Drawchange is always seeking to empower children through all forms-not just art therapy-based programming. Part of creating an uplifting and fulfilling atmosphere is our conscious use of language throughout our programs. When we refer to the youth in our programs we do not call them “kids” or “kid”, instead we intentionally use the words “children” and “child”.
Often, the term “kid” is used interchangeably with “child”. At drawchange we avoid saying “kid” because we see it as belittling to the youth we serve. Kid is defined in Webster’s Dictionary as “a generalized reference to one especially younger or less experienced” or “a young goat.” By referring to children as “kids”, we can make them feel “lesser” without realizing it. The idea of being “less experienced” has potential for a child to feel as though they are unimportant, something we don’t believe to be true.
Using the terms “children” and “child” is a practice that ensures those we serve feel honored and know they have voices we hear and value. We present ourselves to the children as peers (not teachers) and in turn they feel comfortable and respected. This use of language is a powerful way to engage young minds and create programming that values respect and inclusivity for everyone involved with our organization. We share this idea with all participants to redirect views around language throughout the community and challenge others to start saying “children” and not “kids.” Are you up for the challenge?!