Dad Accused Of Being ‘Wholly Incapable’ Of Caring For Son For Truly Dumb Reason

185747037__1383945969_142.196.167.223A New York father has been accused of being “wholly incapable” of caring for his son after he didn’t give into his “I want McDonald’s” tantrum. Who deemed him incapable? A court-appointed psychologist.

Here’s what happened; 4-year-old wants to eat at McDonald’s. Father says no. 4-year-old throws fit. Father gives 4-year-old choice of another restaurant or no dinner at all. Stubborn 4-year-old chooses no dinner at all. Is anyone surprised by this? I’m not. My kid is stubborn as heck and would probably do the same thing.

David Schorr said his son had been eating too much junk food and he had to draw the line. He accuses his wife, Bari Yunis, of constantly giving into his son’s demands and undermining his authority. Yunis is pissed that her son was returned to her hungry. Schorr is filing a defamation suit against the psychologist who made the claim. Schorr and Yunis are in a heated custody battle – I guess that is pretty clear.

Okay – this is just silly. 4-year-olds throw tantrums all the time, and you can’t always give in. I’m with Schorr who doesn’t want to reward bad behavior. That the mother felt compelled to report to a psychologist about this situation is a little extreme; “The mom then alerted psychologist Marilyn Schiller, who reported the “incident” to the judge and recommended that Schorr’s visitation time be reduced after questioning the dad.”

Ugh. This is why I hate marriage and people. Okay, I don’t hate marriage and people, but how do things like this happen? How do you go from liking someone enough to marry them and reproduce, to hating them so much that you have to fight through lawyers, make stupid accusations and are unable to agree on the smallest details of parenting?

Schorr, who is separated from his wife and in the middle of a nasty custody battle, told The Daily News he usually takes his son the Corner Cafe and Bakery on 3rd Ave. and 92nd St. and is “kicking myself mightily” now for getting into a standoff with his son.

“I wish I had taken him to McDonald’s, but you get nervous about rewarding bad behavior,” he said. “I think it was a 1950s’ equivalent of sending your child to bed without dinner. That’s maybe the worst thing you can say about it.”

Yunis won’t comment – so to be fair this is only one side of the story.

Divorce sucks.

(photo: Getty Images)

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  • pixie

    I’m not a parenting expert or expert on child psychology, but he was giving his child a choice of another restaurant or no dinner at all, and therefore teaching his child an important lesson, was he not? The lesson of compromise and consequence of actions? Like ok, so he doesn’t get to go to McDonalds where he wanted to go, and even after throwing a tantrum, gets the option of going somewhere else to eat, which is a good compromise and the consequence is he still gets food or he has the option of not eating, which isn’t exactly a compromise (but still a choice he gets to make for himself) and the consequence being he’s hungry for a short period of time. The kid isn’t being starved. The father gave the kid a choice and followed through with it. A lot of people I know wouldn’t even have gotten to choose and just would have not gotten fed for throwing a tantrum about that at that age.
    Or is the child too young to start learning choice-consequence lessons?

    • Peggy

      I don’t think 4 is too young at all to learn about consequences. Our twins are 3 and we give them the choice of eat what you have or go to bed hungry. A toddler will not starve if they decide to pitch a fit and go to bed hungry once. I’ve taken away every single toy/book/stuffed animal in their room as a consequence for behaviors. I’ll be interested to hear what the other side of this is, but I feel so sad for this poor child-that type of acrimony between parents has got to do something to your psyche.

    • pixie

      I didn’t think it was too young, but thanks for giving me a second opinion showing that I’m not the only one who thinks that.
      Yeah, I really do feel bad for the child. Being so young and having two parents who react completely different to his “demands” can’t be good for his development. If it continues, he might grow up to resent one or both of his parents (I had friends put in similar nasty custody battles as young children and often, as a preteen, they resented the stricter parent because the other parent would cater to their every want).
      The other side would definitely be interesting to hear.

    • Rachel Sea

      Every adult in a child’s life has their own way of doing things. Differences between adults’ methodology is not at all damaging, the parents’ manipulation of those methodologies to get their kids to love them the most is what is damaging.

    • ElleJai

      I resented the idiot who gave in on everything. I just wanted to be with the parent who could set limits and act like a grown up, because I felt far more safe and secure with them.

