“I have the right to ask questions and get honest answers.”
This is the perfect antidote to fundamentalist parenting. Along with,
“I have the right to think my own thoughts and believe my own beliefs.”
My friend Joy Neal recorded a video with her six year old son, Anders, reciting this list of human rights, adapted into kid language by Joy Berry in her book, Understanding My Human Rights, along with pictures her son drew to represent his rights. Here’s what Joy says,
Having these as part of our family lexicon has been so beneficial. Jesus summed up ethical living when he said, “Do unto others as you’d have them do unto you.” The language of human rights has helped us unpack that command. How do we want to be treated? How then, should we treat others?
I wanted to share our little project to pass along the material to other parents, as well as educators. I think teaching this as a unit in school, starting in early grades, would be a phenomenal way to help shape school culture. Teaching my son about his rights has empowered him to stand up for himself, but it’s also giving him language to identify acts of injustice and to recognize the limits to his freedoms. If he has these rights, then so does everyone else, and he needs to respect them.
Find Joy Neal at www.nineampm.com