I have been thinking about a post I read recently in the Ohio Family Law Blog (one of my favorites) about the possibility of parents who are not in the court system already, possibly having their children taken away as a result of childhood obesity. Morbid obesity in children is clearly a health problem that needs to be addressed, although I am not so sure that a parent who punishes an out of control child by having them swallow hot sauce rises to a criminal child abuse level. How many of you had your mouths washed out with soap, just askin?
One of the unexpected consequences of filing for divorce can be governmental scrutiny of your parenting style. Different folks, different cultures and different parts of the United States all have slightly (or more than slightly) different parenting norms. In some cultures, sleeping with parents is considered appropriate, in others, not so much. Physical discipline (ie, spanking; I can remember parental belts as not outside the norm, but then I grew up in the 50’s) is expected in some places but not others. The involvement of the Probate Court in your personal lives is a direct result of filing for divorce. If you and your soon-to-be-ex have different parenting styles and or a vicious divorce, you may find what you view as ordinary parenting under scrutiny, sometimes by the Department of Children and Families or sometimes by a guardian ad litem.
My husband and I gave each other a puppy for our anniversary this year (that means we have 2 puppies, probably defining us as insane), so I have spent all summer learning how to train dogs and what I have learned is that it is mostly about training yourself. To respond calmly and quickly, and in ways that are often counter intuitive. I think this holds true for training children as well, and I have become more strongly sold on the idea that any parent who is about to embark on a divorce, might do well to consult someone in the mental health profession knowledgeable in children’s issues as a resource as you go thru the divorce process. If you and your soon-to-be-ex can manage it going together to one therapist, it can work, but in any case you will need a sounding board to understand how and how not to handle your children.