Reasonableness, or even sanity, may be in short supply. Those of us who have been, know that being a parent can be challenging at times. And before being a parent, we were amazed at how our parents were, at times, so unreasonable. As Mark Twain said, he was surprised by how much his father learned by the time he had turned 21 years old, and I guess there is a bit of truth in that statement.
Recently, I read a case where unmentionable, okay it is mentionable, conduct formed the basis for suing a mother for intentional as well negligent infliction of emotional distress, in addition to psychological abuse for such conduct, as:
- Making a son wear a seat belt;
- Setting a curfew for a daughter on homecoming night;
- Not including any type of gift with birthday and holiday cards to the children;
- Not sending care packages until junior year of college; and
- Taking a new surname upon remarriage, thereby “causing attention at the daughter’s school events.”
As an attorney, I would have to question why one would ever bring this type of case, ex-spouse or otherwise. Certainly there are slights in life, some actionable and some not. Child rearing is not a science and some perform substantially better than others. But bringing a lawsuit under this type of fact situation is just ridiculous. Fortunately, the court found as much and dismissed the case, stating that ruling in favor of the plaintiffs would “potentially open the floodgates to subject family childrearing to…excessive judicial scrutiny and interference.”
These are the types of actions that give a profession in which so many people do so many good things a bad rap.