To make my view of children clear I want to describe an exercise from Marshall Rosenberg: Imagine your child is Gandhi. Remember a situation in which a child did something, which you did not like. And now imagine another person, you respect very much, a highly appreciated personality. This person is now in your house a guest. Imagine this person is doing the same as the child. What do you say to this person which you respect so much? In my case, I imagine Gandhi as our guest.
This exercise showed me that we dehumanize a person in our culture fast if we put it in the category “child”. And as parents, there are some thoughts which make it difficult for us to be parents. For example, there is a belief that we are responsible for the behavior of children. I have to take care of how the child behaves. I see myself as responsible. This is not possible, from my point of view: Nobody can control the behavior of another person.
If I notice how much violence is used towards children, physically or with words, I am suffering. I want to give children a voice so that they can express their needs on the same level as adults. Both counts equivalent. Therefore, I focus my workshops on children and people who work with them. I want to offer them a ground for growing on the same eye level as others. Not: I show you how to do it! I prefer: I will listen to your ideas.