Kids' Rights


It is hard work for parents to provide children with the basics—food, shelter, and clothing. Of course, we often do much more than that, because we know that childhood is not simply about survival. Childhood is also about development. We want our children to thrive.

Children need the right environment to thrive. The way we parent plays a big part in our children’s environments. I did a series of articles on parenting styles that covers what parents can do to make nourishing environments. Today I want to look at this from a different perspective: What kind of environment are children entitled to be raised in?

We brought children into a world that they can’t navigate by themselves. They are dependent on us. What do we owe them until they are ready for independence?

It is my position that children have the inherent right to be parented well. Yes, the right. Good parenting is not a “should be” or a “nice to have” for children. They deserve the chance to flourish, to meet the world as their best and fullest grown selves. To set them up for any less would be to cheat them of their humanity.

I propose the following list as natural rights to be conferred upon each child to fully enable them to live to their potential, to ensure they have a childhood that is childlike, and to preserve their dignity:

Figure 1. Kids’ Rights

Figure 1. Kids’ Rights

The descriptions of the rights are written from the child’s perspective. This is because this list is meant to be shared with children, so that they can truly take ownership of their own development. This list is meant to spark lively and interesting family discussions.

Of course, with rights come responsibilities. If children are old enough to understand these rights, then they are old enough to understand that they have the responsibility to extend the same rights to others. That should add yet another dimension of lively discussion.

Are you brave enough to post these rights in your own home?

How to Cite this Article: Brian Vondruska, “Kids’ Rights”, The Kind of Parent You Are, accessed [date],