Ten Habits that infringe on rights of children and how to change them (1 Viewer)

  • Welcome to the Roundtable! If you have an account already, please sign in, otherwise feel free to register. Note that you will be unable to post or access some boards and information unless you sign in.

Golmona

Retired Moderator
Aug 2, 2016
135
395
Amsterdam
This is a great article that touches on some habits we may have taken on without giving it much thought but in reality they impede the rights of our children.

As the author rightfully points out, "a fairer world begins in the home".

Although some of these things resonate more than others, I can definitely see the point with all of them. What do you think?

Quote
1 – Taking things off children. We do it in the name of safety sometimes; snatch scissors from a toddler or a phone from a baby. Sometimes we just do it absentmindedly- we want something they have, so we just take it. This act is discriminatory – excluding children from using something that they would like to.

What to do instead: Even with the very smallest child we can ask for something back, and explain why we would like it. If we are patient, and allow them to fully process the request (for young children this can take longer than you think!) with our hand out, it is highly likely that they will return it. We can explain things to children just as we do other adults.

We can also question our motivation for taking it – is it really unsafe for a toddler to use sharp things? I don’t believe so. At all. Juno has been picking up knives with our supervision since she could first handle any items. She has learnt to use sharp things very carefully as a result. Being committed to child rights means questioning a lot of assumptions we have about our children’s abilities!

2 – Talking about children in front of them. “Ah, yeah Ramona, woke up so early this morning!” – it is such a seemingly harmless conversation to have, sharing stories about our children while they are there. But would we EVER do this to an adult? Can you even imagine it? Being in a room with a friend, discussing the toilet habits / sleeping problems/ hilarious anecdote about another friend sitting next to you? It doesn’t protect dignity and privacy and you can stop it!

What to do instead: Weigh up the reasons for sharing that anecdote. If you need advice or support, consider sharing it in private, away from your children. But you can also ask your child, if they are there, if they mind you sharing a story. Or, you can include your child in it “Oh, Ramona, you woke up early this morning didn’t you – were you super keen to get up?” – involve them in the conversation as we would an adult. This goes even for the tiniest baby. Defend your newborns dignity and it will be a parental habit formed for their whole life.

3 – Laughing at children. Children can be hilarious, sometimes in a purposeful way – laugh right along to their jokes. But they are also funny sometimes in an intriguing, surprising way – and I’d you to consider not laughing at children. Sometimes, adults find it hard not to smirk, to catch each others eyes and laugh at our children as they go about their lives. Just yesterday Ramona said “Don’t laugh at me, mum!” when I had giggled at something in a kind hearted way. It pulled me up short – even our loving chuckles as they fumble a word infringe on their personhood. I love laughter and joyfulness – it has to be up to you to discern whether your laughter fits with the idea of your child as a rights bearer.

What to do instead: Consider things from their point of view . It is tough not being able to reach things you need, learning all the unwritten rules of society, figuring out who you are. The very last thing they need is “kind hearted” adults giggling along. Dwell on this and it should help you hold it together when you want to snort-in-love.

4 – Picking babies up We get rights all mixed up on this one – we think it is our right to pick up our baby. Well, erm, your baby isn’t really, exactly, yours, you see. You don’t own her. She is not a possession. She is a person. With her own body.

Or we think we are helping when we pick up another child when they’ve fallen or a baby when they are crying. Would you like a stranger to come up to you and pick you up? Nope. It’s the same. It is.

What to do instead: The alternative isn’t not picking babies up. Babies love to be in arms, it is one of the biggest ways babies and adults connect. PICK UP BABIES! But, do what you would like to be done to you: ASK THEM! Yep, even a newborn. If babies are spoken to this way they soon respond. The “I’m going to pick you up now” spoken to a baby soon becomes “Can I give you a cuddle?” to a young child. This practice of consent from birth could change the world.

5 – Wiping children’s noses Sometimes we do things to kids in the name of health and hygiene. Sweeping in to wipe their nose for example – I used to pride myself on a swipe that came from behind Ramona’s head, cleared all snot that wouldn’t interfere with her play time. Yep: stepping all over her right to influence decisions that affect her.

