It was with a great sigh of relief that I learned a judge dismissed the case of
Steven Miner II, 23, and his sister Kathryn,
20, who filed a lawsuit against their mother, Kimberly Garrity.
They were seeking more than$50,000 for "emotion distress" she caused them by her poor
And by poor mothering they
weren't talking anything legit, like abuse or neglect, but rather things like
sending a birthday the son didn't like and failing to send care packages when
they were in college. The horror! Thank goodness the judge saw their ridiculous,
lawsuit-happy ways and threw the frivolous case out, or else we all could be in
trouble some day.
It did, however, get me
thinking about all the things I have done and do to my kids (or don't do) that
they might find lawsuit worthy in the future. Some are more
egregious than others, but all frustrate them, or will likely frustrate them in
the future, to no end. Here are 20 of them, in no particular
1. I haven't completed their
baby books, and don't have a strong belief that I ever will.
2. I have forgotten when they
walked, crawled, spoke, etc. for the first time, and didn't write it down.
Sometimes I make it up when people ask.
3. I embarrass them in front
of their friends with hugs and kisses, and probably always
4. I have forgotten to pick my
son up from school on time and once tried to drop him off at the wrong
5. I don't go on every school
6. Their white clothing is
never really white after the first washing.
7. I will never
8. I won't always defend them.
If they're wrong, they're wrong.
9. I throw their junky
treasures (acquired at birthday parties and the like) away when they're not
10. I ooh and awe over the
artwork they do, then I chuck it. I can't stand clutter.
11. Lazy mistakes on
schoolwork are not okay in our house.
12. I just can't bring myself
to let them wear clothing with cartoon characters splashed all over
13. I expect them to push
themselves, even when it's not comfortable at times. "Pain is just weakness
leaving your body," is one of my favorite quotes.
14. I sometimes raise my
15. They get one sugared box
of cereal per year on their birthday (the poor deprived
16. I make them listen to
old-school country music. (Merle is good for the soul.)
17. I won't hand out praise
for every little thing they do.
18. The tooth fairy has failed
at least once.
19. I do not tolerate
20. I will use as much tough
love as necessary to make sure they become kind, considerate human
Some things on the list I
could certainly improve upon for the better, but even in my errors I hope I am
teaching them that no one is perfect and that they know everything I do is out
of love. Hopefully, I won't raise ungrateful brats like the children in the
lawsuit, but I guess you never know. If they do end up suing me some day, I'll
know that I should have probably racked up more offenses in order to shape them
into better people.
What "bad mothering"
might your kids sue you for someday?
I suspect that this is an infuriated response to mothering that lacked the only thing kids really care about: feeling loved.
It's astonishing what kinds of things children will forgive, when they know they're accepted; it's even more astonishing what petty and objectively irrelvant things they will never forgive when they lack acceptance.