Adultism 101

Adultism is the structural discrimination faced by children because of their age and social status. Children have less power than adults, and adultism can be seen as similar to sexism, racism, ableism, and homophobia; a power imbalance where one groups’s needs, preferences, and way of thinking (adults) is prioritised over another (children).

<<You can read more about adultism here>>

By the end of this short, interactive workshop, you will be able to recognise how adultism shows up in children’s everyday lives, both in the intimate moments of everyday life (parenting, school) and across wider policy decisions, and how it shapes society. You will understand how the relationship between adults and children can be conceived as a political one, and will have reflected on how adultism may have affected you as a child growing up.

You will leave the workshop feeling inspired to challenge adultism, whether it’s in your home, your classroom, or in wider advocacy work.

How are the workshops run?

There are two different workshops, one for parents and one for educators.

The parent workshop offers a deep dive into what adultism is, how it shows up in children’s lives, and what you as a parent can do to support our children within an adultist society. You will interrogate the power dynamics in your home, look at how children are spoken about, and imagine what a world without adultism could look like. This is suitable for all parents and caregivers – no background in the subject is necessary!

The workshop for educators still provides space for a deep discussion around adultism, but the reflective discussions focus more strongly on how adultism shows up in the education system (from early years onwards), how adultism might be affecting the children in your class or setting, and what you can do as an educator to move away from adultist practices. This is suitable for early years educators, classroom teachers and assistants, self-directed education setting facilitators, tutors, and those in leadership positions, whether you are a parent or not.

The workshops are structured to offer you a chance to meaningfully connect with other likeminded people, through small group discussions and exercises. Both workshops take place on Zoom*, run for approx. 2.5 hours, and follow the same loose format:

  • Introduction from Eloise
  • What is adultism, and how does it show up in children’s lives. A short, interactive presentation from Eloise with lots of reflection questions, looking at some of the structural aspects of adultism. We’ll also be doing some discussion in smaller breakout groups (this works surprisingly well on Zoom!), and coming back together to discuss as a whole group.
  • Adultism in the education system OR adultism in the home: The second part of the workshop will be focused more closely on either the parent-child relationship or the education system depending on which workshop you book onto. We’ll be doing some more discussion in smaller groups, and again coming back together to discuss as a whole group.
  • Q&A / whole group discussion We will have plenty of time for questions and discussions; it’s normal for lots of questions and reflection to come up after a workshop like this!

Before the workshop starts, you’ll be sent an email with a few specific prompts for you to think about, and a short (simple and easy!) exercise to complete.

A replay will be sent out shortly after the workshop runs, however these workshops are designed to be interactive with smaller group discussion sessions, so unlike some of my other workshops the replay is not a substitute for attending live.

*Live captions are available on Zoom for anyone who needs them.

How do I book?

***IMPORTANT: These workshops run on multiple dates, and we offer workshops for both parents and educators. Please ensure you’re booking onto the right one!***

Adultism 101 costs £30.

Please note that this workshop will be strictly capped at 25 participants to ensure the space for group discussions (though if you prefer to be quieter, that’s OK too!) and spaces may sell out quickly. If your preferred date is sold out and you would like to join a waitlist for future workshops, please email us and we’ll be happy to give you priority booking for the next one.

Once you’ve signed up, you will receive a confirmation email with the Zoom link. Shortly after the workshop has ended, you will receive a final email with a recording of the workshop and some summary notes.

Book onto a parent workshop:

Saturday 30th September 9-11:30am (UK time)

Book onto an educator workshop:

Saturday 7th October, 9-11:30am (UK time)

About Eloise

Eloise Rickman is an author and experienced parent educator, who works with clients around the world through online courses and coaching. Her work focuses on challenging adultism (the structural discrimination children face based on their age and social status), championing rights-based parenting and alternative education, and helping parents and caregivers rethink how they see children. 

Her first book about parenting and home education, Extraordinary Parenting, was published in 2020 by Scribe. Her next book, which focuses on children’s rights and the idea of children’s liberation will be published in Spring 2024.

Eloise is currently studying for an MA in the Sociology of Childhood and Children’s Rights at UCL. She has a degree in Social Anthropology from Cambridge University, where she first became interested in how childhood and family practices shape society. Eloise believes that parenting can be a hopeful and radical act, and that changing the way we treat children has the potential to shape and change society for the better (as well as making the world a better place for children here and now).

She lives in London in a sunny little house full of books with her husband and daughter and their big ginger cat. Their daughter is home educated and has never been to school. When she’s not writing or studying or thinking or talking about all things education and childhood, you can find Eloise reading, cooking, swimming, and making the most of London’s art galleries.