What to do instead: Say “I see you have a wet nose, can I wipe it for you, or would you like to wipe it yourself? and then wait. It was Pennie Brownlee that opened my eyes to the possibility that most children, if given the option to not have a huge slimeball of snot dripping into their mouth would take it! Same goes with dirty nappies- in a respectful relationship, giving the child the option to come and get their nose wiped or their nappy changed, and given time to process it, is likely to result in them coming over for a wipe/ change themselves.

6 – Deciding things without their input “Right! We are off! Let’s go, COME ON!” The amount of times I have seen parents suddenly decide it is time to leave the park and expect their children with no warning to come right along happily! We plan our days, our holidays, our visits, our lunches, our leaving times, every thing with very little input from our children because we think we know best. And it is a complete flouting of their human right to have a say in things that impact them.

What to do instead: Give them an opportunity to influence plans. This grows with the child; they are VERY good at letting people know when they are ready to have a say! It might start with a two year old choosing what friends to have a playdate with, and then can grow into a four year old helping the family decide where to go on holiday. Contrary to what people may think, having children as fully fledged decision makers is not a burden – it is a great joy, and it leads to a far, far more harmonious family life.

7 – Photographing (and sharing) them without permission This one that really challenges me, and I have been on quite a journey with it. (In fact, you can see that my Instagram pictures are far less frequent as I try and do this 100% consensually. When we are snap happy and post these photos publically we are in danger of disregarding children’s right to privacy. And don’t get me started on when we use those photos to publically shame our children… *ragey face*

What to do instead I do have a couple of friends who have sworn never to post anything about their children online ever…. I, erm, am clearly not there! I simply ask their permission to take a photo, and then ask them if I can share it online.

8 – Putting children in Time Out Yeah baby I’m calling it! Time Out is a Human Right’s Abuse! Putting a child on a step and not letting them move does not allow our children to experience the right to be a full participant of the community, it erodes their dignity and suppresses their right to have a say in things that are important to them. It just shuts things down according to an adult’s, often quite arbitrary, rules.

What to do instead In our family, we generally feel that if a hiccup has occurred, it is because the child needs MORE connection, not less. Not to be excluded from our love, but to be encompassed in it. So we go for something that is highly connecting. Some families however, might have found Time Out to be helpful in cultivating a thinking space. If you like rules and things, you could consider coming up with rules that EVERYONE agrees with, and then coming up with the matching consequence. A family guide book by consensus – whole schools are run on this principle. (Personally, we go for less rules, more connection.)

9 – Telling them to stop crying It is hard to hear our children crying, either because we are sad for them, or triggered by them, or because we think its not worthy of tears. We “Shush” our babies and say “Don’t be silly, cheer up” to our kids. It’s probably not surprising to hear but: every child has the right to cry, to feel things, and to express their feelings as they wish. (Even if it was because their nutella wrap got torn in two.)

What to do instead: The HuffPost recently published a great article about how accepting feelings is the last frontier in parenting. But it doesn’t have to be a huge one to change. Firstly, if we are being triggered, we need to deal with that. And then we need to cultivate the practice of validation. “I hear you.” “You are upset”. “You wanted that.” “It sounds like you are feeling sad.” These words of validation, of letting your child express themselves, becomes second nature when faced with tears.

10 – Telling them what to wear. I would LOVE to have kids that wear cool retro style, ironically sloganned tee shirts with perfect pineaple print shorts. Instead, Ramona and Juno tend to opt for either fourth hand pilled fleecey onesies, bright pink tutus or nothing at all. But, it is more important to me that they know they are in charge of their clothes and their body and things that effect them. Their bodies, their choice, right?

What to do instead: Create more time in the mornings for them to choose their own clothes – with support if needed, particularly at the start. And mostly stop having an opinion on what you think they should wear. It is minutiae that doesn’t impact you in the least (as far as I can see) but very much impacts a child’s perception of himself in the world.
Unquote

Read the full article here: http://lulastic.co.uk/activism/10-habits-that-infringe-on-rights-of-children-and-how-to-change-them/
 

Linda

Sweetheart of the Rodeo
Staff member
Global Moderator
Administrator
Board Moderator
Jul 20, 2016
5,982
18,845
Well, the basic concepts are Ok, and I agree with some of the points. However, parents following this advice need to consider their plan carefully. Elements of this topic have popped up my life recently. What parents do now have a direct bearing on how a child will behave in the future. Will they be self-sufficient, aware and respectful of the needs of others, and able to admit their mistakes? These traits can be established in a safe home environment.

