When children/teens decide to disobey. The child is dependent on the message that each parent sends to that child on what is acceptable and what is not.
How many have watched the video posted by Caleb Leverett called “14 year old Parker stands up for his rights”? One million viewers! And it appears that most of them are siding with the 14-year-old! And agreeing with this father’s actions!
But how many actually have thought this through? How many feel sorry for Parker? What kind of message do you think that this sends to the legislators and the judges and attorneys when you side with a 14 year old choosing one parent over the other? Wouldn’t this make the legislators feel like they have been giving you exactly what you want, laws that allow the judges and attorneys to use the child based on the child’s preference?
Are you telling the legislators that if a child throws a fit and refuses to go back to the parent that has the scheduled parenting time, that everyone should give in to that…let’s call it what it is, as I have to agree with this mother, it’s a temper tantrum being supported by the other parent.
It’s clear that this method of sitting in front of the house and the father claiming that he is helpless, that it’s all his child, that he has nothing to do with this, is utterly absurd. If he has no authority over his son then he has no business claiming that he can parent. And how many fathers have suffered because the mother has pulled the same stunt in their case?
What would he do if his son one day refused to go to school or refused to follow the speed limit laws when he starts to drive, or refused to follow the laws and decided to drink or smoke! Would the father idly sit there and claim that there was nothing he could do?! Of course not and they are usually the first ones to try and say that this is different, right? WRONG
While Parker seems like a likable kid and respectful young man, he is still a minor, and it is not good parenting on the father’s part to sit there and claim that he plays no role or responsibility in Parker’s actions; and puts this all on his son to make up for an order that he, the father, doesn’t like. Recruiting your children to do your battle is never a good idea and is harmful to the child and to the power and authority of both parents! This is damaging and creates insecurities in children and teens. Regardless of how it might appear here on the surface, it is not a supportive act that should be cheered and encouraged. This practice should be abolished and prohibited with either mother or father. NO parent, regardless of gender, should use their children in this way. Yet so many people don’t see it for what it is. They think that the father is just being supportive of his son and doing what is right for his son, and sending the wrong message to legislators and judges and attorneys. You are sending the message that you want them to keep using the children and tearing their lives apart by ordering one parent out of their lives by depriving one of the parents their ability to continue to parent their child in the manner that they see fit.
And if you think that Parker is being abused and is trapped, then you don’t know much about 14 year olds. Most teens don’t like to be disciplined and when they are, if there is someone they think will side with them and get them out of the discipline, don’t you think they will! And if there was real abuse going on, surely he knows how to report that through the proper channels as well.
We don’t allow children to vote, sign contracts, smoke or drink, but we somehow think they are wise enough to determine who should parent them and how they should be parented? So if you have an order that protects your time with your children, this should just be ignored when the child decides they want to change the orders? Why even get orders in the first place then? Why spend all that money? Why not just let the children run their own lives?
That’s what you are essentially doing here when you let a child be used to do the dirty work of one of their parents! Then all the other parent has to do is stand back and say they are innocent, it’s the child’s wishes, etc., and not have to spend the money to go to court, right? Would this same parent be doing the very same thing if the table was turned and his son was against him and refusing to go with him during his parenting time? If you asked them while the child was siding with them, they would say they would let the child go where the child chose, right. Sure that’s why we have so many parents hurt and upset and airing grievances every day in every state, and that voice is growing and the pain and damage is mounting.
Ask yourself, if they were married would we allow the child to make this kind of decision? Does this mean that we have a deep-seated bias and prejudice against divorced parents? Do we treat divorced parents equally, or is it simply okay in our society to discriminate against divorced parents?
So now think about your initial reaction. Did you side with Parker at first? Did you catch yourself and ask yourself what would be the underlying message that you would be sending to the legislators? What is it that you are telling them that you really want if you side with Parker? Was your reaction indicative of how you really want the courts to respond? Are you contradicting yourself and confusing the legislators? It’s no wonder the legislators think that they have passed laws that reflect the voice of the people and have been letting the judge use the children, order all kinds of expensive studies, etc. All in the name of doing what you’ve told them to do, to base their decision on the wishes of the child, right?
Have you ever been alienated and wondered why the courts were listening to your children when the children were just an extension of the other parent’s voice? Have you been in the position where your children were siding with the other parent and everyone swore, including the other parent, that no one was influencing the children?
