When I'm struggling in my parenting, when I feel as if I'm absolutely spot on the worst parent ever and everyone hates me, I try to reflect on John Rosemund's Children's Bill of Rights. I saw this on a website earlier today and it reminded me of the fact that I used to read his stuff religiously.
Maybe I got cocky in my parenting. Complacent, some might say. Maybe I thought, for a while there, that I was rocking this parenting stuff so hard that I didn't need to get a verbal (readable?) slap upside the head. Regardless, I'm a firm believer in the universe - God, Karma, whatever - sending me what I need to see at the time I need to see it - and it occurred to me that someone, somewhere, might need to see this as well.
Note: It's been a bad couple of weeks for me. I'm barely hanging on by my fingernails. Today, though, I left home to go to NYC for 3 days of team meetings for work and I'm not going to deny that the thought of being alone in a room for a couple of hours, with no dishes or laundry, sounds really appealing. Even if all I do is sleep or stare at the walls. Which, hello, I might very well do both. :)
- Because it is the most character-building, two-letter word in the English language, children have the right to hear their parents say “No” at least three times a day.
- 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.
- 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 areas of their homes.
- Children have the right to find out early that their parents care deeply for them but don’t give a hoot what their children think about them at any given moment in time.
- 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.
- Because it is the most character-building activity a child can engage in, children have the right to share significantly in the doing of household chores.
- Every child has the right to discover early in life that he isn’t the center of the universe (or his family or his parents’ lives), that he isn’t a big fish in a small pond, and that he isn’t the Second Coming, so as to prevent him from becoming an insufferable brat.
- 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 very little of what they simply want.
- Children have the right to learn early in their lives that obedience to legitimate authority is not optional, that there are consequences for disobedience, and that said consequences are memorable and, therefore, persuasive.
- Every child has the right to parents who love him/her enough to make sure he/she enjoys all of the above rights.