Triggered - I've come to really dislike this concept because it is being used to justify a "me" focus, at the expense of anyone else involved. When my daughter was young, I told her that it was Ok to be mad at me, but it was not Ok to take her anger out on me. Her feelings and point of view were valid, as were mine. It is important to be able to express yourself and be heard, and it is just as important to listen to the other people involved.

Failing - This is not discussed in the article, but I believe it is a crucial part of raising a competent and confident child. We all fail; it is part of learning. When a child messes up, then we can ask "What can we do about it?". If a child feels secure about being able to say they have a problem and need help figuring out what to do, then they start to have real power in their lives. Also, life is so much easier when you can admit to a mistake. This idea is especially important as children grow into their teen years.

Taking care of the house - This one was not mentioned either, but I consider it important. It is not Mom's job to take care of everything at home. The whole family lives there and can pitch in and do their part. Children learn the importance of working together as group. They also learn responsibility and awareness of other people in the family.

Time Out - When done with love, this is a reasonable action. A child (and adult for that matter) who has defied all attempts at reason and understanding needs some space to decompress and center themselves. I observe parents who cajole pre-schoolers who are acting out. The end result is that the children think it is Ok to be abusive. I feel sad when I see this.

Dressing - when my daughter was young, we would set out 2 options at night for what to wear the next day. We needed to do this because I was working, and she went to Montessori school during the week.

Scissors and knives - I see lots of unintended consequences with the author's idea. What happens when other children come over and when your child goes to another home? Why not give them kid-friendly scissors so they can play on their own?
 

Lila

Collected Consciousness
Staff member
RT Supporter
Global Moderator
Board Moderator
Jul 28, 2016
4,405
9,414
What I love about Golmona's post is the reminder that we may do so many things with our children automatically, without thinking.. things that could really use a moment of 'do I really want to do that?' or 'do I really want to set that precedent?' And there are lots of examples of where this may (or may not) be happening in our own families.
Really, I think this is about acknowledging moment to moment the sovereignty of our child/ren. The more we can do so, the more we set up our child/ren and our family for love being the watchword in all our interactions<3

Of course, as Linda points out, if love really is to be the watchword, the acknowledgement of the child's sovereignty must be balanced with acknowledgement of the adult's sovereignty. Tricky balance!:nail The whole process can be exhausting for so many reasons. Just as the infractions of children's rights above are common, so is this process of judging each other as parents, thus infringing on their rights as parents and sovereign human beings.

We will each find our own solutions, and I love the concept of involving the kids in decisions as much as possible. I love it because it works:-D Contrary to what many of us have been taught, letting the child have as much choice as is available, within one's comfort zone, leads to increased efficiency... because it addresses an issue right at its inception, rather than letting it fester and create additional layers of messy issues. Again, it is important to honour the parents' comfort zone, as they are the ones holding the bag of responsibility regarding choices the child is too young to make in an informed way.
Am I a fan of stretching that comfort zone? Oh, yes! Just ask my husband, lol:eek: But respectfully, and with compassion... just as with a child:) Done well, a child is taught that their rights are theirs and that others have just as much right as they do... and that comfort zones can be respectfully stretched. Also that parents can make mistakes too!:bag:ROFL: Because we do.

That, to me, looks like a pretty solid foundation for promoting compassion and growtho:)

BTW, I loved the idea of family meetings taken from and put into context in the book "Honey, I Wrecked the Kids!" by Alyson Shafer. I liked this book so much that I bought a bunch of copies to hand out to our book club: humour and compassion that helps you grow as the parent of kids who have a say.
 