    • DatNanny

      Four is not too young developmentally to offer that kind of choice. It can be hard for a child that age to think rationally or understand the consequences, but that is why these lessons are important. This was a display of good parenting.

      Later, when the child was calm, the parent could offer him dinner; anything other than McDonald’s. Dad probably expected Mom would give him dinner when he dropped him off, having lost the treat of going out to a restaurant.

      Custody battles are ugly, it’s a sad truth that people will say anything about their spouse in court. What I find disgusting is the “professional” that went along with this. Ugh.

    • Evelyn

      4 is not only not too young, I think it is rather late to be starting to set boundaries rather than letting the kid run everything (which from the sounds of things was something the father was complaining about when he said that his estranged wife gives into tantrums and undermines him when he tries to be firm).

      I am not a perfect parent and my kids are not perfect angels but I really would not expect my kids to act like this at the age of 4. My youngest is 4 and although she can get a bit bratty, demanding, and throw the odd wobbler (what 4 year old isn’t like that from time to time?) I would really not expect a full on temper tantrum because I won’t take her to a specific restaurant at that age. I would say she is far too old for that sort of behaviour and wouldn’t put up with it. Unless there is some kind of issue due to a condition that the kid has and we haven’t been told about in the source article, that kind of behaviour sounds like a kid who normally gets what he wants if he starts to kick off.

      By way of putting the age into perspective, in the country where I live kids of 4 years old are in full time compulsory education. At that age in the UK the kid would be going to school every day. If he reacts that way to being thwarted his teacher would find that behaviour unacceptable, you can’t have a kid acting that way in a class of 20-30 other children who are trying to learn.

    • Justme

      Um. I’ve been doing this with my child since she was a year old. Choices and natural consequences.

  • Emil

    I bet there is more to this story but yeah, we make a lot of important decisions as parents but deciding who to co-parent with is probably the most important.

  • jendra_berri

    Wait. Hang on. Children have a RIGHT to choose McDonald’s? And the parent MUST comply?
    Well, my 5-year-old self would have loved to know about this.

  • EmmaFromÉire

    What a pair of top class bitches. I’m particularly disgusted by that psychologist, I would serious question her fitness to practise if she feels a McDonalds related tantrum is grounds for reduced visitation time.

    • Muggle

      It makes me wonder if this incident is just the straw that broke the camel’s back. We’ve only got one side of the story, this IS a nasty custody battle, and you know this is typical MRA fodder. I don’t think the dad did anything wrong here at all, I just don’t think we’re hearing the whole story.

      Of course, since this is all we’ve heard and are likely to ever hear, we can go ahead and question WTF the psychologist was thinking.

    • EmmaFromÉire

      I’m with you there, especially since the mother wont comment, I just find it horrifying. I feel like men do get screwed over when it comes to custody, and the thought of a kid’s tantrum affecting his visitation just upsets me.

  • FF4life

    I’m going through a pretty bitter divorce myself. Ex’s pretty much will do, say, and use anything they can to get custody. This isn’t the case in every divorce but it absolutely does happen and often.

    If my ex brought my daughter home and told me a story like this I would actually give him kudos for once. My daughter is 4 and only ever wants to eat chicken nuggets and French fries. Sometimes she refuses to eat anything else. Do you give into this behavior? No, of course not. They’re children and they don’t understand that eating only candy and chicken nuggets will impact their health. It’s a parents job to teach them that. Four year olds aren’t old enough to comprehend that and yes they’re stubborn. My daughter has gone to bed hungry because she refused to eat a healthy meal. We can’t afford to throw out a meal she doesn’t like and even if we could we wouldn’t because giving into that behavior teaches kids that tantrums work. You see this impact people their entire lives when they throw tantrums at work for having to stay late to meet a dead line.

    You can’t raise a child to be a well adjusted adult by giving into their every whim.
    It sucks that all the court and this psychologist can see is a parent refusing to feed their kid. If this makes him a poor parent then I guess I am too.

    • Rachel Sea

      Whatever. You both are great parents for not giving in to your tiny dictators, and anyone who says differently has an agenda.

