Last week I presented a Bill of Rights that presented basic human rights within the context of a family. Living as a member of a family implies that there are essential rights and responsibilities that need to be assumed. While most families honour these things automatically, some families struggle to appreciate what these rights and responsibilities are.
As we know, both parents and teenagers can be abusive in their families. Last week I spoke about parent’s rights and responsibilities but it equally applies to teenagers. Many abusive teenagers I come across in my work see their families as places where they get their needs met, but have little sense of the responsibilities they also have to carry. In extreme cases a defiant teenager will want to live in their family on their terms. That is, they want the benefits and privileges of being a family member without assuming any of the responsibilities. They want their rights honoured but feel they have no responsibilities. This kind of environment is never good for children or parents.
Rights and benefits must always exist side by side with responsibilities assumed. The list of rights is presented below and it is worth considering how it applies to you in your domestic, work, or personal life.
YOUR BILL OF RIGHTS
YOUR BILL OF RIGHTS:
As a family member you have a responsibility to:
Think about your rights and responsibilities and how the climate of your everyday life has fuzzied your thinking about these things.
Dr. Colm O'Connor is a Cork Psychologist. He has written hundreds of articles on family psychology - some posted here.