O & O FCWA 20

A trial judge accepted an assessment by a consultant that a father had an inappropriate relationship with his daughter aged 11 years as he talked to her about everything, he confided in her in many topics and did not set firm boundaries, he talked to her about adult topics, and he functioned like a friend rather than a parent-figure towards her (parenting style permissive).   The father cried when on the phone to her, and complained that he did not get enough sleep when she was away, wishing that she could be with him all of the time (parenting style dependent).

The judge expressed a view that the father’s own emotional needs were completely enmeshed with those of the children (differentiate own/others emotions).  The father was so sorry for himself that he felt a need for others to feel sorry for him as well – including his very young children.  The judge concluded that children should not carry the physical and emotional burdens of their parents.