Children have basic inalienable rights – to be fed, clothed, sheltered, and protected. But along with these physical rights, they have the right to be nurtured emotionally, to have their feelings respected, and to be treated in ways that allow them to develop a sense of self-worth.
Children also have the right to be guided by appropriate parental limits on their behavior, to make mistakes, and to be disciplined without being physically or emotionally abused.
Finally, children have a right to be children. They have a right to spend their early years being playful, spontaneous, and irresponsible.
Naturally, as children grow older, loving parents will nourish their maturity by giving them certain responsibilities and household duties, but never at the expense of childhood.
- Dr. Susan Forward, Toxic Parents: Overcoming their Hurtful Legacy and Reclaiming Your Life (New York: Bantam Books, 1989), 50.