We’ve all met Spolied Brat athletes but should mom and dad be held accountable?

1 Response to “We’ve all met Spolied Brat athletes but should mom and dad be held accountable?”

  1. August 24, 2010 at 5:11 PM

    It seems to me that most children who are productive and well behaved seem to have parents who are fairly active and take a sincere interest in their lives. These parents tend to and lead by example and rarely if ever tolerate inappropriate behavior.

    Conversely, and almost without exception, the kids that I’ve seen who throw helmets, argue with officials and act as poor teammates, usually have not grown up with a strong level of parental supervision. In a lot of cases, the parents themselves have bad habits and the kids simply mirror what they see happening at home. In others, the parents simply don’t care enough to make sure their child behaves properly. They seem to take a selfish attitude and only care about the success or failure of their own kids. It’s as if the coaches, teammates and officials are only their to shine a light on their won child.

    I hate to sound like I’m generalizing. Fact is the world is littered with good kids who grow up to be bad people and bad kids can grow up to be successful adults. Everyone’s different and every situation is different.

    But let’s face it…we’ve all seen kids in sports who wouldn’t surprise us if they wound up in jail or at best, with someone’s fist blasted through their teeth.

    The real question here is this…does the apple really ever fall far from the tree?

    I’d like to hear some stories about kids you’ve experienced who acted up. When you give me examples, please let me know if this behavior is a mirror of the parents, a result of the parents’ apathy or if I’m way off and the horrible kid is simply an enigma whose parents are models of leadership.

    I’d like to discuss this on the show this week.

    It’s important to note that some time ago, the California Courts recognized a parent’s responsibility for his or her child. “The parent has a special power of control over the conduct of the child, which he is under a duty to exercise reasonably for the protection of others. He may thus be liable for failure … to take reasonable efforts to restrain and correct [the child] when he manifests a tendency to beat other children with a stick,” or engages in other dangerous behavior. Singer v. Marx, 144 Cal.App.2d 637 (1956).

    And in the case of Reida v. Lund, 18 Cal.App.3d 698 (1971), the court held that the key to holding parents accountable for their children’s dangerous acts is whether they are aware, or should be aware with reasonable diligence, of the minor’s bad tendencies. The court stated, “Parents are responsible for harm caused by their children only when it has been shown that the parents, as reasonable persons, previously became aware of habits or tendencies of the infant which made it likely that the child would misbehave so that they should have restrained him in apposite conduct and action.”

    It’s important to note that in California, and most states for that matter, the law is not limited to specific situations. Rather, parents face liability for “any act of willful misconduct” by their children that “results in injury or death to another person or damage to another’s property.” California Civil Code Section 1714.1(a).

    I wonder if we’re headed for a slew of lawsuits against parents of annoying, pain-in-the-ass kids who ruin sporting events for the rest of us.

    Please chime in.

    Coach Tony

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