A Mother has lost custody of her two sons after a judge took issue with her ‘permissive parenting’ style.
Judge Laura Harris heard how the boys, who had been living with their mother after their parents split up, were allowed to play computer games and Xbox late into the night. Their mother spent large amounts of time in bed, leaving the two brothers to their own devices.
The judge was told how the boys often neglected their homework and missed classes at school.
In 2012, the father of the two boys asked a court for custody after repeatedly complaining that he had been denied contact with them. Judge Harris said the father ‘has, in my view, demonstrated far better insight into the needs of his boys’.
‘He is much more in favour of structure, boundaries and discipline, and I can understand why the boys might baulk at that.’
The judge decided that the home environment provided by the mother was not ideal. The mother’s lack of attention to discipline and rules was of particular concern to the judge.
‘Although the court must be tolerant of different standards of parenting, I consider the permissive parenting in this case has caused the children harm.’
‘She [the mother] does spend hours under the duvet, on the phone or using her iPad, and the children are left to their own devices. It seems to me to be likely that they are spending a lot of time playing on their own or on their Xboxes.’
‘She does have a very permissive style of parenting, and I accept the father’s evidence that she is more like a friend than a parent.’ The judge said.
‘I am satisfied that there is a failure to provide proper guidance and boundaries essential for the social and emotional development of these pre-adolescent and adolescent boys.’