In this pandemic, much has been said about exemplary behavior of children during confinement and there have even been authorities, such as the Community of Madrid, that have awarded the Grand Cross of the Order of May 2 for that “exemplary conduct at the service of society during the pandemic.” And a few days ago, the Minister of Education Isabel Celáa, when asked if the use of masks in the classroom would continue to be necessary next year, stated that “children feel like heroes wearing it”.
A society that does not educate with childhood
As i said Mar Romera in an interview, “Forums in which childhood is dignified there should be many more. I love that sometimes you are not politically correct, you allow yourself between the lines defend the little ones which are not always the most interesting ”.
The great expert advocates “educating with childhood and not for childhood.” And precisely that “with”, that recognizing children as a group with the right to defend their own needs and interests, seems to be absent in the awards and praise for the “exemplary behavior” of children in the pandemic.
Just like your voice doesn’t seem to be heard when, as Alberto Soler told us in an interview, “Many times we say that children are very resilient, and it is true, but we must not abuse that resilience.” That children adapt better to situations does not mean that they do not affect them. And this affectation is what is not being recognized when their good behavior is praised or it is said that they feel like heroes wearing a mask. A statement that, like us, made Alberto Soler very angry on Twitter.
Necessary measures, but that fully affect the development of childhood and adolescence
Because basically with statements like this, with appeals to their good behavior, we stopped talking about the impact that social distancing, the limitation of social life or masks are having on children and adolescents. As necessary as these measures are, we cannot ignore the impact they have on children. And we have talked about him, for example, with Pepa Horno, who in an interview was concerned about three age groups: early childhood, adolescence and the elderly.
As for early childhood, he pointed out that children from 0 to 6 suffer “the real risk of damage to their motor-sensory development due to the lack of movement and physical contact. And the sensory motor development we know that it is the basis of developmentTherefore, the consequences in the development of these children of the lack of stimulation, movement and physical contact are nowadays impossible to measure ”.
Regarding adolescence, Pepa Horno explains that “boys and girls have lost the two conditions that are necessary in this age group: socialization, especially in a group and including the first affective-sexual relationships and the autonomous management of their leisure ”.
More empathy please
In this space, to solve problems or conflicts at home with our children (and not for our children) we always recommend first empathize with children and then seek solutions together. It does not seem unreasonable to claim this empathy and this willingness to solve a problem in collaboration with the affected group. And it is precisely what we miss the most in the management of this pandemic: that the voice of children and adolescents is heard and their needs recognized, instead of simply praising their supposed heroism.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.