Manipulated children?

7) Is it not the case that children's movements are manipulated by adults?

Sure, that can happen sometimes. As in any interpersonal communication between people in unequal structural positions of power, this danger also exists in children's movements.

But there are also trustworthy adults from whom children like to be told something. Furthermore, children and children's movements are legally and financially dependent on adults, e.g. to conclude contracts or open bank accounts. In our experience, however, children very quickly become aware of attempts by adults to manipulate them and ward them off in many different ways.

Indeed, some children's movements were initiated by adults. In our opinion, this is not manipulative, but an expression of social responsibility. This motivates children to act independently in politics and supports them in implementing it. These initiatives by adults are an expression of the realisation that conventional NGO work often does not perceive and respect children in their reality, their wishes and needs.

One of the declared basic principles of the movements is that children give direction in terms of content and practice, while adults limit themselves to counselling tasks and making certain resources available. Their role is reflected upon again and again - both by the children and by the adults themselves.

Updated: 14.12.2020