Friday, 11 July 2008

Warning! Do not let your children read this!


This post is written in honour of my brother, Moon, who has just started his own blog. I just know how much this will bug him!

We are back in the Canadian court system, so you can be pretty sure something stupid, ridiculous or downright are-you-out-of-your-mind is going to come up. In this case, we have a 12 year old girl suing her father for punishing her. She disobeyed her father's rule and he punished her for it. She didn't think that was fair and so she took him to court. Now, the father did nothing that any normal, reasonable, sane, fair father would not have done. He didn't forbid her from wearing tartan trousers or from reading science fiction books. He didn't tell her that she had to eat suet and tripe sandwiches for lunch every day or that she must prostrate herself in front of a three horned devil god alter every time she had a bowel movement. No, the man was being a reasonable father, doing what he thought was best for his child. He laid down some rules about her internet use. As any decent parent might do, he blocked some unsuitable websites and when he found out that she had been visiting these websites and posting inappropriate pictures of herself to these websites from a friend's computer, he grounded her. No beatings, no starvation, no public humiliation, no torture, no lockings up in a small cupboard under the stairs. Oh no, just a simple grounding, just like any normal, responsible parent who needs to set limits and boundaries for their child.

Now, the grounding did have consequences - oh, yes, we are back to the consequences of our actions, and I suppose the young girl did not think that there would be any consequences to her disobeying her father's perfectly reasonable requests. So, the grounding took effect and this meant that the girl could no longer go on an end of year school trip that she had been looking forward to. Too bad, so sad.

Now, this is where things start going pear-shaped. The girl runs off to her mother, whining and complaining and the mother sides with the girl. Well, the parents are divorced and they have been fighting for custody of the girl for quite some time. Of course, the child is no innocent and is not stupid (very few children are) and has learnt to play one parent off the other. The mother wants to score points with her daughter and so supports her and says she can go on the school trip. Unfortunately for the girl, the school requires permission from both parents. So, off they go to court. The girl takes her father to the Quebec Superior Court and the mother supports her daughter. What a ridiculous, time and money wasting mess.

And the worst of it - the judge lifted the grounding, overturning her father's punishment, justifying this by saying that the punishment was too severe.

Can you believe this? How on earth can a parent be expected to bring up decent, well adjusted, law abiding, considerate, balanced individuals, who know right from wrong and understand that all of their actions have consequences, if they cannot set reasonable rules with acceptable punishments when those rules are broken? In my opinion, one of the biggest responsibilities of a parent is to set limits and boundaries for their child, so that their child can learn what is acceptable and what is not. Unfortunately, many parents these days seem to think that they should be their child's best friend. This means that they don't want to be "mean" to their children, they don't want to deny their children anything and everything that they want, they don't want to have to punish their child, since then their child may not like them. Well, damn it, that is part of their responsibility as a parent. It is not up to schools and teachers and society to do this for them so that they can be friends with their child. And it is certainly not up to the courts to interfere with how a parent chooses to set limits and reward or punish their child for staying within or straying beyond those limits. I for one don't want my tax money to be used to set a punishment for Jimmy when he doesn't do his homework.

Being a parent must be difficult enough, without worrying about your child taking you to court every time you try and punish them. So, whatever you do, don't let your children read this - it will give them ideas and you don't want that!

The father is, of course, appealing this decision.

15 comments:

Jay said...

Gah!!!! OK, that does it. I'm not moving to Canada. That is just too stupid for words... next thing you know the forces of law and order will be sounding off about parents not setting boundaries. *Bangs head on hearest wall*

Moon said...

You are so right... that this blog will bug the shit out of me !!

I can't express my anger at this crazy world ... !

Beat them, very hard, for a very long time, none of the PC crap !... it is WRONG to do what she was doing, she is 12 !!!!!

You are right about parents wanting to be best friends, look at my other sister and Mum and Dad, fought like crazy, but, the result was a law abiding, 'sensible' adult.... they were certainly not friends ....

the judge is a disgrace, and the money spent will be coming out of your wages DBM ......

I could go on ........

Don't Bug Me! said...

Hi Jay. The trouble with Canadians is that they try and please all the people all the time and this just never works. Sometimes you have to be cruel to be kind - not really cruel, perhaps we should just say tough. You may not enjoy punishing your child, but sometimes you have to.
I have put some padding up on my wall - it helps to protect my head!

Moon: R, sensible? I thought I was the sensible one!?! I never did like being the quiet, sensible one, but I guess you are what you are. Sucks sometimes.

Drowsey Monkey said...

That's insane. INSANAE

Coastal Aussie said...

Amazing story, and crazy result... what will the girl want to get up to next? There'll be no stopping her next time (nor this time, it seems). Great post!

moon said...

Coastal Aussie : my blood boils when I read such rubbish as this (the story, not the blog !), why oh why does a man in a court waste his time on things like this ?, thats where the insanity should end, but that is where it really starts. They should laugh and throw it out of court, tell the little girl to grow up,then lock her in a cupboard under the stairs !!!

Don't Bug Me! said...

I personally think that they should lock the girl's mother and the judge under the stairs. The girl is only doing what she can get away with - as most children will. That is why they need parents.

Drowsey: Your penguins have inspired a post - watch this space.

yukonchatterbug said...

I consider this an abuse of one's power (the judge's, that is). It drives me insane to hear stories like that here in Canada. It makes me feel like our court system is going the American way.

Don't Bug Me! said...

Oooh, another Bug! Hello YCBug. I sometimes wonder if our court system is actually worse than the American system at times. At least they have got the hang of punishment for guilty individuals. We don't even have that, we are too busy wasting our time on twelve year olds being grounded or spiders in bananas or flies in bottled water.

Moon: Check out YCBug's latest post - it concerns boobs! Let Thriftcriminal and any other low male mind around know.

Cortes said...

I would love to comment on this, but I was raised in a different age - one where a parents' word was the law, and the 'law' did not interfere. Another instance of 'Hell in a Handbasket' I fear. Utter nonsense!

Coastal Aussie said...

Moon and Bugs: you know, what's so frustrating about this kind of situation, to me, is.. that there must be kids out there who really do need the protection of the courts.... but its the kids who are fine, and just want to get their own way, who manage to research their options and carry out their plans effectively... while the kids in real need, suffer silently, and probably couldn't barely cope with the addtional emotional toll caused from being part of a court case.

Moon said...

Fair point Coastal A, I mean, how much time is now spent with crazy cases like this, time and money that should be helping 'in need' kids, I joke about smacking children, god help mine if I ever have any, but there are some awful things going on, and the twat judge is wasting time on this ... grrrr, bad already for a sunday !

Don't Bug Me! said...

Hell in a handbasket, indeed. It always seems to be the way - those that really need the help are the one's least likely to actually get it.

English Mum said...

Bloody, bloody hell. I'm banning #1 from the computer FOREVER!!! If he ever gets wind of this one I'll be in the dock for all manner of crimes: making him eat broccoli... not letting him pass on that 'send this to 8 friends and your wallpaper will change!' text message...

*[bites nails]*

Don't Bug Me! said...

EM: Hmmmmmmm, this gives me an idea. Send the marmite, or I send the boy the story! A little bit of computer blackmail - never did anyone any harm, did it?