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Kiddie Academy

May 28, 2024

Supporting Children’s Right to Choose

One person in pursuit of excellence raises the standards of everyone around them. And as they strive for greatness, they bring out the greatness in others. Be that one person today.
– Jon Gordon, Author and motivational speaker

An article on the National Library of Medicine website describes two research studies that evaluated children’s reactions to the pandemic in 2020-21.

The article explains, “Both of these studies yielded clear findings: children inherently understood that they had a right to participate and a responsibility to do their part. They expressed the need to wear masks, wash hands and the collective obligation to protect others from getting sick—and they were keenly aware of what was at stake, as they discussed fears of losing a loved ones.”

The studies documented the importance of recognizing children as full members of a global community. The article explained that “this approach directly supports children’s participation rights and acknowledges the ethical importance of listening to children…Children are part of a collective whole…Children have both rights and responsibilities, and they must be encouraged to play an active role in delineating their own responses to societal challenges…we must elevate and advance the art of engaging and listening to all children using approaches that promote their social agency and participation in the world around them.”

One resource that can help early educators support children’s rights and responsibilities as part of a classroom community is the Out of the Box Training, Seeing and Supporting Children’s Right to Choose.

The Training is based on an article by Deb Curtis (author of Really Seeing Children) and Jess Guiney, who write, “Our view of children strongly determines if we support and challenge them or direct and correct them. Adults must believe that children deserve the right to choose and are capable of understanding that with rights come responsibility. If we believe this, then we will use our role to coach children in making good choices…Consider the implications that developing this social responsibility at such an early age has, not only in a preschool environment, but also for the world.”

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