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The Restatement’s focus on children in society encourages us to move beyond a merely descriptive project toward a new way of envisioning children’s place in law as full persons in the present. In our view, Part 4 does much more than identify the situations where the law does or should treat children like adult decision- makers. Instead, Part 4 illuminates the possibilities for a new law of the child that understands children as developing persons deeply connected to but also distinct from the adults in their lives. We focus on § 18.11––“Minors’ Right to Gain Access to Information and Other Expressive Content”––to illustrate how the subtle transformation in Part 4 of the Restatement points toward potentially path breaking changes for the law of children generally. This Essay draws upon our prior work in order to illuminate the major contributions––but also shortcomings––of Part 4 of the Restatement of Children and Law. In the first Part of this Essay, we examine the Restatement’s focus on children’s interests in accessing ideas and the Restatement’s endorsement of parental authority to control that access. We applaud the Restatement’s important discussion of the background and rationale for recognizing children’s right to access information and expressive materials. Yet we note that the Restatement undermines its own commitment to children’s free speech interests by expressly endorsing parents’ broad authority to limit children’s access to ideas. In the second Part, we explore what it would mean to respect children’s right to access ideas on their own, free from parental control. We focus on the example of social media because of its importance in children’s lives today and note that broad parental authority to limit this access, as set forth in the Restatement and in recent legislation in Utah and Arkansas, potentially harms children’s interests. The third Part proposes alternative black-letter law designed to better promote children’s interests in accessing ideas.

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