Children and Voice

by Rod Smith

Teaching and encouraging children to speak up and to speak out and to voice their likes, dislikes and opinions, and to do so from a young age, will make a remarkable difference to a young life. Please, let the days when children were “seen and not heard” be gone.

Of course, if it is you, the parents who are encouraging a child to speak up, the child will also do so with you. This is something you want. It may not always feel comfortable or convenient but you are teaching an amazing and wonderful life skill to be used for the long haul. Learning to speak up and to speak out, to “self-advocate,” is a good thing for many reasons.

If your child can speak up to you, resist you, discuss matters with you, debate with you, he or she will be able to do so with anyone and will go through life unintimidated. Surely, you, the parents, want this? Helping a child find his or her voice – the ability to articulate wants, thoughts, what he or she sees, feels, and what he or she doesn’t want, think, sees, or feels is at least as important as being able to read, write and count.

It’s a gift of pure gold.

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