Home > Kids > Childhood Development > Building Self-Esteem > A Bill of Rights for Kids
|

A Bill of Rights for Kids

One of the reasons children often fail to stick up for themselves is simply because they're not clear about what they are entitled to expect from other people. It is worth helping school-age children compose a personal bill of rights so they can achieve some sense of clarity about this issue. Children need to decide what they are entitled to, what standards to maintain, and where the line falls between acceptable and unacceptable behavior.

Respect is a key component of assertiveness, but truly assertive behavior is not just about encouraging respectful behavior from others; it's also about demonstrating respect in your dealings with them. One of the benefits of taking the time to think about a personal bill of rights is that it also gives children clear guidelines as to how they can conduct themselves in ways that respect other people's rights, too.

When your child has come up with five to ten principles that he is happy with, take the time to type or write them out neatly. Perhaps you can even frame the document and put it up somewhere he will see it every day. Encourage your child to approach this task in his own way, but if the bill is to function as a useful benchmark for assertive behavior, it should probably include some of the following principles:

    I have a right:
  • To say what I think
  • To express my feelings and wishes
  • To be treated with respect
  • To live my life without being bullied or manipulated
  • To be myself
  • To stick up for my rights
  • To respect the rights of others
  • To use my talents and abilities
  • To choose how I respond to other people

Keep in mind that the process of becoming more assertive and finding the delicate point between confidence and aggression is one that children can take a while to perfect. Sometimes the situations they encounter on the playground can challenge even the most assertive individual. Be on hand to provide extra support and coaching when needed.

|

From How Your Child Thinks Copyright © 2009, FT Press. Used by permission of FT Press, and Pearson Education. All rights reserved.

To order this book go to Amazon.


stay connected

Sign up for our free email newsletters and receive the latest advice and information on all things parenting.

Enter your email address to sign up or manage your account.

Facebook icon Twitter icon Follow Us on Pinterest

editor’s picks

get ready for school!

We’ve got your
shopping list,
lunch menu,
and more.

GO

highlights

Join BIC on our mission to save handwriting and Fight For Your Write! Writing helps kids become better readers, boosts their confidence and sparks their creativity. Visit BICFightForYourWrite.com to sign our petition to save handwriting!

7 Fun Driveway and Sidewalk Games for Kids
Looking for classic outdoor games kids can play in the driveway or on the sidewalk, just like the good ol' days? From hopscotch to bubble-blowing contests, there's something for all ages!

Kindergarten Readiness App Wins Gold
Our Kindergarten Readiness app won the Gold Award of Excellence in the educational category at the 2014 Communicator Awards. This valuable checklist comes with games and activities to help your child practice the essential skills she needs for kindergarten. Download the Kindergarten Readiness app today!

Best Sun Safety Practices for Babies
Follow these sun safety practices for babies to ensure your little one stays safe on the beach and on sunny days all year long.