What is childism?

What is childism ? The variety of words in the English language is nothing short of mind-boggling. Almost every passing day, we keep hearing some new word or the word. Take for example the word ‘Childism’. How many of us had heard of the word earlier? The answer would be only a handful. So, what exactly is this word all about? Well, according to the Wikipedia page on the topic, “Childism can refer either to advocacy for empowering children as a subjugated group or to prejudice and/or discrimination against children or childlike qualities”. The page also has a mention about the Childism Institute that has been formed at the Rutgers University in Camden, USA recently.

Positive steps that help in empowering kids

Leaving the debate about the meaning of the word aside, let us broadly focus on whether we as adults really make efforts to empower our children and take them seriously. For example, it is vacation time and the entire family sits down on a lazy Sunday afternoon and is discussing about the plans. It is not good to share family tension with kids. Everybody is pitching in with their ideas. Ideas are being brainstormed. While the father has a list of attractions that he wants the family to visit, the mother has another list. However, no one is bothered to ask what the kids in the house want. Does it sound familiar? Do we really bother to ask children about their opinion in such situations? As adults do we care at all about their suggestions? There are a few positive steps that help in empowering kids.

Give them a patient hearing

The first thing of course is listening to them. Yes, as parents it is the least we can do for our kids. Give them a patient hearing. Make sure that you are giving them the time and freedom to express themselves. This will help strengthen the bonding. Similarly, give them some small responsibilities. For example, helping you with gardening or arranging things at home, could go a long way in building their sense of responsibility. Teach them about responsible behaviour. For example, if they have to study at a particular time, they should do stick to the routine on their own, without anyone reminding them about it. Instead of scolding they take a positive approach if they have done something wrong. Tell that it is fine and offer them a solution. Building a positive environment for kids at home goes a long way in building the overall personality of kids.

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