The case was heard at Naas Circuit Court on Tuesday.
A father has been told by a District Court judge to stop referring to his nine year old son’s weight for fear of the damage it could do him.
The comment was made at Naas District Court last Tuesday, May 1, during an access application by the father of the boy. The man and the boy’s mother are no longer a couple, and the man was applying for a court order allowing him to see his son.
Judge Desmond Zaidan interviewed the nine year old boy alone, excluding both parents from the courtroom. The boy confirmed that he loved both parents but that his father’s approach to his weight in the past upset him.
He became emotional as he described being weighed when he visited his father’s home, and how his weight was recorded in a little notebook. The boy also said that things were better with him and his father before his father had met his new partner.
Judge Desmond Zaidan told the father that while he understood the latter’s concern for the health implications of his son’s weight, that he was to “lay off” the subject in advance of his adolescent years. “We all have puppy fat,” he told the man.
He said that he knew, as a parent himself, that kids can “drive you up the wall” and that nobody “is a perfect dad”. But he told the father that there are other ways of raising issues of concern with kids.
The man was agreeable with all of the judge’s advice and direction. It was agreed that he would see his son on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons as well as on every second Sunday afternoon, to re-establish relations.