Are we nearly there yet?
Any parent on a long car journey will be familiar with the question 'Are we there yet?'. It is asked frequently, and more often than not, it is asked before the car has even driven to the end of the road. It's a reasonable question to ask – the trouble is finding the right answer to give.
If you keep saying 'no' then you increase the frustration children feel and they are left disappointed, but if you say 'yes, nearly there' and the journey just continues then the children feel let down. The real response involves a conversation, a discussion about distance, time, expectation and options for coping with boredom, but who has the energy and time for that?
Good Childhood Conversations
In our Good Childhood Conversations we facilitate real discussion and debate between adults, children and young people in their own communities, encouraging adults to listen to what children and young people have to say and exploring ways of working together. At a recent event in a community troubled with fear and apprehension about young people, the Conversation focused on how adults and young people felt separated from each other.
The agreed solution was to create opportunities for adults and young people to share some of their skills and knowledge. It was thought the young people could share their computer and technological skills and the older people could share their skills and knowledge about cooking and even how to use a washing machine. It needs time and energy, but we find that young people certainly have the energy and many adults are prepared to give them the time.
Our Good Childhood Conversations are all part of our vision and mission to encourage adult society to think and act differently toward children and young people, to be interested in their well-being, to reduce the risks they face and to recognise their contribution and place in our neighbourhoods and communities.
We want a society where all children are valued and cared for, the question is, are we nearly there yet?