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The Children's Bill of Emotional Rights

A Guide to the Needs of Children

Eileen Johnson

There are approximately 7 billion people in the world, and 2 billion of them are children. Children are the last unheard minority, a group whose voice is seldom listened to, and whose rights are seldom acknowledged. Children are dependent on adults for their survival and wellbeing, and as such are subservient beings. Though the UN recently issued a Charter of the Rights of the Child, an important aspect was neglected—the emotional rights of the child. Children all over the world are routinely bullied, dismissed, and treated as inferior beings. Though a child can survive hunger, cold, and physical trauma, emotional damage in childhood can cause problems that last a lifetime. These problems can have huge repercussions for society when children become teenagers and young adults, from bullying to suicide to mass murder.

In every society, individuals are entitled to their human rights. This book outlines the child's emotional rights. The book explains why it is important to respect a child's rights, and how it is possible for parents and teachers to make positive changes in the ways they respond to children. Many adults struggle with preconceived notions on how to discipline and control children. Other adults lack the necessary information on how a child thinks or why a child cannot respond in ways expected of him. And all adults struggle with anger and frustration when dealing with emotional expressions they do not understand. This book helps adults to understand why controlling and manipulating children is not the way to create a healthy community. The book provides insights into a child's mind, gives examples of compassionate and patient responses, and guides parents and teachers towards a greater respect for the rights of the child.
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Jason Aronson, Inc.
Pages: 252Size: 6 1/2 x 9 1/2
978-0-7657-0850-2 • Hardback • November 2011 • $84.00 • (£54.95)
978-1-4422-3507-6 • Paperback • March 2014 • $46.00 • (£31.95)
978-0-7657-0852-6 • eBook • November 2011 • $43.00 • (£29.95)
Eileen Johnson is the director of an innovative preschool in downtown New York City, where she has developed an emotional education curriculum for young children. The school is a member of the Alliance for Psychoanalytic Schools, and is affiliated with the Pacella Parent Child Center of the NY Psychoanalytic Society, where Eileen is a consultant.
1 Introduction
Chapter 2 1. Children have the right to be listened to
Chapter 3 2. Children have the right to the truth
Chapter 4 3. Children have the right to develop as individuals
Chapter 5 4. Children have the right to boundaries
Chapter 6 5. Children have the right to play
Chapter 7 6. Children have the right to be protected from bullying
Chapter 8 7. Children have the right to forgiveness and empathy
Chapter 9 8. Children have the right to approval and acceptance
Chapter 10 9. Children have the right to show their feelings
Chapter 11 10. Children have the right to guidance
12 Afterword
13 About the Author
Eileen Johnson has written a comprehensive statement about the emotional needs of children. Relevant reading for parents, teachers, and all people who care about and care for children.
Saralea Chazan, PhD, clinical psychologist in private practice in Greenwich Village, New York City

Eileen Johnson has written a much needed and succinct guide to understanding the emotional needs of children. The Children's Bill of Emotional Rights is not only a Bill of Rights for children, but also a step-by-step primer for teachers, parents, and health professionals on helping children to grow by respecting their emotions. Johnson uses her experiences in working with preschool children and their parents to intersperse her book with a wealth of illuminating examples. She emphasizes the importance of listening to children, telling them the truth, protecting them from bullies, and allowing them the full expression (in constructive ways) of their feelings.
Gerald Schoenewolf, PhD, author, 101 Common Therapeutic Blunders

Eileen Johnson is to be congratulated for her sensitive and emotionally connected description of educational work with children. She clearly describes how “if a child is respected emotionally, if he is treated with respect for his rights, he will be likely to develop into a positive, creative, and socially adaptive adult.” She is sensitive to children’s needs for adults who know the great responsibility of working with children. She says, “Listening to children does not mean asking open-ended questions of a young child like: ‘What do you want to do today?’ She clearly understands that “Limiting choices is part of adult’s role” as well as drawing “realistic boundaries.”

Leon Hoffman M.D.