1. The right to be treated as important human beings, with unique
feelings, ideas and desires and not as a source of argument between parents.
2. The right to a sense of security and belonging derived from a loving and
nurturing environment which shelters them from harm.
3. The right to a continuing relationship with both parents and the freedom
to receive love from and express love for both.
4. The right to "listening" parents.
5. The right to express love and affection for each parent without having to
stifle that love because of fear of disapproval by the other parent.
6. The right to grow and flourish in an atmosphere free of exploitation,
abuse and neglect.
7. The right to know that their parents' decision to divorce is not their
responsibility and that they will still be able to live with each parent.
8. The right to continuing care and guidance from both parents where they
can be educated in mind, nourished in spirit, and developed in body, in an
environment of unconditional love.
9. The right to honest answers to questions about changing family
10. The right to know and appreciate what is good in each parent without one
parent degrading the other.
11. The right to have a relaxed, secure relationship with both parents
without being placed in a position to manipulate one parent against the
12. The right to have one parent not undermine time with the other parent by
suggesting tempting alternatives or by threatening to withhold activities
with the other parents as a punishment for the children's wrongdoing.
13. The right to be able to experience regular and consistent parental
contact and the right to know the reason for not having regular contact.
14. The right to be a kid and to be insulated from the conflict and problems
15. The right to be taught, according to their developmental levels, to
understand values, to assume responsibility for their actions, and to cope
with the just consequences of their choices.
16. The right to be able to participate in their own destiny.
Ratify these rights for your children and you will give them better
protection than any law could ever provide.
From Putting Kids First: Walking Away From a Marriage Without Walking Over the
Kids by Michael Oddenino, attorney for the Children's Rights Council