Parental control: should you, are you accepting responsibility for kids and when you should or can you not.Posted: July 30, 2013
Once you accept responsibility, you are opening yourself up for any problem the minor may encounter.
This scenario came to me, and my reaction was the exact opposite of the person telling me about it.
Child is enrolled in a program. One parent enrolled the child. The other parent is making rules for how the child will act and what the child will wear (safety gear) while attending the program.
It is a community program, not away from home; it is something you drop your child off should participate in.
The one parent sends a letter to the program stating they expect the program to make sure the child wears the specific equipment. It is optional for all other participants to wear the specific equipment.
How the program responds will determine who is going to pay the child’s medical bills. Basically, the parent created a standard that if accepted by the program creates a duty upon the program.
I would have sent a letter to both parents that states:
It is your kid; we are not a babysitting service. If you want to make sure your child wears the gear, then you need to be here making sure your child is wearing the gear. You are allowed, in fact, encouraged to attend all practices, programs and meetings. If your child is here, you better be here too.
The other person’s response.
They’d better made sure the kid wears the gear.
The legal issue and concern?
The program is run by volunteers. One parent is saying to volunteers if you do not do what I say I am going to sue you if my child is hurt. The program has hundreds of kids, seriously hundreds of kids some nights, and a few volunteers, (when were there ever enough volunteers.)
The parent is making a duty that the program can either accept or not accept and if they do nothing they are accepting the standard created by the program. “I am not responsible for your child.”
Will this create a duty on the part of every other child in the program?
We are not legally responsible for your child; you are. (See A Parent (or Guardian) is still in control of a child, no matter what the volunteer may want, http://rec-law.us/zN0jcl). The program has no responsibility if the parent is present. Why accept the possibility that you cannot control a teenager and therefore, will get sued because of it?
Why Volunteer and Put Up with Crap like This!
What type of parent are you that you can’t take the time to spend time with your child but threaten litigation if your child gets hurt. “Here you take your time to take care of my kid and I’m going to sue you over it.”
Actually, I just would have thrown the kid out of the program. No program, run by volunteers for other people’s kids need this.
Kid programs are not where parents drop off kids and go on with their lives. Kid programs are where families work to help the community, and the kid to grow, learn and expand their horizons. Kids programs are not so parents get a break from their kids. Youth programs are for youth and that does not mean that those adults who take time away from their family should be subject to suit by parents who won’t take the time.
If you volunteer your time and someone who does not volunteer puts a burden on you to watch their kid how would you feel?
If you are volunteering your time, and some parent comes to you and says you have to do things this way, hand them the clipboard and whistle and walk away. It is not worth it.
Other articles about the legal issues of Volunteers:
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