Wednesday 20 April 2011

A Car, a Tank, and a Private Aeroplane

Having just happily revisited childhood in my last post I find a lot of interesting stuff to look at in the latest Assembly Government "Children and Young People's Wellbeing Monitor" (see our story with links here).

I was particularly struck by the supplementary report "Voices of Children and Young People in Wales Study" (direct link here) which presents a series of quotations from children and young people, many of them penetrating.

I hope the writers of the report, who should be congratulated for letting children and young people speak for themselves, will not mind me saying that their line of questions (evidently set in the strange language of "wellbeing") is comprehensively trumped by the more expansive responses they received.

The section on psychological wellbeing (page 48) is not the most interesting in terms of insight into that very issue because the answers to practical, "real" questions about family, friends, money, and so on unsurprisingly yield much more depth.

The section on ambitions for the future is the best, illustrating the decline with age from a clear and lucid goal...

I'd want a car, a tank, and a private aeroplane - 9 yr old boy

... to the reality of uncertainty and cynicism...

I know what I want to be. I know it’s not going to like work out because mostly when you leave school it never works out like you want it to. But like I want to study all the stuff and be like a lawyer and just do something like that. Why wouldn’t that work out? You could do it, but it’s not easy when you leave school. Everyone says when they’re younger "I want to be blah, blah, blah, I will be blah, blah, blah" - 13 yr old girl

She should persevere. She already sounds like my lawyer.

See Hafal's site for young people here.