The importance of listening to children

It is useful to consider how much time is allocated to listening to children’s thoughts, feelings and ideas during the school day and explore whether children feel safe enough to do this. It is beneficial to provide opportunities for children to do this throughout the school year and for their ideas to be acknowledged and responded to in a positive and accepting manner. Some children who frequently say ‘I don’t mind’ may have learnt this as a way of dealing with being let down and disappointed. They may pretend they don’t mind as they have learnt ‘there is no point saying what I want because I won’t get it. It’s easier to pretend I don’t mind then I don’t have to feel disappointed or upset.’ These children need regular opportunities to make choices, along with validation that their ideas and feelings matter and are important.

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