Do CHILDREN have a voice at the moment? Genuine question – is there any well known tools being used to capture and assess how kids are coping, their concerns/anxieties, and what THEY think should be happening regarding the COVID response?
I’m not talking about Samaritans/Childline bulletin reports. I’m definitely not talking about Teachers Unions or PTA/Parent surveys.
👧 I’m thinking about a National/Global effort or survey platform (eg SurveyMonkey/Google Forms) that is exclusively for children to voice their experience, concerns and opinions regarding their current situation and future prospects.
Not surveys /petitions filled in by parents. Instead an age-appropriate online survey that is offered to kids (probably via schools), that attempts to get an honest read on things such as:
- ❓How have you found the last 12 months?
- ❓How would you rate life at the moment, from 0-10, and what was it the year before?
- ❓What things have you most missed, and how does that make you feel?
- ❓How are you finding remote learning? Pros/cons.
- ❓Do you feel you are losing out on development (academic/social/mental/physical)?
- ❓If of exam age, thoughts on missing exams for 2 years?
- ❓Do you think the school closures and restrictions make sense and are proportionate?
- ❓Thoughts on masks, lockdowns and social distancing.
- ❓What doesn’t make sense to you right now regarding govt and adult decisions?
- ❓Do you think it’s fair? If not, do you accept that there is no other way?
- ❓Are you feeling lonely?
- ❓What do you think about your increased use of devices?
- ❓Are any of the adult anxieties of COVID impacting you? Do you feel more anxious and worried of your health?
- ❓Do you ever think about life feeling a bit aimless and without purpose/enjoyment? Explain.
As parents, we’ve asked all of these questions to our young girls. We’ve urged them to NOT say what they think we want to hear. Instead, we are asking them to be completely honest an independent in their thinking.
😯 We were surprised in their answers. Their intuition, the darkness that they feel at times, the myriad of things that make no sense to them, and the reassuring balance, perspective and logic they are applying to what “should” be done.
They need to be heard
💬 Kids DESPERATELY need their voices heard.
We need to stop dismissing them because of their age or lack of sophisticated scientific skills. After all, it’s there future too, and they should have some say in how it looks.
❓Is there something we can use and share widely that I’m unaware of? Or do we (us here, collectively) need to create such a Child COVID-Response Coping Survey?
Thanks in advance for your guidance and support.
An Update… there is a Study!
❤️ A parent from the Us For Them group shared this ongoing funded study by Drs and professors from Oxford, UCL, Leicester, Reading and Southampton universities:
The results from this study and ongoing/recurring survey is shared with the NHS, PHE, DofE, DHSC etc.
The idea is that parents fill this in with their children, and there is also a private survey for 11-17 year olds to complete alone.
👌🏼Net-net, this is exactly what I was hoping existed.
As a family, we will go through these questions tomorrow with our two young girls.
🔄 Let’s spread this far and wide – encouraging parents to give their children a voice during what is such an incredibly challenging time for young developing minds.
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