This article maintains that the legal recognition of obligations for children facilitates their recognition as citizens and agents when such obligations are understood from contextual and relational perspectives. Drawing primarily upon sources from Canada and the United States, the article advances this claim through a study of three separate settings. Part I examines the ‘child as student' and studies children's obligations within schools. Part II considers the ‘street child' and the obligations and challenges children encounter when they live away from their families and communities. Part III contemplates the ‘child as bargainer' and focuses on obligations children assume when accessing, negotiating for, and acquiring services in their communities.