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Opinions of Wednesday, 20 December 2017

Columnist: Esther Botchway

Ghanaians must respect and accept children's views

Children are assumed as special gifts from God—so do they need care and attention for full development without which they would not develop to meet the standards and expectations of society?

One school of thought believes that children of late need beating /canning alongside harsh means as a disciplinary measure of grooming them to meet societal standards.

Another school of thought also believes that Children of late needs guidance alongside respecting their views for easy and better coping to respond to disciplinary actions necessary for meeting societal standards.

Indeed, children's views must be accorded the respect and due acceptance.This is justified by the fact that, children possess some characteristics in common of which some are curiosity, social skills, creativity, confident without being aggressive in whatever they do, mental ability to recover quickly from depression or misfortune and also show empathy ( ability to physically read another person's emotional state).

Every parent or anyone who has ever assumed a parental role can attest to the fact that children aged two (2) to seven (7) learn through dramatic play.

These children learn and imitate whatever they watch and imagine. This is one reason why we / society need to respect and accept the views of children.

Also, respect and acceptance of children's views is a necessary tool in developing the mental stability of our dear children. Imagine shouting at your child early in the morning in preparation for that child for school. The child goes to school and remains silent, unconcerned and isolated. That same child would upon questioning by the teacher, reveal the reason behind his / her mood or emotion.

Poor understanding of this scenario can create miscommunication between the classroom teacher and that parent leading to poor, weak and imbalances in parent-teacher relationship.

There are many instances where children create situations that are worth learning from and it is in this light that we must take the pain and time to accept and respect the views and conduct of children. We must not as parents say that it has already happened to us so it is no difference if the same happens to that child.

Jean Piaget, a popular theorist propounded an assumption that revolves around the intellectual growth and learning process of children. In his second theory, he asserted that "the development of cognitive structures is dependent on proceeding development". This in short means development is based on previous knowledge of this young child.

This same theorist (Jean Piaget), proposed four stages of child development namely the sensorimotor stage( birth to 2 years), the preoperational ( 2-7 years), the concrete operational stage ( 7-11 years ) and the formal operational stage (11 years to adulthood).

In his concrete operational stage, Jean Piaget substantiated the fact that, at their concrete stages, children become able to manipulate mentally the internal representations they began to form at the preoperational stage upon which they now act and modify these representations.

We must as biological and social parents, underscore the need to accept and respect children's views so to groom them for the future. This will go a long way to enhance and improve their creativity levels, make them morally upright and maintain strong ties with their parents.

It is about time we rise to understand and respect the views of children so to make society a better place for them.

It rests on the shoulders of you and me, to continue to understand and respect their views, also rests on the shoulders of you and I, to get back to the drawing board and realise this necessity.

I urge all parents, both social and biological, to begin to accept and respect the views of their children and also to those who have lost touch with this necessity, to value it.

Thank you.

Long Live Africa!!

Long live Ghana!!!

Long Live Children!!!!

Esther Botchway

Jasikan College Of Education