Adultism

Adultism concerns the distribution of power between adults and children.

Adults are responsible for some decisions concerning younger people, since younger people need an attachment figure that protects them and takes care of them.

The situation becomes problematic, when adults e.g. think they know better about the feelings of children. They don’t take the children’s statements and feelings seriously. This can happen very directly ‘oh, nonsense, that’s not hot/cold/painful/…’ or if a related person shall be hugged, but it can happen indirectly, too.

Fears, wishes and needs should be taken as seriously as any other person’s. It is also important to honestly communicate your own thoughts and emotions (while not burdening the children with too much). To find a balance in this, it has to be trained and negotiated, factoring both party’s capacities in (i.e. oversensitivity).

To not take children seriously; to not confide on a shared emotional level means to take away safety and trust. Children feel more insecure, anxious and behave more distrustful towards themselves, other people and their sourroundings.

Somethimes people have expactions or claim a specific behaviour that seem to be obviously. But what seems to be obvious must not be obvious for others, too. That’s why it is important to explain why you have a specific expactation. So we can treat others as equal as possible and have transparent, non-hierachy (less authoritarian) communication with others and we will feel taken seriously.

We want to cultivate mutual respect and understaning, without putting our own opinions over those of others; no matter if it’s and adult or a child, older or younger people.