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Our children have a lot to say about their future; we just need to listen

The aspirations, fears and opinions of young Queenslanders have been captured in a new report that’s a must-read for all parents.

What do our children and teens think about the communities in which they live? What worries them? What are their hopes for the future?

About 7,000 children aged 4-18 shared their insights and thoughts on these issues and more through The Growing Up in Queensland project – one of the largest projects of its type undertaken by the Queensland Family and Child Commission.

The project report, This Place I Call Home, summarises the views of young Queenslanders across three key areas: community; hopes and dreams; and the big picture.

According to the report: “Children and young people crave direct human connections”.

They want “adults to pay attention, have respectful conversations and listen to what they have to say about the things that matter to them”.

What do children believe will help them achieve their goals?

  • work experience and volunteering opportunities to learn job skills
  • more entry level jobs
  • flexible work to fit around school and study
  • understanding the career and education pathways we can follow
  • having conversations about careers early and often
  • life skills like budgeting, applying for jobs and how to stay healthy
  • affordable and accessible public transport.

Children recognise the importance of education to their future.

  • 60% said they feel positive or very positive about their future.
    • They believe their future success is influenced by:
      – 90% said ‘my skills, talent and ability’
      – 87% said ‘my education’.

What worries children?

  • bullying and cyberbullying
  • mental health
  • drugs and alcohol
  • the environment
  • climate change.

What advice do children have for the adults in their lives?

  • take the time to listen
  • check in to see if we’re okay
  • you don’t always need to solve the problem for us
  • try to understand the issue from our perspective
  • trust us
  • be open minded and forgiving
  • recognise we need balance, between school and the other things in our lives
  • try not to judge, assume or interrupt
  • if you are changing things ask us what information we need and be ready to answer our questions
  • celebrate small things as well as big things.

There are more insights in the full report and youth snapshot | REPORT | YOUTH SNAPSHOT

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