Should Children have rights?

Mirna is an educational psychologist from Stellenbosch. She taught at several schools, amongst others Stellenbosch High School, Bloemhof Girls’ High and Jan Kriel School for learners with barriers to learning. She is a mother, loves art, the ocean and children.


I have been writing on the effects of divorce for the last couple of letters and would like to conclude with this short but powerful voice for the rights of children to be respected when a family is going through a divorce.

I found this at Children in the Middle-and added thoughts I found important for children going through a divorce. It really succinctly encapsulate the essence of going through a “good” divorce.

Children of Divorce’s Bill of Rights

  • Recognize that we love and need both parents.
  • Don’t turn us into messengers. Mom and Dad should talk to each other directly.
  • Don’t say bad things about our other parent.
  • Don’t grill us about what is going on at our other parent’s home.
  • Don’t ask us to take sides.
  • Don’t make us feel like we’re being disloyal to you if we enjoy being with our other parent.
  • If you have something angry to say to our other parent, don’t say it around us.
  • We do not want to be used as weapons against the other parent.
  • Do not bribe us or give us gift because of your guilt or revenge. More than anything we need your time, patience and attention.

If parents who are divorcing could follow these guidelines – they can ensure to go through the separation with less trauma and more secure children.

I don’t know about you, dear reader, but they make a lot of sense to me.

I would wager that the many parents we read about who kill their children rather than let their spouse have them have not followed these rules. God, but they must really hate. Yes, I know they must be unbalanced, but why and how did they get that way?