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Children's Bill Of Rights


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All children shall enjoy the following inalienable rights:

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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 relationships.

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 other.

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 of parents.

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
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Child Abuse

What to Say

If a child even hints in a vague way that sexual abuse has occurred, encourage him or her to talk freely. Don't make judgmental comments. Show that you understand and take seriously what the child is saying. Child and adolescent psychiatrists have found that children who are listened to and understood fare much better than those who are not. The response to the disclosure of sexual abuse is critical to the child's ability to resolve the trauma of sexual abuse. Assure the child that he or she did the right thing in telling. A child who s close to the abuser may feel guilty about revealing the secret. The child may feel frightened if the abuser has threatened to harm the child or other family members as punishment for telling the secret. Tell the child that he or she is not to blame for the sexual abuse. Most children in attempting to make sense out of the abuse will believe that somehow they caused it or may even view it as a form of punishment for imagined or real wrongdoings. Finally, offer the child protection, and promise that you will promptly take steps to see that the abuse stops.


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