I think dogs should have about the same legal rights as children. That makes me a little aggressive about the legal standing of family pets, and deeply ambivalent about the necessity of treating undeveloped terrorists like “humans.” Children (and dogs) have the right to not be beaten or emotionally abused. They should have the right to clean and safe environments. They should have the right to run and play as much as possible. They should have consistent, reliable access to healthy meals, medical care, and mental stimulation.
They have the right to speak of course, but they don’t have the right to be listened to. If the dog starts demanding a blood sacrifice from the impudent delivery man, the dog is to be ignored. Similarly, you shouldn’t need “tips” for managing your kid’s iPad use. Just take the damn thing away and let the kid punch itself out. You’re the adult, you have a monopoly of force.
Of course, I’m raising a kid (and a dog) in a two-parent home. When parents get divorced, children attain the geopolitical standing of Southeast Asia during the cold war. And in that context, McDonald’s is part of the military-industrial complex that makes money off of the conflict between two warring superpowers…
An Upper East Side lawyer/dad is suing a court psychologist for defamation. The shrink said that he was “wholly unfit” to be a parent because he refused to take his four-year-old to McDonald’s. From the New York Daily News:
David Schorr, in court papers, said his son “threw a temper tantrum” on Oct. 30 when he said no to Mickey D’s — and his soon-to-be ex undermined him later by taking the boy to the Golden Arches.
A former corporate attorney, Schorr said he drew the line at McDonald’s because his boy has been eating “too much junk food,” the papers state.
Instead, Schorr gave the boy two options: another restaurant or no dinner at all.
“The child, stubborn as a mule, chose the ‘no dinner’ option,” the papers state…
So the dad returned the hungry boy to his mother, Bari Yunis Schorr. And the angry boy ratted on his pop.
The mom then alerted psychologist Marilyn Schiller, who reported the “incident” to the judge and recommended that Schorr’s visitation time be reduced after questioning the dad.
Ha. You know what the dad did wrong here? He didn’t strap his bawling urchin down into a chair, pinch his nose close, and shovel green beans into his mouth while he was gasping for air.
Sorry, that’s probably “bad parenting” too in this soft, permissive society that we’ve made for ourselves. But when we’re all speaking Mandarin in 2040, remember stories like this. Stories where our kids lose competitions like Oregon on the Farm, but then still get to go to McDonald’s to get fat off of meals designed to make them “happy.”
The worst part of this story is that the dad who got in trouble for being a dad, seems to have been beaten down:
“I wish I had taken him to McDonald’s, but you get nervous about rewarding bad behavior,” he said. “I think it was a 1950s’ equivalent of sending your child to bed without dinner. That’s maybe the worst thing you can say about it.”
Schorr said after the upsetting incident, “I did what any 43-year-old Jewish man would do — I told my mother. I said, ‘My God, did I do something wrong here?'”…
Schorr said his mother set him straight.
“Even my mother, the strictest mother in the world, said, ‘Why didn’t you just take him to McDonald’s? What were you thinking? You know that this is a divorce situation,’” he said.
Jesus Christ, America. Jesus Christ.
Again, if we treated children more like dogs, this kind of thing wouldn’t happen. Leave a salad and a cup of milk in a place where your child can reach it. When it’s hungry, it’ll eat.