A while back I was asked to address the UN Convention on the Rights of a Child (CRC) ('Cliff notes here'). This request was made by Eric Potter who runs a great blog that you can find here:http://parentalrightstn.blogspot.com/
Anyway, I hadn't really thought too much about this at the time because we were pretty knee deep in DOMA and other things legislation-wise that had me calling my representatives (and writing here about it and getting my husband to bug his representatives and calling to convince my family and friends to get on the phone too!... Man, that makes me sound obnoxious... If you're just now joining my blog be warned, but I promise I'm worth it, or at least I hope I am!) So, what makes me think of this now? I had came across two passages in my reading today in two completely different places that jolted my mind right back here. So, sorry for the delay Eric, but thank you for your request.
First and foremost you have to understand that I'm leery of new legislation in general. I grow concerned over government control that seems to be effecting every aspect of our lives (don't believe me? Google the Nebo school district in UT and their plans to monitor your whole families eating habits. I wonder what happens when the data you provide doesn't match what 'they' want? Then look up children getting weighed in front of their peers at school? Are we looking for public ridicule here to move us to action/change in health? I'm pretty sure the bullies have enough ammo if your child is overweight, they don't need numbers. And CA, oh dear sweet CA, now the schools are in charge of deeming if your child is under or overweight. And if they are? You are REQUIRED to take them to the Dr and to follow their rules and noncompliance will get you reported to CPS. Good intentioned, yes, scary slippery slope to losing your child? Yes!! I may be pro health/fitness and good diet and teach my children the same, for better or worse they've been exposed to so much that they'll give you lectures and keep you on your toes about what's in your food, but if I were to feed them fast food or could only afford the processed junk that's at the grocery store, then that's what we'd do! It doesn't change the fact that I love my children and want the best for them. I don't think them being taken to foster care even though they're eating and being cared for qualifies as abuse.) Anyway! While the cliff notes on CRC provided by good ol' UNICEF provide explanations that are 'no brainers' I can't help but read the find print.
Is anything taken at face value today? I question the interpretation given to these articles because I know how well they're written and what they'll evolve into.... And once they've evolved there's no going back to the pretty outline. Of course we want our children to feel safe and to be given the basic necessities of life (that'd be clean water, shelter, etc., sorry cell phones, computers, cars and TV's are not rights!) Does this need to be legislated? Perhaps if we lived in another country I would feel differently on this matter, but I see too far into it to feel safe pushing this act. And I've watched the unraveling of the constitution to where it's now referred to as just a "suggestion," and that bothers me.
UNICEF does great things, don't get me wrong. However, they are so pro sexualization of children it's frightening, and oddly they think they're protecting them from this! Children's rights goes beyond the fluffy exterior and straight into a world where parents no longer have control. While the articles profess that government will not overrule the parent as long as the child is being treated well, who's to say what is "well"? I feel it's not only my right but my duty to school my children in right and wrong and to guard them from what is inappropriate based on age. A free right to accessing all media as is stated in one article is just down right scary to me! I don't even think most adults need to be accessing what's available!
So, what prompted tonight's ramblings was an article I read earlier that you can find here. In a nutshell the parents of a 4 month old have not told anyone what the gender of their child is, not even grandparents. The reasoning? They don't want the child to feel pressured into being boy or girl and want the child to choose for 'it's' self who they'll be. K. I don't know what to say about this one, but it made me scratch my head and send it to my husband. Regardless of my personal thoughts though, hey, it's their kid! While I think gender defines us (I mean just about everything on the planet from humans to plants and trees are male and female), they're within their right to raise their child this way and I'm not going to be running to make a law to prohibit it :-). It's interesting to me though that we ask a child to choose a way without them really knowing their options and what the consequences are for certain chooses.
Which then was a topic in Raising Real Men by Hal and Melanie Young. (As a side note this book is fabulous, I'm loving it and am really excited that they sent me an extra copy to Giveaway to you! I'll let you know how to win it when I write my review later this month). They brought up some very interesting points and ones that my husband and I have discussed a lot lately... especially every time we drive by the high school and the sign is flashing to go 15 MPH. Yah, the speed limit by the elementary schools is faster than that! What are we raising here? Anyway, some of the things the Young's wrote about is how we're preparing our sons. We have a reverse model of how to raise our children. 'Here, make your own choices, get all you want, but you don't have to deal with the responsibility that comes with those choices.' My favorite example from the book is how stressed our our society is that schools are serving French fries and sodas at the schools and so we worry that they'll choose those, and yet we're all for sexual education and the idea that it's totally fine for children to experiment with those behaviors. Huh? I'm pretty sure your child's choice to engage in behaviors that are emotionally out of their league and could end in BIG consequences is more pressing then if they ingest a few extra calories a day.
Basically the end point was we treat our children like children until they're 18 and then all the sudden turn them loose and wonder why they're not prepared. Conversely, given too much freedom to make choices on everything also leaves them ill prepared. Weird huh? Guess there isn't a one size fits all to this parenting thing, we actually have to spend time with our kids, figure out their individual needs and then adjust as needed. There's no amount of legislation or self-help books that is going to give you the magic key to this, you have to do the work.
So back to Children's Rights... what do you think? I personally have seen enough acts being as one thing and then turn their ugly head as soon as possible. Of course religious groups are okay with the wording, it's been written so that they would be! Duh. Might we go back to CEDAW and how accepting that has opened up the grounds for pro-abortion groups in countries that once prohibited abortion.... they were told they were violating the treaty even though there is nothing that even closely refers to abortion in the treaty!
WAKE UP AMERICA!!!!! Don't let what looks fine on the outside be a cause for you to encourage and/or look the other way. As a homeschooler I feel that my right to do so is being threatened when parents that do send their children to school allow the school/government to take a majority role in their children's lives. Are we really going to give someone else the ability to raise our child in every aspect of their lives? If we charge the schools with providing all the needs of our children guess what... THEY WILL! And do you know who becomes obsolete? YOU AND ME. Cause once they have you, they're going to want more and will come after me. Take a stand. I don't care where your child is educated, you need to do what is right for you and your own family, but please be involved! Watch what's happening around you and if you're not okay with something SPEAK UP! So many people irritate me to no end because they talk about all the horrible things their children face in school and how sad they think it is, and then pretty much end with "oh well." What? YOU HAVE POWER, YOU HAVE A VOICE... USE IT!! THE OPPOSITION IS MUCH SMALLER, BUT THEY'RE VERY LOUD AND THEY WILL WIN IF YOU CHOOSE TO BE SILENT.
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