Hailstones Melt

Collected Consciousness
Staff member
RT Supporter
Board Moderator
Aug 15, 2016
4,995
13,303
Perth, Western Australia
We, as adults, need to connect to our own inner child. Co-dependency and dysfunctional families are perhaps way more common than the current socialisation allows for. Adults numb themselves with drugs and drink - are they desensitizing the screams of their inner child? I was traumatized by a 60's way of thinking on how to bring children up (standing in a corner for hours facing the wall, no talking back to adults, smacks and whips, months of home detention) but then my generation rebelled against all that and went to the opposite extreme of no boundaries, love allows for everything.... to the detriment of the generations of kids we brought up. What a child may not perceive is the bigger picture that the sun does not revolve around them, and the world is not their personal manservant.

As usual, I come full circle to acknowledge traditional wisdom that extended families or tribes may have the answer: allowing children to see many more facets of relationships and interaction than what a primary care-giver or nuclear family whose parents may have been emotionally damaged in their own journey can elicit for their children.

First, in this western world, we can provide an abundance of answers to material needs. Second, we can provide a surfeit of grounds for creativity. Third, we can take away worries and fear, by providing a flexible but strong emotional response. Our challenge, then, with all this providing the backdrop, is to be able to stop enough in our lives to listen and really hear the perspective of our children and teens, and compassion may need to take the shape of discipline.
 
Last edited:

Anaeika

Collected Consciousness
Retired Moderator
Aug 28, 2016
2,333
6,434
A disciplined child is a loved child, where discipline is roughly defined as teaching a child to be well-behaved. They are then able to take these skills to later emotionally regulate themselves and fine-tune their moral compass. I have seen parents who just don't care or are absent and the child is left without a role-model and are left to figure it out on their own or find another to learn from. The hope is that this role model is a positive one, such as a coach or teacher.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Lila and Stargazer

Lila

Collected Consciousness
Staff member
RT Supporter
Global Moderator
Board Moderator
Jul 28, 2016
4,405
9,414
I have seen parents who just don't care or are absent and the child is left without a role-model and are left to figure it out on their own or find another to learn from. The hope is that this role model is a positive one, such as a coach or teacher.
... and, I suppose, if I were a parent without confidence who I didn't believe in myself, then hoping for a positive role model might be/seem the option most likely to succeed. (Funny, never thought about it quite that way before, so thanks for posting it:))

Using something very like the above definition of 'discipline', i.e., aiming for a child who behaves in a way I can imagine leading to their being well loved (at least by someone!), I have come to the conclusion as a parent myself, that I'd much rather be the one disciplining my child than 'whoever may happen along'. After all, by the time someone else sees a 'behaviour issue' it is likely to be a much bigger one than something a parent has the opportunity to address at an early stage. As parents we know our child/ren best and I am pretty sure that I love my kids best (as I'm sure my husband also does:-))). Can I expect that of others? Most times I'd expect much harsher, less accurate discipline that would likely leave my child more scarred; or discipline that left my child without guideposts, flailing about on their own until they bump up against somebody's sore points... ouch!:nail. Only on the relatively rare occasion would I expect something better than I can offer, which I welcome with open arms... meantime, it seems wisest to do this most important of jobs to the best of my ability<3

I love this thread. Thank you, Golmona, for starting it:-D
 

Hailstones Melt

Collected Consciousness
Staff member
RT Supporter
Board Moderator
Aug 15, 2016
4,995
13,303
Perth, Western Australia
Lila, I wish all children could have someone like you for a parent! Just yesterday I met a young woman (17 years old) who was visiting my home to see my daughter. She is obese and diabetic, and on 6 types of anti-depressants and has suicidal tendencies. She has never visited an acquaintance's home before, except that of her best friend (a gay male, also 17). She has slash scars on her arms and wrists. I talked to them for quite a while, and she opened up to me and said that her dad, a mechanic, had recently asked her why she didn't just kill herself.

She is obviously dealing with some major karmic challenges. I explained how my daughter is coming through long term severe anxiety (although mine does not suffer depression that much) without medication for it - no thanks to the medical profession who really tried to shove that down her throat. But my daughter's battle involves me every day making some sort of major effort. However, my own daughter was very wanted, and you get what you get and you work with it. The rewards for that, by the way, are showing themselves more and more every day.

