Monday, March 18, 2013

Making a judgment for yourself and your children

25 years ago I began to notice a change in responsibility and judgments being abrogated to others making the judgment for us, denial of opportunity for choice, and decision making by rubric. Those who are older than me may say they saw it sooner. Those my junior may accept it as the status quo.

As a child I had a winter coat with a drawstring hood. I pushed a lawn mower around that weighed more than me and didn't shut off when you picked up toys or hazards. There were adults that you knew not to be alone with but there was no list stating so.

I have a Toshiba DVD player that I am going to use to christen my front porch slab once I get it poured. On more than one occasion I have pulled a DVD case from my library, removed the disc, placed disc in said player and received the message “wrong disc”. Yet, the labeling on the disc matches the cover on the case and was the movie I intended to watch. Toshiba is implying that my moral compass is not appropriate and that I am attempting to watch something of ill character. So, apparently I am no longer responsible to make a judgment about the content of pre-recorded media that I view. Wrong. I am going to exercise some judgment – that is to never buy a Toshiba product again.

It gets no better when I get to my parents home and start to wipe out the left overs in the fridge after my 26 mile ride. I sought to heat some in their microwave. I set the desired time and then retrieve a larger bowl in which to mix the various ingredients. Upon completion of the set time the message “food is ready” flashed across the display. Really? As expected there were portions which were warm and others that were relatively cool. Ready? Not by my standards but then who am I to judge. Apparently it is no longer up to me to select at what temperature I want to serve or blend my food. Frigidaire has taken it upon themselves to decide for me.

This may seem mundane or trite but I think it demonstrates two instances of the overwhelming saturation of proxy decision making for us by others. Often by those who are far removed from us and may not share any of our cultural norms. It is part of a comprehensive societal norm that can have a significant impact upon your family and your children.

As I said, we children knew which adults with whom we should not be alone. I have often railed against the use of background checks and the sex offender registry as being the deciding factor in employment decisions. I have an audio recording of a school administrator speaking in a lecherous tone about students and admitting to a sexual assault. Why does this person still have contact with children in a school system? Because the voters in the current school corporation chose to use the lack of a criminal conviction as a green light to employment. No one needs to make a judgment about employing a sex offender. Use the rubric that allows employment of one who has managed to arrange his exodus from a previous school corporation which didn't want it revealed that they employed an admitted sex offender.

Clearly children are endangered and those who allow it can claim cleans hands because they “just followed the policy”. The lack of accountability and diffusion of responsibility for exposing children to potential harm is extending itself across the full care and parental spectrum. Recently my ire has been raised by the reliance on biased and agenda motivated evaluators in child custody cases. Courts, although charged with making the final decision, are relying too heavily on outside agitators who profit from protracted litigation and harmed children. Judges need to hear from the people directly responsible for the care of children. They need to hear from the parents themselves and be presented with evidence about the current and past performance of these parents. What is not productive for the children and conducive to a child well-being based custody decision is the skewing of reality as presented by an evaluator.

Courts need to take the time to allow and hear all relevant evidence in making child custody decisions. The rules of trial procedure need to be relaxed for child custody cases. Judges need to receive appropriate education on child custody issues. Parents need to quit relying upon evaluators. Parents and all taxpayers need to demand a reallocation of funding and tax savings redirected to the courts instead of the mental health profession, the medical community in general, the law enforcement community and others who profit from harm to children.

Parents don't want to be responsible. They don't want to take more time to investigate a child day care center [that term used euphemistically only. I prefer child warehousing centers] than to select a mobile phone. They don't want to be held accountable. The buck stops with someone else. When harm happens, when their child gets molested it was because “someone wasn't doing their job”. That someone is the face in the mirror. That someone is more concerned about his or her rights and proving the other parent unfit as a means of retribution for the separation or divorce rather than focusing solely on the best interest of the children.

If you would like to be a parent who is responsible for your child's well-being and your own then please visit my website and contact my scheduler to make an appointment to meet with me.

If you would like to follow my activities more closely then send a friend request to my Political FaceBook page.

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More information about child custody rights and procedures may be found on the Indiana Custodial Rights Advocates website.

©2008, 2013 Stuart Showalter, LLC. Permission is granted to all non-commercial entities to reproduce this article in it's entirety with credit given.

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