Michael J. Prince, B.A., Psychology
Bill of Rights for Children
- Because it is the most character-building, two-letter word in the English language, children have the right to hear their parents say "No" at least three times a day.
- Children have the right to find out early in their lives that their parents don't exist to make them happy, but to offer them the opportunity to learn the skills they-children-will need to eventually make themselves happy.
- Children have a right to scream all they want over the decisions their parents make, albeit their parents have the right to confine said screaming to certain areas of their homes.
- Children have the right to find out early that their parents care deeply for them but don't give a hoot what their children think about them at any given moment in time.
- Because it is the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, children have the right to hear their parents say "Because I said so" on a regular and frequent basis.
- Because it is the most character-building activity a child can engage in, children have the right to share significantly in the doing of household chores.
- Every child has the right to discover early in life that he isn't the center of the universe (or his family or his parents' lives) that he isn't a big fish in a small pond, that he isn't the Second Coming, and that he's not even-in the total scheme of things-very important at all, no one is, so as to prevent him from becoming an insufferable brat.
- Children have the right to learn to be grateful for what they receive, therefore, they have the right to receive all of what they truly need and very little of what they simply want.
- Children have the right to learn early in their lives that obedience to legitimate authority is not optional, that there are consequences for disobedience, and that said consequences are memorable and, therefore, persuasive.
- Every child has the right to parents who love him/her enough to make sure he/she enjoys all of the above Rights.
(The author of these "Bill of Rights" is John Rosemond, a family psychologist who writes a weekly column which is published in over 200 newspapers. He gives terrific, common sense advice to parents. His web site is www.rosemond.com.)