catapult magazine

catapult magazine

Vol 8, Num 21 :: 2009.10.30 — 2009.11.12


Refrigerator manifesto

A little while ago, fed up of the screaming and shouting going on in our family, I came up with our Family’s Charter of Human Rights and put it on the fridge.  It goes something like this:

  1. Everyone has the right to his or her own opinion.
  2. Everyone has the right to be spoken to in a kind and loving voice.
  3. Possessions are to be respected and looked after.  If you want to play with a toy, permission should be asked from the owner.  Destruction of property is unacceptable.
  4. Respect each other.  Teasing is acceptable, mocking is not.
  5. Consensus should be sought whenever possible.  Mum and Dad have the veto vote.
  6. Everyone has the right to have fun and enjoy life, but not at the expense of others.

I kept it simple and open to modification.  Sadly, I did it on my own while my husband was at work so it has never been fully adopted by the whole family, however it does reflect the general principles we agree that our family should work on.  Most of all, it serves as a reminder to me of the way I should be treating my children and when I come across a dilemma it reduces my dilemmas down to a few basic rules to follow.

In an ideal world, both parents would sit down at leisure and discuss how we want our children to turn out and how to get there, the children would then be able to have their input, too, and we would agree on our family culture.  But with two children of seven and under, perhaps this is the good first stepping stone we need for the time being. 

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