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Father Doesn't Know Best When It Comes to the Kids, Says Canadian Court

Sunday, November 09, 2008 by: Joanne Waldron
Tags: parenting, health news, Natural News

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(NewsTarget) Father no longer knows best, at least according to a Canadian court that decided a father was being too severe with his punishment when he told his 12-year-old daughter that he would not allow her to go on a school trip after he caught her chatting on Internet websites that he had attempted to block and using a friend's computer to post "inappropriate" pictures of herself online, reports the Herald Sun. Apparently, the preteen took her father to court, because she didn't respect her father's authority. Much to the father's chagrin, Justice Suzanne Tessier sided with the child.

Court documents indicate that the child's Internet infractions were certainly not the only examples of her breaking household rules. The father's lawyer, Kim Beaudoin, plans to appeal the ruling. She feels that if this ruling is not overturned, it could set a dangerous precedent and that in the future, parents would feel like they were "walking on eggshells" when it comes to disciplining their kids.

Is this for real?

Most parents are probably reading this and thinking that this is too absurd to be true. Unfortunately, there have been some other pretty crazy things going on in Canada lately. Another egregious example is Bill C-51 which, if passed, will outlaw about 60% of the natural health products currently sold in Canada and punish parents who give herbs or supplements to their children, according to an article posted at CBC News.

Shouldn't the parents who take the time to discipline their children be applauded instead of reprimanded? How on earth will that poor father have any kind of control over his daughter anymore? If he wants to correct his daughter, will he have to call the judge and get the court's approval first? Someone has to be in charge, and most people agree that it shouldn't be the kids (or the courts)!

Kids Need Firm Boundaries

Good parents know that children need solid boundaries. Setting limits for children actually helps children to feel more secure. Children who test the boundaries from time to time often just need to know that their parents are there and that they care.

Internet chatter on this topic indicates that most people feel the judge in this case is way out of line. The general consensus is that the court should not get involved in a family's private affairs, except perhaps in cases of extreme neglect or abuse. If a young girl is posting "inappropriate" pictures of herself on the Internet, most parents would agree that tough disciplinary measures are absolutely required. If this kind of behavior is allowed to go unchecked, in a few years, the girl could end up in serious trouble.

The Internet is a Dangerous Playground

A father's worst nightmare, perhaps, is that she could set up a date to meet "Creepy McCreeperson," some future "admirer" she might encounter on the Internet. Everyone has heard stories about kids who put themselves in peril by setting up meetings with perverts and pedophiles who seek out young girls on the Net. WLWT.com documents one story where a young teen encountered a sex offender on MySpace.com and let him talk her into meeting him for sex. This girl was lucky she wasn't murdered -- not all kids who get themselves into these kinds of situations are as lucky. This is not a rare occurrence -- it happens all the time.

No Consequences For Bad Behavior

Jeff Alexander, a licensed private investigator in California, calls this a "deplorable ruling." Alexander says, "The court is telling this child that she can do anything she wants and there will be no consequences. When the girl starts shoplifting or gets pregnant at age 16 because she thinks there will be no consequences for her actions, will the judge take responsibility?"

Smart money says that the judge in this case has never had to deal with an unruly child. Good parents never take pleasure in punishing a child for bad behavior, but sometimes they have to let a little bit of temperate thunder rumble, particularly when a child's actions could endanger her life.

Saying, "Honey, don't post anymore 'inappropriate' pictures, please" is surely not something that will deter a willful child with a history of misbehavior from doing it again. If this ruling is not overturned, kids who don't agree with their parents can simply take them to court and hope they get a sympathetic judge. Children aren't the only ones that need to have firm boundaries, however. It is painfully apparent that some clearer boundaries need to be set for Canadian judges.

About the author

Joanne Waldron is a computer scientist with a passion for writing and sharing health-related news and information with others. She hosts the Naked Wellness: The Gentle Health Revolution forum, which is devoted to achieving radiant health, well-being, and longevity.

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