What makes Kimberly Garrity the worst mother in the world, according to her children? Well, when they were growing up she gave them birthday cards with stupid tomatoes on the front, forced them to wear their seat belts, and refused to take them to car shows. This caused them suffering.

Garrity also "haggled" over party-dress prices, called them up at inconvenient times to make sure they were still alive, and failed to serve as a cash machine. For this, she owed her kids—23-year-old Steven and 20-year old Kathryn—at least $50,000. (They would have asked for more, but you know—she's their mom, and they love her, etc.) In 2009, the kids filed a lawsuit against Garrity, claiming emotional distress as the result of "bad mothering." Serving as one of their three attorneys was their father, Steven Miner, who said he asked his offspring not to file the case. Nevertheless, he wrote in court papers that "[e]veryone makes mistakes, but … there must be accountability for actions ... "Parenting is no different."

Surprisingly, an Illinois appeals court was incapable of feeling the kids' pain and ruled against them. Doing otherwise "could potentially open the floodgates to subject family child rearing to … excessive judicial scrutiny and interference," stated the court's opinion. What the judges seem to have overlooked is how their ruling now opens the floodgates to parents who wish to say no to their children, which will be more corrosive to our society in the long-run.

[Chicago Tribune, image via Shutterstock]