Court overturns father’s grounding of 12-year-old
OTTAWA (AFP) – A Canadian court has lifted a 12-year-old girl’s grounding, overturning her father’s punishment for disobeying his orders to stay off the Internet, his lawyer said Wednesday.
The girl had taken her father to Quebec Superior Court after he refused to allow her to go on a school trip for chatting on websites he tried to block, and then posting “inappropriate” pictures of herself online using a friend’s computer.
The father’s lawyer Kim Beaudoin said the disciplinary measures were for the girl’s “own protection” and is appealing the ruling.
“She’s a child,” Beaudoin told AFP. “At her age, children test their limits and it’s up to their parents to set boundaries.”
“I started an appeal of the decision today to reestablish parental authority, and to ensure that this case doesn’t set a precedent,” she said. Otherwise, said Beaudoin, “parents are going to be walking on egg shells from now on.”
“I think most children respect their parents and would never go so far as to take them to court, but it’s clear that some would and we have to ask ourselves how far this will go.”
According to court documents, the girl’s Internet transgression was just the latest in a string of broken house rules. Even so, Justice Suzanne Tessier found her punishment too severe.
Beaudoin noted the girl used a court-appointed lawyer in her parents’ 10-year custody dispute to launch her landmark case against dear old dad. (Source)
WTF? Did I just read what I think I’ve read? Grounding a kid from a class trip is “too severe”? So now parents, doing their duty in providing appropriate guidance for their children, are subject to legal interference with their decisions as guardians? Maybe this judge just drank one too many of those high octane Canadian beers, because I don’t see how this “case” even got in front of her bench in the first place. Though in her defense, those high alcohol content brews are quite tasty and make me want to start cross-checking everyone in my path.
My drunken escapades aside, this article is pretty sad. There’s clearly more going on here than has been reported. The final sentence says it all: “parents’ 10-year custody dispute.” This 12-year-old hates her father. My limited reasoning skills tell me that she probably has no boundaries at mom’s house and resents the rules daddy imposes at his. I’m also willing to go out on a limb here and say mom probably bad-mouths her ex in their kids’ presence, setting up a permissionable opportunity for the daughter to follow suit and also disrespect him. Just my opinion, of course, but it has a very Lohan-esque ring to it, eh? (“Eh?” See that? I can speak Candian. I’m so friggin worldly and in-tune with foreign cultures.)
Now, I could use this as yet another example of how the world is going to hell in a Hefty bag. Or I could point the dirty pot and patchuli-stained finger of guilt at the hippies for making this kind of disrespctful behavior completely okey dokey in society’s eyes. But, I’m in a good mood today and I’ve decided to curb the doom and gloom. Just for today, though, so don’t get too used to it, pal. No, today I have decided to give you a positive future image for what could happen.
I see this girl living out her remaining teen years in relative chaos. Maybe with an unplanned pregnancy, an alcohol problem (again, those wonderful Canuck beers), a love affair with drugs, or even an addiction to back bacon and Tim Horton’s coffee. But if her dad keeps trying to set rules, if he stays in her life, if he takes the high road and pushes a positive agenda, she may eventually come around. [I’m insinuating, of course, that dad is a good man just based upon one stupid eight-paragraph AP release, but follow me here.]
Every child — especially young women — needs a positive male role model. It is important to their development into well-balanced adults. Maybe that’s not such a popular thing to say in a society rife with ‘I’m both mom and dad’ family models. But F it. I’m saying it because it’s my blog. Kids need rules, they need guidance, and they need strong male & female influences to be their very best later in life.
And, yes, I got all that from reading one stupid article on some news website.