Children are People Too

This week’s Barnado’s report, Breaking the Cycle, comes as no surprise to me. I’ve argued before against the demonisation of children and none so heartfelt as when I wrote this post – Our Kids.

Yep, it’s pretty clear that Britain’s adults simply do not like children and there is an increasingly intolerant and negative attitude towards our youngsters.

The Barnado’s Believe in Children campaign is highly commendable and asks us . . . can you believe in troublesome children too?

Some might say that children who are troublesome or engage in anti-social behaviour can be difficult to believe in. Barnardo’s argues that it is these children who need our support. Most children in trouble are trapped in a cycle of disadvantage. Children who start down a path of bad behaviour can be helped to change direction.

•they come from the poorest families and communities
•they have the poorest educational experiences
•they are more likely to suffer ill health and substance abuse.

We really ought to take a good look at the appalling behaviour of many adults before we rush to judge and condemn our youngsters. How can it be helpful to use hostile and hateful language and make sweeping accusations of unruliness against our children? What does it do for their self-esteem and what kind of example is it setting for them? This public intolerance of youngsters is almost as hypocritical as it is unreasonable and it will simply make our kids feel even more estranged.

Most kids are not bad but if we tell them how bad they are for long enough and refuse to believe in them, how can we ever expect them to believe in themselves?


4 responses to this post.

  1. Well said EP – one of the big reasons I moved to Spain was the family unfriendly approach in Britain.


  2. Thanks Zeddie. Yes, we are still way behind our Euro-cousins in child-friendliness. If I had to choose (with my limited travel knowledge), I’d say Italy is the most family-friendly.


  3. Yeah, but they’re all crooks in Italy, just look at Berlusconi


  4. As we say in Spain, Zhisou, God rears them and they get together = Dios los cría y ellos se juntan. Crooks, I mean.


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