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parents' bill of rights

This Parents' Bill Of Rights and Responsibilities was created by a group of parents, educators, counselors, law enforcement personnel, and an assortment of community leaders—collectively known as the Tri-City Substance Abuse Coalition—in response to questions and concerns expressed by parents in their community. The fifteen items listed below address many of the legal and moral obligations we have to our children. TEEN TIPS: A Practical Survival Guide for Parents with Kids 11 – 19 is dedicated to helping you achieve these ideals with practical solutions and succeed in dealing with the many other issues of adolescence.

  • We, as parents, have a right to be treated with respect.
  • We have the right to say no and not feel guilty.
  • We have the right to know where our kids are, who their friends are, and who they are with at any time.
  • We have the right to demonstrate we care by occasionally verifying or spot checking our children's whereabouts. We may, for example, call host parents on parties or overnight stays.
  • We have the right to set a curfew and enforce it with restrictions and loss of privileges.
  • We have the right not to condone any alcohol or drug usage and to say no to attendance at activities where alcohol or drug usage may occur.
  • We have the right to make mistakes and/or change our minds.
  • We have the right to ask questions and expect answers about all things which may affect our children.
  • We have the right to monitor all school related activities: academic, behavioral, and social.
  • We have the right to know and consult with adults who influence our children's lives, i.e., coaches, employers, teachers, youth group leaders, ministers, and counselors.
  • We have the right to know what is happening within our own home, to set "house rules," and know the identity of guests who come into our home.
  • We have the right to assign our children chores and other family responsibilities appropriate to their ages.
  • We have a right to promote time together as a family, which may include meals, outings, study time, and other planned activities.
  • We have a right to be authoritative when logical explanation and reason have not succeeded.
  • We have a right to have family rules and consistently enforce them with appropriate consequences.

Printed with permission of the Tri-City Substance Abuse Coalition (Fremont, Newark, Union City, California).

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