The majority of kids believe the world cares about what they have to say.
“Yes because they’re always telling us to speak up and they’re giving us venues to speak at, like rallies and talk shows.”
“No because some adults think they don’t need help from us kids.”
We’ve done a good job of making kids feel heard at home, but how can we have kids feel the world at large cares? Those who do believe the world cares (highest at 67% of kids 6 to 8) cite the following reasons: kids are important to the future; their voices are being heard (thanks to kids in the national spotlight—marching in protests, speaking at rallies, etc.); adults listen and talk to them; and adults love and care about them. The respondents who don’t believe the world cares about what kids have to say (41%) report the reasons: adults ignore them or don’t listen to them, question their abilities, and cite bad things happening to kids around the world. How can we show our children that there are caring people of every race, culture, color, and creed around the world who also care about and want to listen to the voices of children?
Parents and teachers should continue to encourage children to stand up for what they believe in—and help children understand that they have the power, at a small or large level, to make change in the world. “In Highlights magazine, we have a feature called Gallant Kids, where we profile children affecting positive change at a local level,” says Christine French Cully, Editor in Chief of Highlights. “Sometimes these kids are raising money for the homeless, helping to gather donations for members of the military, or forgoing a birthday party to donate money or supplies to the animal shelter. Sharing stories like these can help children view the world as a kinder place and help them understand that even small efforts can make a difference.”