Wednesday, July 9, 2008

when real life is stranger then fiction

A father undermined

A Gatineau judge's bizarre attempt to undermine a father's authority sends a frightening message to all parents: When it comes to raising children, the state knows best.

Madam Justice Suzanne Tessier of the Quebec Superior Court sided with a 12-year-old girl who challenged, in court, her father's decision to ground her. The girl had been living with her father -- the parents are divorced -- and he forbade her to attend a school trip after she disobeyed his instructions to stay off the Internet.


This was hardly an instance of cruel or arbitrary authority. There was no abuse involved, not even close. The father, it seems, used clear and consistent warnings, letting his child know that there would be consequences for inappropriate behaviour. This is how you raise responsible children who understand the results of their actions. It is an approach to discipline that should be encouraged, not outlawed by the state.

Although such a thing is not yet here in the US, I fear it will only be a matter of time. And while the paper does say that the judge's decision was "aberrant" and unlikely to be followed, one can wonder if that will really be so.

At the least, it's another foot in the door, and there are those who would not mind forcing that door open even further.

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