Living With Children by John Rosemond
"Living With Children" by John Rosemond
July 2023 Issue
In 1993, President Clinton signed the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, an international treaty that extends to children the rights to associate with whom they please and have access to all forms of media, among other head-scratchers. Thankfully, as of March, 2023, the U.S. Senate has not ratified this nefarious document.
I subsequently channeled my indignation into a counter-document titled “Rosemond’s Bill of Rights for Children.” Recently, numerous folks have requested that I reprint the “Bill of Rights.”
So, in tribute to civilized behavior, I give you the short list of a child’s rights:
Article One: Because it is the most character-building word in the English language, children have the right to hear their parents say “No” at least three times a day, every day.
Article Two: 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 will need to eventually make themselves happy.
Article Three: 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 designated “Go Scream All You Want” places in their homes.
Article Four: Children have the right to find out early that their parents care deeply for them but don’t give a hoot what said children think about them at any given moment in time.
Article Five: 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. (This Article goes hand-in-hand with Article 1.)
Article Six: Because it is foremost a character-building activity, children have the right to share significantly in household chores.
Article Seven: Every child has the right to discover early in life that he/she isn’t the center of the universe, that he/she isn’t the Second Coming, and that he/she isn’t even—in the overall scheme of things, and in strictly earthly terms—very important at all (no one is) so as to prevent him/her from becoming an insufferable brat. (Homework Exercise: Name three adults who continue to be insufferable brats.)
Article Eight: 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 little of what they simply want.
Article Nine: Children have the right to learn early in their lives that obedience to legitimate authority is not optional, that there will be consequences for disobedience, and that said consequences will be memorable and therefore persuasive.
Article Ten: Every child has the right to parents who love him/her enough to make sure he/she enjoys all of the above rights.
And everyone still possessing common sense said, “Amen!”
John Rosemond is an American columnist, public speaker, family psychologist and author on parenting. His weekly parenting column is syndicated in approximately 225 newspapers, and he has authored 15 books on the subject. His ideas revolve around the ideas of authority for the parents and discipline for children. For more information, visit www.johnrosemond.com and www.parentguru.com.