WHY pick toys for your kids not delightful for them? Why force to buy a pink shirt for your teenager if she wants a blue one? Why give a big party for your son's birthday celebration if he is happy to spend it only to his few friends? Why enroll your eldest to engineering course, when he wants tourism? Why would you not agree for your son to marry whom he loves? These are so many why's -- why oh why? Above all else, why have you overlooked that if parents have rights, your children also have rights?
Hey parents -- have you ever cared to know your children's rights? Are you God to say to your children "I have power over your life?" As parents, we are very familiar that our children have the right to be loved and to be cared for but we unfortunately fail to recognize that these are just a part of the several needs of our children. We try so hard to sustain their immediate needs like the foods, clothing's and shelter, we feel that we are the supreme because they are all dependent on us -- but have it crossed our minds that we don't own the lives of our children and they have the ultimate right to decide for themselves?
I would like to share with all readers the common, but ignored rights of our children. I hope beginning today, we will all become sensitive that our children have rights and dignity and even though they are vulnerable, it is alright to allow them the freedom that that they deserve.
According to the International Convention on the Rights of the Child in 1989, a child is any human being below the age of 18 years and that they have rights adapted to their age and appropriate to their maturity. Let me tell you the four guiding and general principles that express all of the children's rights which are of course entirely embodying human rights.
Non-discrimination Rights -- Outlawing discrimination is an absolute principle affirmed by all the international standards relating to human rights. It is with no doubt that all children, without exception, should enjoy equal rights. The race, ethnicity, gender, religion, disability, education, capacity and etc. will limit the children in any of their rights such as the rights to basic needs, affection, safety and security. They should be spared from any discrimination, but shall be provided with a non-violent environment as they learn the values necessary to promote peace and justice.
Adherence to the best interest of the child -- These are the rights of the children that in any circumstances or decision making, the child's best interest should be taken as a primary consideration and never as irrelevant and unimportant. It is by responding to justice in any circumstances where there is an undeniable negative impact to a child. Ensuring holistic development of children should be the main concern.
Rights to Survival and development -- These are the children's access to their basic needs such as food and shelter. As parents, we can meet our children's need by providing them loving, safe and secured homes and nutritious food to be physically and mentally fit. Moreover, every child has the right to rest and leisure. The quality and quantity of family bonding are an important element in a child's growth and development. Also, they should be taken as one of the priorities in the development of public health programs which would fundamentally cater their health needs, especially those from the oppressed sectors.
Rights to express opinions -- These are the children's rights to express what they think and the central need to be heard. Do not scold them when they have opinions to share, accept that their ideas can differ from yours. Respond with appreciation to your children's suggestions, empathize with his feelings and never forget to laugh together as it nurtures parent and child relationship. Although the problem in children's violation of rights is rampant and complex -- I still believe it can end. Prevention is highly possible if the desire to stop begins with the individuals, families and the communities. Remember that a healthy childhood is the key to a life with less violence and injustice and if we start upholding the rights of the children, they will also grow respecting the dignity of other people. It is never too late to dream of a world with people at peace -- no killings, no threats, no oppressions and no political manipulations. We can live a life in this world like we are in heaven if we begin to heal ourselves, heal our children and heal everyone. In this way, we can heal the world and make it a better place! We can fly like angels in heaven!
I'd like to end this with a quotation from Mr. Nelson Madela, former President of South Africa -- "There can be no keener revelation of a society's soul than the way in which it treats its children."
Have a nice day to all!