  • Blueathena623

    I kinda wish I could contact the mom and give her a preview of where this could go.
    An acquaintance of mine has two girls, 11 and 8. About 3 years ago she got divorced, and it got ugly. I don’t know the whole story as to why the stress turned into this, but the girls are very picky eaters. The 11 yr old in particular eats 5 non-desert foods: plain pasta, Kraft Mac and cheese (only that brand), plain rice, and cream cheese on white bread. She will eat any desert, but those are seriously the only foods she eats. I don’t know why she doesn’t have scurvy or something, must take a multivitamin. And the mom gives in every single time. I don’t advocate starving kids, but that girl needs to go hungry.

    • Amber Starr

      Oh my god…. That’s insane. My fiance and I are already planning parenting strategies for situations just like this and our daughter isn’t even due to be born for another 4 weeks. We both agree that we won’t make anything for her that is obviously kid-unfriendly (we both love spice, but we wont make her eat habanero peppers or anything), but she needs to eat what we make for her meals.

      I had an ex who made THREE meals at dinner: One for him, one for his 6 year old daughter, and one for his 9 year old son, because they were both trained to be picky eaters. I was like “Are you f**king serious??”, and he was. He would rather make 3 different dinners than deal with upsetting his kids. There is no way in hell I would give in to a kid like that.

    • Ptownsteveschick

      Its been my experience that at a certain age it is more difficult to get them to eat anything because they don’t want to sit still(reason why my 2 yr old eats standing up at the coffee table while she wiggles around, she fell off her chair too many times)
      We just gave her lots of different foods, like whatever we were eating right from the beginning and she isn’t picky at all. She even likes to try new things, and some foods with more spice. I think a big mistake people make is feeding their kids bland food up to a certain point and then expecting them to eat regular food all of a sudden.

    • Blueathena623

      I agree. Once we got past the introduction of solids at 6 months or so, by 8 months he ate whatever we were having for dinner (with things mashed up if need be depending on how many teeth he had)

    • Sara610

      Yes…..the best advice I ever got when pregnant was never to do “kid meals”. My two-year-old eats what we eat. If I’m making something particularly spicy (like vindaloo), I’ll make a less-spicy version for her, but that’s the only exception. She still goes through picky phases (she had a vegetable-hating phase for months) but we still serve everything. Eventually, she started eating veggies again.

      I have a ten-year-old cousin who STILL eats one of those microwaveable Kid Cuisine things for dinner every night. EVERY NIGHT. As in, if they go to someone’s house for dinner, my aunt packs one in a freezer bag to microwave when they get there.

    • gothicgaelicgirl

      I do this too for the Stepkids.
      The young lad has an aversion to onions, they actually make him ill, doc reckons he’s allergic. He can eat them in a pre-bought sauce because of all those lovely preservatives and additives, but it is the ONLY concession I will make with regards to their dinner, I make his with no onion. Mince stew? Just no onions for him.
      Chicken with stuffing and roast onions? no onions.
      but that’s it. they WERE slightly picky when I first got with their Dad but I told him after six months of doing 4 different meals enough was enough, if they didnt like what I was making they could either have a ham sandwich or nothing as I was sick of it. they put up a fight for about two weeks, then the chicken korma must’ve smelled too good to pass up lol!

    • Sara610

      My best friend is allergic to onions and garlic. She can eat onions if they’re extremely well cooked (like caramelized onions) and even then only in small amounts. Her husband is allergic to mushrooms.

      Her MIL didn’t believe that she was actually allergic to onions and one time she tried to “catch” her by putting raw onions in a dish she was serving to the whole family without telling my BF they were in there. That was a fun evening.

    • gothicgaelicgirl

      holy hell, that’s insane!! why on earth would anyone risk someone’s health??
      I’ve been guilty of slipping in extra veg into the lasagne or cottage pie (courgette and peppers grate in nicely, kids don’t notice them) but no way would I “experiment” with an allergy!!
      I’m allergic to fresh pineapple. i can drink the juice, i can have it canned but i cannot eat it fresh, it makes my throat swell.
      i think I’d happily backhand anyone who tried to “slip” me some fresh pineapple.
      I could DIE!

      Was she trying to be funny???

    • Sara610

      No, she’s just crazy like that. :(

      Fortunately, my friend’s allergy isn’t life threatening, but she does get really sick to her stomach and it’s just generally unpleasant.

    • Emmali Lucia

      I’ve had one or two people do that to me with gluten. I can’t have it, it literally kills the lining of my intestines, but there’s always one asshole out there who thinks it’s some fad diet and lies to me about it.

