Yes, we do live in an extremely litigious society with mad and money hungry citizens suing over things like being grossed out by Fear Factor or being mistaken for Michael Jordan. But usually those who file frivolous lawsuits do so to try to bilk multi-billion dollar industries, not to sue someone close to them like their own mother. But that’s just what a pair of siblings did. And for what? The two adult children claimed that she engaged in “bad mothering” and sued her for $50,000 in damages. Really? So, what did this “bad mother” do?
Steven Miner II (now 23) and his sister Kathryn Miner (now 20) apparently have a pretty privileged view of what constitutes a bad mother. All they need to do is take a look at any Parenting FAIL post to see what truly bad parents will do, or just read the newspapers. Their mother’s parental sins? Her ‘bad parenting’ included failing to buy toys for one, she sent a birthday card the other didn’t like, she didn’t take her daughter to a car show, she was guilty of “haggling” over how much to spend on a party dress, she called her daughter at midnight to see when she was coming home after a homecoming party, and worst of all… insisting that her son – at the age of seven- wear a seat belt. Ummm, really? Those are offenses worthy of a lawsuit?
It should also be noted that the kids were represented by their father, long since divorced from their mother. The mother’s lawyer said that the lawsuit was just a “litany of childish complaints and ingratitude.” And the whole thing was due to her ex-husband trying to “seek the ultimate revenge” of having her kids accuse her –in court- of “being an inadequate mother.”
Thankfully – for all us mothers – the suit was dismissed. The court found that the mother’s behavior wasn’t “extreme or outrageous.” They added that if the court ruled in favor of the children it “could potentially open the floodgates to subject family child rearing to … excessive judicial scrutiny and interference.”
If that lawsuit was successful I dare say all mothers would be found guilty on several counts during the process of trying to protect and raise our children.
Analyzing the Bad Parent: When everyone is a “bad parent”, is anyone?