There are many influences over children and they aren’t all verbal. We know that parents influence their children in many ways. So my question is why is this father choosing not to parent his son in a manner that teaches him to respect both of his parents? It is not required under the law for both or either parent to be likable or liked by everyone or anyone for that matter. And that’s a good thing because that’s what allows parents to make unpopular decisions with their children and not feel like any stranger could just walk up and rip your child from you at any given moment that your child says they no longer want to be with you. “Shame on you for throwing that toy in the trash or for not allowing that teenager to have a friend stay over night, or play their ex-box all night, or for the stepparent disciplining the child, or for the parent parenting the child.”
As long as parents are acting within the law, applying parenting rules differently based on individual bias and personal beliefs would put a huge “chilling effect” on parenting throughout this country. So siding with the child here rather than requiring that the father go through the proper channels to change orders or to prosecute someone for child abuse properly just keeps all of the divorced parents in the same quandary that they have been in for over the last 200 years!
Why encourage and perpetuate the bad practice of picking on parenting style differences or parenting styles that you don’t favor? It could happen to you!
Why not do what is healthy for the child and be a parent that influences their child to spend their time with each parent as equally as possible, and let the child know that when they turn 18 then they can make those choices if they still feel the same way? Why not teach the child how to learn to cope with different parenting styles and develop respect for each of their parents? Just as they have to adjust to different teachers and teaching styles throughout their education. And different bosses and people that they’ll work with over the years throughout their lifetime.
So the next time you find yourself holding an order in your hand that you thought would protect you, only to find out that it is absolutely worthless, that you spent maybe even over $100,000.00 to get, but doesn’t seem to be worth the cost of the paper it’s printed on now, you can remember that you sided with kids like Parker. Are you authorizing the bias and prejudice directed at you, a fit parent, simply because you are in a divorce or divorced?
You say that’s not what you want, that you want the courts to respect and protect your fundamental parental rights, yet, here you are cheering on this teenage boy for the very civil disobedience that you complain about in your own case and in fact paid a pretty penny to prevent, or so you thought would prevent! Here you are cheering on Parker, while you claim to want to prevent children being used in their parent’s fights? How is this different from supporting those bigots who fought to keep women and blacks down?
Caleb calls this video his son’s “rights.” Really? It’s the child’s right to break court orders? What type of respect is Parker learning for the law and authority? Would Parker have done this if his father hadn’t supported it? What if Caleb had told him to behave and do as he was told?
It’s fine for the father to teach his child “civil disobedience.” This certainly isn’t the way to teach a child civil disobedience however! What this father is teaching his son here is not a good value. Civil disobedience is based on good values and should not be used to teach your child to disrespect one of their fit and loving parents. And if one of the parents feel that the other parent is not fit, then they should take that up through the proper channels to prove that and not go to the court of public opinion and manipulate that public opinion. The value being taught here is that it is okay to bully a parent if that parent is divorced.
I would think that Parker might be having less stress in his life and could focus on being a kid and being happy with both of his parents if he weren’t being manipulated into this. It’s a good thing that married parents aren’t put to this teenage test! For if they were, we might as well have children running the world. There have been many times that my teenagers decide they don’t like something one day and then the next day or week it’s like they got over it and moved on to something else or some other endeavor.
If you don’t allow a child to test their boundaries and assure them that the security and structure and schedule that both parents have put in place for that child will remain, the child is left without that assurance and worse, is left without the guidance and security in knowing that both parents have power and authority over them. Instead the child is taught that they can help one of their parent’s undermine orders and be used by that parent as their soldier in an effort to take the child from the other.
The divorce courts are depriving our children of this security and stability by giving in to teenage temper tantrums. The divorce courts are forcing divorced parents to give up on actually parenting their children and instead to placate them. What kind of world are these divorce court judges creating? what kind of horrible social experiment are these divorce court judges submitting our children to?
I find this video a shame and a refusal on the father’s part to parent appropriately and to teach his son to respect authority appropriately. And if you claim that the mother is abusive, I suggest that you look for additional evidence on this. You might be shocked one day if that same lowered bar of abuse is turned onto you. Do we act like Nazis then and condemn people on baseless accusations. Do we send divorced parents to the gulag because the other parent slanders them? Perhaps it is okay because they are divorced and are therefore second class parents under the law?
So I ask you again, was your initial reaction really the message that you wanted to send to the legislators, the attorneys, and the judge? Isn’t judges and attorneys using children what got our family courts in the mess that they are in today? Isn’t asking them to make a choice between parents and allowing the children to make decisions in this causing the courts to use bias and prejudice, to ignore constitutional protected rights, and allowing the courts to justify costing families excessive amounts of money and drive them into bankruptcy?
Are we condemning other divorced parents to second-class citizen status without thinking it through?