The following is part of a series of articles on the rights and responsibilities of children and of families. On our site, we’ve published a Children’s Bill Of Rights, with all of the sections in the bill. You can take a look at Children’s Bill of Rights.
Every human being has the right to a reasonable amount of privacy, including children. Parents and others should knock and wait to be invited in before entering a child’s room, once the child is old enough to understand this.
A child should have the right to have his personal possessions considered private, within reasons. (Destructive or harmful objects such as weapons or drugs are not “private” for anyone in a family – everyone would need to know they are in the house.)
Every child has the right to have talks with whomever they need or want to, and to consider those talks to be private. No child should have to tell another about talks (written or spoken) with others. (This, again, is within reason. Dangerous “talks” with strangers on the Internet and elsewhere are not a part of this right. Parents have the senior responsibility and right to keep their children safe.)
“Alone time” is very important, no matter how old you are. We all need some time to ourselves. Often, such “down time” is when we do our best thinking. It may be when we get rest that we urgently need. It may be when we read or study things that we want to know about, and so improve ourselves. It may be the part of the day when we restore our sanity. Regardless of how such time is used, it is essential.
A child in your house is living “under your roof”. And we’ve all heard the speech, right? “So long as you’re living under my roof, so long as I’m paying the bills, you’ll do as I say”. Most parents find themselves with chagrin and horror, uttering this stuff at one time or another to their children. We know it’s nonsense, but we can’t help ourselves. I know that I heard it from my step-fathers. I know that I said it to my children, for which I can only apologize in retrospect.
A child’s room should have a door. That door should be able to be closed. Once the child is old enough to not hurt himself while alone, the door should be allowed to be closed. A closed door is an indication of a desire for privacy. Privacy is more than a right, it really is a necessity, and it should be respected.
Living with others is a dicey business at best. The privacy thing often all too easily gets shoved aside in favour of… Read Entire Article…