I thought I would take a moment to highlight the UN Declaration of the Rights of the Child
- All children have the right to what follows, no matter what their race, colour sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, or where they were born or who they were born to.
- You have the special right to grow up and to develop physically and spiritually in a healthy and normal way, free and with dignity.
- You have a right to a name and to be a member of a country.
- You have a right to special care and protection and to good food, housing and medical services.
- You have the right to special care if handicapped in any way.
- You have the right to love and understanding, preferably from parents and family, but from the government where these cannot help.
- You have the right to go to school for free, to play, and to have an equal chance to develop yourself and to learn to be responsible and useful. Your parents have special responsibilities for your education and guidance.
- You have the right always to be among the first to get help.
- You have the right to be protected against cruel acts or exploitation, e.g. you shall not be obliged to do work which hinders your development both physically and mentally. You should not work before a minimum age and never when that would hinder your health, and your moral and physical development.
- You should be taught peace, understanding, tolerance and friendship among all people.
And that is something that concerns us all, I am sure. So what can we do? I think we can keep asking ourselves these questions, based (loosely) upon the 10 rights above:
- How have I thought about and acted upon children's rights in the last week?
- How can I add to the physical and spiritual development of the children I know?
- When did I last listen (really listen) to a child telling me something about themselves?
- What do I do to ensure that children get to live with safety, shelter and good food?
- How can I make a difference to local accessibility?
- When did I last show a child just how much I love them?
- What more can I do to support good play spaces and good schools?
- When do I put children first?
- How do I know that the stuff I buy hasn't been put together by a young child in forced labour?
- When did I last teach peace, understanding, tolerance and friendship?
Lastly, I will leave you with this which I came across many years ago (thanks to Findhorn). It is just the best way of thinking about how to really love a child (and respect their rights), in my opinion...
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