Solomon and the Gordian Knot
More father for the child
Article in the Algemeen dagblad of 22/4/97 with the title " Child from broken family also needs a father")
English information on Joep Zander
Last week the parliament (tweede kamer in Dutch) opted for a statement of principle: "to maintain the authority of both parents over the child". A nice principle, which was unfortunately contradicted by another part of the same bill. This part allows for the possibility of a "Social Parent sharing authority" if the original "other parent" has already shared this authority with them in practice for 3 years.
This represents an "un"parenting which remains possible because of the open-ended character of the shared authority of the original parents.
"What is wisdom?" is a question pondered by many Members of Parliament, possibly even the Secretary of State, before being buried under law and policy proposals.Proposals from governmental commissions full of hungry lawyer-wolves-in-sheeps'-clothing, who still lack sustenance after feasting on existing conflict between fathers and mothers.
What would Judge Solomon do when he had a real father and mother in front of him fighting over parenting? In the Bible Solomon decides over a conflict between a real and a fake mother. Many lawyers and scientists know only part of the story of Solomon.
There is a vague awareness of a sharp sword used to cut a child in half.Judges think they enforce wisdom on a daily basis by splitting parenting in half. As if, in this case, both people are not real/true parents, and as if both do not love their children very much.
Solomon and also his ‘alter-ego’ (shadow ego) Dolliger created by Berhold Brecht however only wanted to say that you should not split the child and that especially the parent who does NOT want to engage in a conflict about the child (his child not seen as his property) most particularly deserves the parenthood of the child.
Brecht adds that this principle also means that the biological mother without heart does not deserve the child. If the sword is hanging over the head of the child the good/real parent withdraws.
Judge Solomon awards the withdrawing parent the right to parent the child.So fair judging is quite different than cutting through Gordian knots.So children should not be cut in two by the sword of a loyalty conflict and guilt issues.
In short wisdom tends to maintain 'parenting together'.
The parent who does not want the other parent to take part in the parenting has to leave him/herself.
If not, then it would be wisdom if a judge does not grant authority to the parent who is making trouble. This will force both parents towards each other. In the real world things are opposed to that, the good parent is not allowed to sent a card or message to the child, very often because of a ruling of the judge. The child is not allowed to use his name any longer.
Can mothers derive an ownership right from "caring/looking after"? Are fathers not looking after their children? Is earning a living not looking after? Can a father be blamed that his workshop or desk, just as the washing machine, is not at home anymore?
Do fathers, who change their children’s nappies, feed and washing the dishes, have legal parenting entitlement, while mother is going to work?? No, sometimes they don’t even get it. Also women’s organisations (Boor, Thooft) admit that breaking out of role patterns is difficult and that this is especially the case with fathers who try to break through the role patterns - and very often miss out. The judge chooses in a way which leads to roles being consolidated. This is proven by forms available at the Courts (Zwolle, Arnhem) - there isn’t even an item on the form where you can enter that the father gets authority. And what about "expert officers" working for the Councils for Child 'protection’, who have a policy that for children less than five years old, father are unimportant per definition. This is the tip of the iceberg in an old-fashioned institution which make it impossible for fathers to connect with parenting.
All this results in the fact that half of our children, after divorce, will be separated from one of the parents (Griffits and Hekman). A fact which the lawmakers and the Ministry of Justice don’t like to dwell upon. The child has, according to the treaty of the rights of the child, the right to have contact with both parents. A support commission (consisting of lawyers who have their own economic interests) blocked a new study which set out the scale of ‘loyalty abuse’ from a child’s perspective. A study about access rights, as requested by the government in Nov. ’94, has not materialised.
It is the child who is hurt. The child is hurt in his/her interest in having a relationship with the father. Fathers are also hurt. This is very much proven by the fact that such fathers live shorter lives than fathers who are fully involved with parenting. Not because of murder, but through stress. Stress caused because fathers are collectively accused of fighting for the interests of their child. Fathers who have very often proven to have a lot more respect for shared parenting than many of the mothers. Fathers who are hurt psychologically because of that.
These fathers deserve support and the abolishment of fathering discrimination.
Their children deserve more father.
(pedagogue and artist, chairman commission for family rights)
Translated by Gerrit Blok, Auckland, New Zealand, ++64 9 5341006,email@example.com (24/2/2000) corrections by Julian Fitzgerald
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