Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Three Judicial Biases About Moms, Dads and Children

I just stumbled across this excellent essay by Warren Farrell:
Why does two parent stability trump geographical stability? ...

First, the job of a child growing up is to discover who it is. Who is it? It is half mom and half dad. It is not the better parent. It is both parents. Warts and all. So we are not talking here about fathers' rights, mothers' rights or even the child's right to both parents. We are talking about a new paradigm: the child's right to both halves of itself.

Second, children with minimal exposure to one parent seem to feel abandoned, often psychologically rudderless.

Third, dads and moms, like Republicans and Democrats, provide checks and balances. Moms tend to overstress protection; dads may overstress risk-taking. There has to be a balance of power for the child to absorb a balance of both parents' values. One parent dominating tends to leave the child with a stereotyped and biased perspective of the values of the minority parent, and ultimately a lack of appreciation for that part of itself.
The whole essay makes the point concisely. He has a book on the subject with greater detail.


Anonymous said...

This assumes, of course, that both parents are sane. Some are not. My kids would tell you that they'd rather only have one parent because the other parent is so wacko.

So yeah, maybe a bad parent really isn't better than no parent at all.

George said...

Yes, it assumes that both parents are sane. The court could just check the sanity of the parents and forget about everything else.