FAMILY COURT JUDGES-WHAT ARE THEIR PRINCIPLES AND VALUES? GIL FREEMAN - PARENTAL ALIENATION DYNAMICS
Reflecting on some of the cases observed while court watching, an observer may be compelled to question the principles and family values of superior/ family/ juvenile court judges. For example, after being informed that a parent had upwards of eight (8) known overnight master bedroom guests (and however many unknown) in the presence of that parent's children over a period of less than two years, one judge was of the opinion that parent had a right to find a "significant other" just as the children’s other parent had.
Yes, the parent has the right to find happiness but is the parent going about it in a manner that is safe for the children? Is parading likely sexually intimate partners in front of children the values a judge should instill in his own children? If not, then why is it acceptable behavior to any judge, now?
EVERYONE talks about "family values" and the conversation ASSUMES that it is universal knowledge what "family values" encompasses. It IS NOT.
Sit down and list out what YOUR parents used as your "family values" when you were growing up. I'll bet you can't make a comprehensive list.
I don't think people (regardless of their gender) think through what they probably should before they get a baby (whether by normal conception, in vitro fertilization, or adoption). For example, how long should children be subjected to the fictions that there is a tooth fairy, an Easter bunny, a Santa Claus, etc. that is upheld as "real" by the children's elders (including older siblings) for the sake of giving them special memories of a rich fantasy life during childhood? The family value is "a rich childhood fantasy life" that increases the child's perception that the child is benevolently cared about by omniscient "others" beyond its immediate family circle.
I think "family values" are those beliefs which we hold regarding what nurtures the smallest and weakest members of the family unit so that they will mature into adults with strong self-esteem, good morals, empathy for others, the ability to function in social circles and business environments with confidence that their behaviors are appropriate, respect for others (including their right to have different religious and other belief systems), etc.
When a former spouse/significant other is called on the carpet for sexual behaviors, it ALWAYS feels like the complaining ex is trying to interfere in the sex life of someone who does not owe any allegiance to the ex any more. It feels like a power play in the sex "fight" between the two adults ("If I can't have you, no one else can either") that the complainer couches in other terms ("Think of the children!") as camouflage to hide the real agenda. If the issue could be distanced from the objectionable behavior by a PRIOR mutual agreement as to what the people want their children to know are their "family values" and SETTLED in a written document, subsequent behaviors which can objectively be evaluated against the stated values could be criticized BY EITHER PARTY in less of a power play mode. "We agreed that this was our family value because we believed it would help the children grow up to be the kind of responsible adults that lead successful, meaningful, and rewarding lives. I don't think that agreed family value is supported when the message we agreed to send to the children gets contrasted with X behavior or Y statement which was recently placed before the children. I agree that you have the right to behave OUTSIDE the purview of the children in a manner that is inconsistent with our agreed family values, just as I do, and that you have the right to hold views that are inconsistent with those agreed family values, just as I do. But neither of us has any right to communicate inconsistent information regarding our agreed family values to our children. We both knew there was no Tooth Fairy but we agreed to uphold the fiction for the sake of our child when it was important that he/she accepted the fairy tale perfection of a Tooth Fairy who brought money (a good thing) in exchange for the loss of a baby tooth (a traumatic thing). Until our children reach their majority, it is important that they accept the fiction that the family expects all members to comport themselves at all times in accordance with our family values. To be good role models, their parents need to always appear as if they do not have feet of clay -- no matter how deficient in "up-rightness" the parents may actually be."
So the question remains- Do some judges hold their own children in the same regard that they hold litigants before the bench? Or should a judge embody a noble hypocrisy where "common folk" should be held to a lesser standard than a jurist’s own children?