often adults will dismiss children’s views due to their lack of experience. However, I believe we live in a culture where we understand children can, and should, bring new ideas to society, that we have not previously thought of before, so I believe that we do value children’s contributions and encourage them to express themselves. 

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Guest Questioning

I think we often do one or the other. People either ignore children's views or they take them as expert, but it is rarely in the middle where they are considered fairly. We need more forums for open discussion like this one.

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Guest Claire (Uganda)

Yes, children who become doctors help sociieties in offering health services to the people in such areas.

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