Violating parents’ rights of conscience

From the archives: The original post was posted on 15th December, 1994

Parents have sometimes been annoyed by, of felt coerced by, my criticism of parental coercion of children, and they have complained that I am violating parents’ rights – the right to interact with their children according to their own conscience. Children too should be free to act according to their own conscience.

A poster wrote:

“[I]s there any agreement on what ‘bad’ parenting is? In my experience, every parent has his own opinions on parenting. Third, will this prohibition interfere with parents’ rights, for example, rights of conscience? I don’t know about you, but I get pretty annoyed when anyone tries to curtail my behavior ‘for my own good’ according to someone else’s standards of ‘good.’ It just doesn’t make me happy. In fact, I feel coerced.”

Just as children do, when adults do that to them. This is precisely the way I am using the term ‘coercion’ (some have suggested my usage is not acceptable or non-standard). Furthermore, this discussion I have quoted from illustrates the problem of conflating legal and educational level arguments.

Sarah Fitz-Claridge, 1994, ‘Violating parents’ rights of conscience’,