Developing a legal framework for analyzing children's rights is difficult. In part, this difficulty stems from the inherent ambiguity of the term "child." Within this general rubric are individuals whose age, maturity, education, and developmental levels encompass a wide rage. A more important obstacle stems from the conflict between the democratic ideals of individual freedom and the sanctity of the family unit. Whether children can be given certain rights without destroying parental authority over the family is a dilemma. Taking into account these opposing principles, a simplified methodology for analyzing and resolving conflicts among the state, parent, and child is possible.
Sharon E. Rush, The Warren and Burger Courts on State, Parent, and Child Conflict Resolution: A Comparative Analysis and Proposed Methodology , 36 Hastings L. J. 461 (1984-1985), available at http://scholarship.law.ufl.edu/facultypub/117