Yes, my blog is often about current affairs or, more likely than no … me.
Not this one, this is about fairness and morality and parenting.
When someone has a child they believe they get automatic parental rights. There is no such thing, what they have is parental responsibility, they are two totally different thing. It means that until they are old enough to look after themselves (legally), as a parent there is a responsibility to support that child emotionally, physically and financially. Failure to do any of those consistently or at all is unacceptable by any definition unless there is the sort of situation which makes it impossible.
As a parent there is no right to opt out of their lives unless you are so far up your own backside you wish to put yourself first all too often if not all the time. This applies to mothers or fathers, I am not singling anyone out here for special criticism, I’ve know both genders who felt it was totally fine to leave the kids with another parent and live their own lives popping up again when they felt like it.
How old does a child need to be before any decent absent parent leaves them alone? The damage done to a child when a parent comes back and forth in their lives is huge. Children are not there to tick the box on parenting once every year or two, they are a 365 day a year responsibility. Some parents not only feel it’s OK to go off and forget about them but they go and create more children!
When should a parent (male or female) with residency (custody) stop access when ‘reasonable’ access was the award of a court?
Is just not turning up or making any attempt to contact the child for a year or so good enough to allow a court to accept the plea of no access from the primary carer? How about if the other parent is taking or distributing a banned substance (drugs) or heavily socialises with those involved in recreational drugs? At what point is it totally reasonable to deny access and, what should the absent parent do to win it back.
I’ve known absent parents, total born liars. Somehow they get believed but they lie to get what they want. They’d blame anything and anyone rather than take responsibility as to why they’ve not been there committed to their parental responsibility.
I have known other parents who have done nothing wrong and yet are denied access and yet still send money to that child and buy birthday and Christmas gifts they will never get. It makes me totally sick that there are fathers and mothers out there who think it’s OK to treat their children as secondary to anything and everything else in their lives.
Sadly, so many reasons for morally denying access to an absent parent are really difficult to prove ad there seems to be nothing in place to really arbitrate to the truth.
The best I can think of is extended periods of supervised access with drug and alcohol testing. If this is complete, then, and only then should an absent parent be allowed unsupervised access to the child but, it should be on a three strikes and your out basis. They are allowed three opportunities to see their child but if they make any excuse at all to cancel, on the third time, even if there have been OK times in between, access should be revoked.
What annoys me, frustrates me so much is that so many of those parents feel it is about them. It should only ever be about the welfare of the child. There is no place in parenting to lie to get to spend time with a child. Parents should lead a life which enables their quality consistent parenting.