The Rights Of Children

Dec 19, 2018

A child has very few rights to demand of his mother and father, but a child does have the right of custom: it is fair that a child claim the same treatment today which he received yesterday, provided there are not extenuating circumstances. It is not right that a parent arbitrarily revoke this or that custom which has hitherto governed the home. If a child is accustomed to hearing a story before bed, his father cannot withhold a story for no good reason, or for specious reasons. If a child is accustomed to receiving Christmas presents, his father cannot arbitrarily decide no presents will be given this year. Custom is a law of its own, and cannot be suspended without cause.

There is always a temptation to suspend customs for reasons of convenience or laziness, and to pretend such behavior is fair simply because customs are not written law. However, if the father wants the love of his child, he must make himself known in a consistent and dependable manner. In arbitrarily doing away with customs of the household, the father makes himself a stranger, and his right to love is fairly called into question. The child does not love just any man who calls the shots around his house. The child loves the father.

Joshua Gibbs

Joshua Gibbs

Joshua Gibbs teaches great books to high school students at Veritas School in Richmond, Virginia. He is the editor of FilmFisher and has two daughters, both of whom have seven names. You can find him on Twitter @joshgibbs. 

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