“The trouble with the idea of rights is that you can justify almost any postulate about children from the idea of ‘rights’ if you want to.”
– Sarah Fitz-Claridge
“Why not argue for Taking Children Seriously in terms of rights?”
I do mention rights in the everyday sense of the word, but indeed I do generally avoid arguing from rights. The trouble with the idea of rights is that you can justify almost any postulate about children from the idea of ‘rights’ if you want to.
“He has freedom of speech of course but I have the right to decide who says what in my house.”
“She has freedom of association, and I have every right not to give her any of my hard-earned money as long as she continues associating with that ne’er-do-well.”
“Making him do chores is involuntary servitude? What about my right to freedom from involuntary servitude? Who is earning the money around here?”
“Children have a right to be confronted with knowledge.” [That was said by the then Government minister Harriet Harmon, MP, in a meeting with me and others about our objections to the Labour Government’s plan to extend the National Curriculum to home educators. She was adamantly opposed to children being free. She was saying that children have a ‘right’ to be coerced.]
- It’s your house, your income, your everything; and if the kids don’t like it…
- Surely it is not coercive to have a rule that whenever our child goes out, he must first tell us where he is going and for how long? What about being a responsible parent?!
- What if… ?
Sarah Fitz-Claridge, 2022, Taking Children Seriously FAQ: ‘Why not argue for Taking Children Seriously in terms of rights?’ https://takingchildrenseriously.com/why-not-argue-for-taking-children-seriously-in-terms-of-rights/