Youth’s Bill of Rights

1. Stand by us, not over us. Give us the feeling that we are not alone in the world, that we can always count on you when we are in trouble.

2. Make us feel that we are loved and wanted. We want to love you, not as a duty, but because you love us.

3. Train us by being affectionately firm. You will achieve more with us through patient teaching than by punishment or preaching. Say “no” when you feel you have to, but explain your rules, don’t merely impose them.

4. Bring us up so that we will not always need you. Teach us how to take responsibility and become independent of you. We will learn this faster and better if you will let us question you, your ideas, and standards.

5. Don’t act shocked when we do things we shouldn’t. It is going to take us time to learn how to grow into adulthood properly.

6. Try to be as consistent as possible. If you are mixed up about what you want from us, why shouldn’t we be mixed up about what we give to you.

7. Don’t try to make us feel inferior. We doubt ourselves enough without having someone confirm it. Predicting failure for us won’t help us succeed.

8. Say “well done” or “nice work” when we do something really well. Don’t hold back the praise when we deserve it. That’s the way to spur us on.

9. Show respect for our wishes even if you disagree with them. Respect for you will naturally be the result of your respect for us.