I can speak from personal experience that not being listened to as a child can cause many problems in not only life of the child, but in the life of the parent(s) as well. I spent many years never being listened to by my parents. They claimed to be listening while they were showing by their actions that they weren't truly listening. Over and over I heard from the that they made a mistake with me. They told me multiple times that I never knew what was best for me. Somehow knowing what's best for me ended with me living with my grandparents after having spent years hurting myself and getting into constant win-lose arguments with my parents.
After having had to go through that for many years I feel as though children need to be listened to more than they are. Children may not have gone through the same life experiences as adults have, but they understand the situation that they are in more than people give them credit for. Listening to children is a way to show them that they and their opinion matter. Forcing children to live a life in which they are miserable is never fair to the child. What are they learning by being forced to be miserable? More and more children are becoming depressed and suicidal because they feel as though no one is listening to them. It's time that people start realizing that children are a lot smarter than they are given credit for.
Children who were never listened to suffer the same consequences as those who suffered abuse, increasing risk of crime, substance abuse and suicide later in life. When children are never listened to they come to perceive every interaction as win-lose, making them hostile and stressed (For the always lose to the parent). For more info http://acestudy.org/
Children may not be as experienced in life as adults, but a different point of view is always helpful. And often times society obsesses over children and fighting each other about what they think is best for children, without really considering how children would feel. Children should feel inspired, like they are learning and growing, and that they actually matter. But often times it's like they are forced to live in an adult world. Sorry if i am sounding inconsistent, this is just my bitcoin. Children are so curious, often to annoying extremes, but they have so much potential too. So let's try to understand kids more and work with them, instead of forcing them to live this way or that way.
Kids are a valuable part of society. They witness things and bring fresh ideas. They also question our traditions and ideals. Here's some examples:
Kids often are witnesses to crimes, but are usually the last to be asked about them, if they're even asked at all.
Kids question things such as pollution and poverty. "Mummy, why is that man living on the street? Shouldn't we help him?" And parents often walk past the man.
Kids are very creative and have a lot to offer society, if society would listen.
Kids usually see the wonder and importance in things that we often take for granted.
I'm not saying that we have to obey children, but their minds are so different and generally un-tainted compared to older people's, so I think we could learn a lot from them.