Not everybody, perhaps, has the wherewithal to prioritise the needs of one child (in my case I only have one to deal with). But it is unpardonable for a parent to mock or deliberately try to worsen the situation of a vulnerable, suicidal teenager.

This seems to be a golden opportunity for my own growth - to observe but not interfere, to exercise compassion but not judgement. The thing to avoid here seems to be righteous indignation. Although I cannot pardon, I can feel for both sides in the situation. Perhaps my daughter, me and our home are a lifeline that has been thrown to this girl - we shall see.
 
Last edited:

Anaeika

Collected Consciousness
Retired Moderator
Aug 28, 2016
2,333
6,434
Lila, I wish all children could have someone like you for a parent! Just yesterday I met a young woman (17 years old) who was visiting my home to see my daughter. She is obese and diabetic, and on 6 types of anti-depressants and has suicidal tendencies. She has never visited an acquaintance's home before, except that of her best friend (a gay male, also 17). She has slash scars on her arms and wrists. I talked to them for quite a while, and she opened up to me as said that her dad, a mechanic, had recently asked her why she didn't just kill herself.

She is obviously dealing with some major karmic challenges. I explained how my daughter is coming through long term severe anxiety (although mine does not suffer depression that much) without medication for it - no thanks to the medical profession who really tried to shove that down her throat. But my daughter's battle involves me every day making some sort of major effort. However, my own daughter was very wanted, and you get what you get and you work with it. The rewards for that, by the way, are showing themselves more and more every day.

Not everybody, perhaps, has the wherewithal to prioritise the needs of one child (in my case I only have one to deal with). But it is unpardonable for a parent to mock or deliberately try to worsen the situation of a vulnerable, suicidal teenager.

This seems to be a golden opportunity for my own growth - to observe but not interfere, to exercise compassion but not judgement. The thing to avoid here seems to be righteous indignation. Although I cannot pardon, I can feel for both sides in the situation. Perhaps my daughter, me and our home are a lifeline that has been thrown to this girl - we shall see.
Sending that sweet 17 year old loving energy and enveloping her in white light. She could use some tools to transmute the negativity in her life. Glad she is spending time in your auric field. Perhaps you get to be her teacher for awhile. It's important to place boundaries for her borderline personality tendencies to help her emotionally regulate and also to protect you.
 

Hailstones Melt

Collected Consciousness
Staff member
RT Supporter
Board Moderator
Aug 15, 2016
4,995
13,303
Perth, Western Australia
Sending that sweet 17 year old loving energy and enveloping her in white light. She could use some tools to transmute the negativity in her life. Glad she is spending time in your auric field. Perhaps you get to be her teacher for awhile. It's important to place boundaries for her borderline personality tendencies to help her emotionally regulate and also to protect you.
Funny you should mention that about boundaries, Anaeika. Setting boundaries and keeping them would be one of my own major life issues. Not paying attention to them has caused the most drama in my life. I really thank you for the love you send, and I will try to be mindful as I deal with what is a toxic situation.
 

Lila

Collected Consciousness
Staff member
RT Supporter
Global Moderator
Board Moderator
Jul 28, 2016
4,405
9,414
This seems to be a golden opportunity for my own growth - to observe but not interfere, to exercise compassion but not judgement. The thing to avoid here seems to be righteous indignation. Although I cannot pardon, I can feel for both sides in the situation. Perhaps my daughter, me and our home are a lifeline that has been thrown to this girl - we shall see.
Funny you should mention that about boundaries, Anaeika. Setting boundaries and keeping them would be one of my own major life issues. Not paying attention to them has caused the most drama in my life. I really thank you for the love you send, and I will try to be mindful as I deal with what is a toxic situation.
Oh, boy, the universe loves a good irony! And the ones to do with 'our' children (biologic and 'borrowed') are the most loved ones:-D
Awareness of one's strong and weak points is where it all starts. Looks like you are well on your way, @Hailstones Melto:)
Lotsa love to you all<3<3<3... though I am not sure how much you will need it;)
 

Users Who Are Viewing This Thread (Users: 0, Guests: 1)