For many Minnesota parents, fast food is becoming a less-desirable option for their kids’ nutritional needs. Sure, McDonald’s and other fast-food restaurants provide a tasty snack – but should parents be mandated to take their children if they want to go? That is the issue underlying a child custody battle in an East Coast state where a dad was accused of unfit parenting for failing to give his son dinner when he refused to eat anywhere but McDonalds.
The couple is already locked in a custody battle over their 4-year-old son. Now the man who was declared “unfit” is also seeking compensation for defamation by a psychologist in the case for telling a judge that the man could not effectively parent his son because he refused to get him McDonald’s food.
The day in question started off like many other visits when Dad picked up his son for their weekly dinner. The child demanded to be taken to McDonald’s, but his father was worried that he had been consuming too much junk food. As a result, he told the boy he could eat at any establishment that was not McDonald’s. The little boy refused to eat at any restaurants that did not have golden arches. Therefore, the father took his son home without dinner. A psychologist in the case successfully requested that the man’s custody time be restricted because he was intentionally starving his child.
The man argues, however, that giving in to the child’s tantrum would have set a bad precedent. He says he just sent the boy to bed without dinner because of the child’s stubbornness.
Child custody fights are all unique, but this situation carries an unusual twist. Parents need to discuss their opinions about nutrition and other fundamental aspects of their kids’ lives both during and after any custody proceedings. Good communication and united parenting can prevent this type of situation from occurring.
Time.com, “Not Lovin It: Dad Accused of ‘Unfit Parenting’ for Refusing to Take His Son to McDonalds” Madison Gray, Nov. 08, 2013