“Children should be allowed to make their own decisions. Agree or disagree?”

That is the question.

Kids at Maono Light recently took part in a community debate  — not for school credit, but for fun.  They set a small table for speakers and judges, and even had a sergeant at arms to maintain “order in the house.” Children arranged themselves into two camps: those who oppose and those who affirm the sentiment that “children should be allowed to make their own decisions.”  What kinds of decisions? Under what circumstances? That’s what they set out to discover.

“It is the responsibility of a parent to take a child to school and not to tell the child to go to school,” Brighton proposed — meaning that a child should be allowed to make the choice whether to go to school or not, but it is the parent’s responsibility to take the child to school if they so decide.

Brighton, back right, delivers his point of view during the debate.

An interesting proposition.  

Kevin offered an opposition: “children should not be allowed to make their own decisions,” he says. “A child is someone under the age of 18, and should therefore go to school. They cannot work and earn a living and government recognizes them as children Edith supported Kevin by saying “children should not be allowed to make their own decisions because our parents and guardians must be respected. One way of doing that is by accepting to be directed in life by them.” 

Edith shares her perspective in the video above

Decision making is a nuanced issue: how important is it, who does it affect, what are the consequences? Ultimately, those who opposed children making their own decisions won, as they had “more compelling” reasons.  The pros outweighed the cons. But Mama Paulyne, who gave a critique of the debate, brought that nuance to the forefront of the conversation:

“Parents and guardians should listen to their children and their desires,  helping them to make the right choices and supporting them in nurturing their talents and pursuing their dreams.”