National Children's Day in the United States is celebrated on the second Sunday in June. This day highlights how important children are in society, and that some still face a lot of problems and difficulties in different aspects of their lives. The goal is to invest in children's future, improve their welfare, and make the world a better place for them. If you have children, this is a good day to take some time off to play with them, talk to them, and figure out what is going on in their lives, always remembering to be a good role model for them.
A similar holiday to National Children's Day is Universal Children's Day, also known as World Children's Day, commemorated every year on November 20.
History of National Children's Day
Throughout the years, National Children's Day has been observed on many different dates in the United States. Originally, it was created by Reverend Dr. Charles Leonard from Chelsea, Massachusetts, in 1856. Children's Day was celebrated on the second Sunday in June, and was a special day in which to baptize children, where the service addressed some of the special needs and problems that concern children.
Eventually, in 1989, the Bush and Clinton administration officially proclaimed National Children's Day to be observed on the second Sunday of October. This was the official date for the holiday, until 2001, when the Republican government changed it to the first Sunday of June. The Obama Administration chose to change the date yet again to November 20, to coincide with the UN's World Children's Day.
Because of all these changes in dates, people can choose when they want to celebrate National Children's Day. Some go with the original second Sunday in June, others prefer to observe it in November. However, nothing is stopping you from celebrating it on all those dates. We're sure the children in your life will thank you.
Why is there a National Children's Day?
Children are some of the most vulnerable members of society, which is why we need to contribute to raising awareness of children's welfare and ensure they have a better future ahead of them.
Even in the United States, many children are still kept away from school and from having an education, and several are forced into child labor. A report by Save the Children states that in America children are not given enough resources to reach their full potential.
This is why there are so many organizations dedicated to protecting children, and so many laws and protocols in place to ensure that children's welfare is kept to a high standard.
National Children's Day also reminds us that children are the future, and encourages us to slow down and pay more attention to the children in our lives. Children are playful, bright, imaginative, and curious and we can learn a lot from them.
What is the Declaration of the Rights of the Child?
On November 20, 1959, the Declaration of the Rights of the Child was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly. This declaration establishes the fundamental rights of children and was the inspiration for World Children's Day. The declaration comprises 10 bullet points, which include:
The right to special protection for the child’s physical, mental and social development.
The right to adequate nutrition, housing and medical services.
The right to special education and treatment when a child is physically or mentally handicapped.
The right to understanding and love by parents and society.
The right to recreational activities and free education.
The right to protection against all forms of neglect, cruelty and exploitation.
How to Celebrate National Children's Day
Take some time today to spend with the children in your life. Play some of their favorite games, take them for a nice day out, start a conversation with them about what is going on in their lives, teach them different life skills and about issues that children in different parts of the world face. Just be a good role model for them.
If you can, donate some time or money to help out your local organizations that are dedicated to improving the lives of children in the community.