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2.3 – Children’s rights – feedback

Take a look at some possible answers you could have given for the previous activity:

What children might wantWhat others said
1. To have designer trainers We all want to give our children the best of everything we can afford, but having designer trainers is not an essential right (although your child may see it as one). If you do decide that your child/ren can have designer trainers, you could use this as an incentive for improving your child’s behaviour. For example, clean your room each week and you can earn pocket money towards new trainers. This also teaches them about financial responsibility.
2. To go to the cinema Depending on their age and how safe it is, try to make it a treat that they earn. This can form part of a family contract or incentive for older children. Your decision should be based on how old the child is and which friends they are going with. Set agreed boundaries with them, like what time they must be in (find out which film they want to see) and how they will get to and from the cinema. Follow through on your agreements. This will let your child know they can trust you and that you will keep your end of the bargain.
3. To have friends Yes, it is right that your children form their own friendships. Try to get to know their friends, be supportive and not judgmental when they have problems with their friends. Help them to come to their own conclusions with your help and advice. Peer pressure will become more of an issue as they get older so keep talking with them about issues they may face. It is right that your children form their own friendships. As our children grow part of their development is to form independent relationships with others. Try not to be too judgmental about their choices, get to know their friends and while you may not always like their choice of friends they are more likely to listen to your advice if they think you aren’t always going to criticise.
4. To stay over at friends’ houses If you know and trust the family they want to stay with and you know your child will be safe and looked after, reach an agreement with them about when they can stay over. If you don’t know the family, give them a call, and arrange to pop over to meet them. If you feel your child is too young or you aren’t comfortable with the family whose house they want to stay over at, explain this honestly to your child, perhaps you can compromise and let this friend stay over with your child at your house.
5. To have privacy We all value our privacy. If we want our children to respect our privacy we must give it to them too. If you have a specific worry you may want to search their room, but you'll have to weigh up the risk of invading their privacy. Your children will go through stages where their privacy is really important to them; this may happen when puberty hits. Try to remember how you felt when your privacy was violated by your parent – how did this make you feel?

Well done… As we have found, there are some questions and answers here about what is a child’s right and what is a privilege (depending on your family's values).

Next: 2.4 – Do parents have rights?Back: 2.2 – Children’s rights questions

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