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At the very core of everything we teach children in abuse prevention, is that kids have certain basic rights as human beings. Though respectful to and dependant upon adults, children have the right to demand certain treatment from those around them, including grown-ups. Kids should be taught from a very young age what those rights are, and these concepts should be reinforced in everyday life.

The Right to Your Body

Teach children that they have the right to their body. As an individual being, their body is theirs. It belongs to them, it effects them, it is part of who they are as a person. They have the right to use their body in ways that are good to them, and have their desires for what they like and don’t like respected by adults.

The Right to Feel Good and Not Hurt

Every child has the right to tell an adult to stop if they are hurting them. It is also the role of all adults to protect children and keep them from harm. If an adult is hurting a child they are doing something wrong. There is one exception to this rule. On occasion, an adult may have to do something that hurts in order to keep a child healthy or make them better. It hurts to get shots, but shots keep us from getting sick with things that would hurt a lot more. It may hurt to get a splinter out or put medicine on a wound, but these things keep you from getting an infection. Bu in all such cases, it’s never a secret, and it’s always OK to ask questions about what they are doing.

The Right to Be Taken Care Of

Every child has the right to be taken care of in a proper manner and have their needs met by loving adults who look after them and keep them safe. Children do not take care of adults. Adults take care of children. As such, an adult should never ask a child to do something to meet the adults needs. Children are not obligated to do what an adult likes if it means hurting themselves.

The Right to Be Loves

Every child has the right to be loved. Love means those around us care about us and respect our feelings, and they do all they can to make us happy. But this doesn’t mean we always get our way. Loving children sometimes means disciplining them and saying no. We punish you because we love you, and want you to know right from wrong.

The Right to Speak Up for Yourself

Children have a right to express their needs and desires. They not only have the right but also the duty to tell others how they feel, especially if something is hurting them. Explain that nobody knows their feelings except them, and others may not know that what they are doing is making you uncomfortable, so it’s your job to tell them. Kids also have the right to ask questions and expect explanations for anything an adult wants them to.

If anyone violates these rights, children have the duty to protest. Reinforce these concepts in everything you do; in your discipline, guidance, and everyday interactions with your kids

Books & Resources to teach kids their rights:

My Book of Rights  A printable PDF book

Coloring sheets

Right to My Body

Right to Speak

Right to be Cared For

A Right to be Loved

A Right to Happines

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