Is It Ok to Bite My Child?

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By on March 14, 2012 9:03 pm Leave your thoughts

If the answer to the above question were a simple “No!”, it would not be the title to this blog post. I might settle for one almost as simple, “That depends.”, but the answer is not simple.

This is my first post since the revised predecessors of @ 120 posts and 200 pages became Burt’s first Amazon Kindle Book. You may buy it, “Perspectives of a Small Town Lawyer”, and download it for a mere $2.99. If you do so and would also like a PDF version for your iPad or PC, just let me know, and I will e-mail you a link to download. I think it is closer to the original and more pleasing to the eye, but the iPad version is really nice. I haven’t seen how well the photos show up on my Kindle since I have “loaned” it to my editor, Nancy.

What prompted the question above was a mediation where my client questioned grandma’s fitness to provide child care because she bit her grandchild to discourage him from biting her. The “rest of the story” describes a person for whom this was not the only child rearing faux pais. But, that’s not the point of this post. I am proud to say the parties, with the mediator’s help, fashioned a good parenting plan with a “no biting” provision!

I am aggressive in representing my clients and protecting their children. But, when she voiced her complaint, an impish part of me (I swear, I NEVER meant for it to come out!) blurted out, “What’s wrong with that?” My client and the mediator, a Mother of two and former abuse prosecutor, both recoiled from me. My client reminded me there had been marks, and some other derilictions, and I quickly retreated.

But I continued to think about the question. We are talking about a really good mediator here, with near encyclopedic knowledge of children’s developmental issues. She educates me at every mediation where children are involved. She patiently explained to the Mother that she “had heard” (This indicated  to me that her own parents did not believe in this particular disciplinary tool!), that she “had heard” that people of “a certain generation” believed that such tactics constitute good parenting. This is the same mediator that keeps calling me “sir” so I realize that I, no doubt, am of the generation she “has heard” may be acting out on our grandchildren.

This post was written by Burton Hunter

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