HOW TO PROMOTE CHILD DIGNITY
Updated: Jan 21, 2021
“Dignity does not consist in possessing honors”, says Aristotle, “but in the consciousness that we deserve them”. Everyone has the right to Dignity. And when I say everyone, I mean adults and children alike. In a sense, no one should be deprived of their right to dignity. No wonder the article 1 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union states: “All Human beings are born free and equal in Dignity and Rights.” It goes further to state that, “The dignity of the Human Person must be Respected and Protected.”
This does not only connote that dignity is a possession of all, but also that it needs to be protected and respected. Human dignity needs protection because it can be violated.
Now, talking of violation of human dignity, it is heart-wrenching seeing children becoming the victim of this insidious menace. The global society is failing its children. Millions of children are being abused and exploited in tragic and unspeakable ways and on an unprecedented scale all over the world. We feel the weight of their pain in our heart when we see them especially the so-called underprivileged exposed to horrendous situations that does nothing than sapping their dignity. Our heart goes to them. Can this ever be corrected? Or better yet, how can we promote Child’s Dignity? Well, the answer lies in knowing what exactly the word “Dignity” means.
What is Dignity?
The word “Dignity” is derived from the Latin word “Dignitas” which means, merit or “dingus” which means, worthy. It is closely associated with words like dignitary and dignify. It is defined in the Meriam Webster English Dictionary as (i) the quality or state of being worthy, honored, or esteemed (ii) the quality or state of being worthy of honor and respect.
Hence, it can be said that Dignity is the quality of being honorable, noble, excellent or worthy. Dignity in its appealing sense is referred to as “human dignity”. Human Dignity, in turn, is a sense of self-worth which is defined as a sense of self-respect, physical and psychological integrity and empowerment. Human dignity is inherent to every human being (regardless of the age, whether young or old), inalienable and independent of the state. Hence, dignity is a sense of pride in oneself that a human being has with them.
How to Treat Children with Dignity?
At this juncture, let’s consider two (2) typical ways in which we can dignify children and thereby promote Child’s Dignity.
We dignifying Children by being courteous and kind: We are courteous when we respect their rights, wishes and decision even when their thinking seems illogical at our own standpoint. On the other hand, we demonstrate kindness by affording them freedom of choice and always giving them a listening and attentive ear.
We dignifying Children by being sensitive to their needs: Children are humans and therefore need to be involved in the decision-making process. It is imperative for an adult to respect their individuality; realizing the interdependence of our community and treating them as part of the community. We endeavor as adults to give them privacy and allow them to do what they can.
Do you know of other way to promote Child’s Dignity? Please kindly leave your comments below…