      It’s why I refuse to go to my father’s house for Thanksgiving, I don’t trust my step-mother.

    • gothicgaelicgirl

      *shakes head* madness…
      what if they were allergic to cats and you thought it’d be funny to bring one to their home!?

    • Blueathena623

      Yup, we are in a veggie hating phase now, but I will keep on offering. I’m not making different meals.

    • Blueathena623

      One piece of advice I have is to make sure you occasionally offer foods you dislike. I don’t like pickles, so we don’t have any in the house, but I once got a wedge on my plate while eating out, and the kiddo devoured it. Same with turnips. I wasn’t a big fan of onions before him, but he loves them, to the point where he chomps on a raw one like an apple, so I have learned to like onions.
      Also, don’t let a picky phase throw you. Kiddo has never liked tomatoes. No matter how many times and different ways I’ve offered then, he doesn’t care for them, so I accept that as a preference and try to limit tomatoes in his portions of food. However, kid is goings through a “I hate veggies” phase and is treating every veggie like its tomatoes. I made squash and onions last night, and he treated it like it was rotten. My husband was like “he doesn’t like these foods, you need to do different ones.” Um, no. He’s liked them for well over a year, he’s just being a little snot right now. So I’m offering regular meals and a little bit of comfort food if needed (bananas and peanut butter) because I think the pickiness is partly due to an extended cold we’ve all had, and if he’s sick I don’t want him to have nothing in his tummy.

    • gothicgaelicgirl

      lol ours swing between liking things- A won’t eat beans, B won’t eat carrots and C won’t eat peas- so we stick to roasted peppers and spinach for veg. if they protest we say well, it’s either cabbage/spinach/pak choi or (insert beans/carrots.peas).
      they happily chomp down the cabbage then. =P

  • keelhaulrose

    Perhaps that psychologist got their degree at Hamburger U.

  • My2bits

    The worst part is the mom actually took him to McDonald’s when Dad brought him home.

    • DatNanny

      Seriously. That poor kid. Divorce is so hard on kids, even with the dreamiest and most civil custody decisions, yet alone a battle. Yet she’s directly hindering his learning and milestones as well. I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s just to paint Daddy as Mean.

  • Momma425

    In all fairness to the mother, I understand where she was coming from.

    My daughter’s dad is not the best parent out there. He is always focused on him, him, him. What he wants to do, his needs, and his schedule. Because HE doesn’t go to bed earlier, and HE doesn’t like to eat dinner earlier- I often find that I have to stop and get my 4 year old dinner on the way home from his house after his weekends. It is after 7pm when I pick her up and she is STARVING, fussy, and in a piss poor mood. Plus having her eat so late pushes her bedtime back, which makes for a rough start to the week when she has daycare. His excuse? “Well I don’t eat dinner til nine. I didn’t think about it. I gave her a banana as a snack at four and I figured she could eat dinner with you.”

    He used to genuinely do this kind of BS by accident, now, he does it just because he knows it gets under my skin. As a parent, I have learned how to deal- I always have a granola bar or some fruit/veggies, or a go-gurt for her to snack on before we get home, and I make enough of our dinner so she can have some when she gets home.

    I totally side with the dad, and unless he was ALWAYS returning the child to the mom’s house hungry, this really shouldn’t have been blown out of proportion. But yeah, dealing with a hungry child is no joke.

  • Angela

    I’d really like the other side of the story here. It sounds pretty ridiculous but this could have played out several different ways. Consider the following scenarios for example:

    1. Kid has been filling up on junk food and snacks all day. When it comes to dinner though Dad puts his foot down and kid throws fit. Dad offers other food but kid refuses because he’s been snacking all afternoon and not super hungry. Dad takes kid home an hour or two later and kid whines to mom because he knows it will get him what he wants.
    2. Kid hasn’t eaten since lunch and he’s really hungry so when dad insists on taking him to a restaurant he hates he has a total meltdown. Dad gets furious with kid and totally loses his shit. He threatens kid that if he doesn’t stop crying right now then he’ll get absolutely nothing for the rest of the night. A little while after the meltdown kid has calmed down and begs his dad repeatedly for something to eat or drink but dad refuses to teach him a lesson. Then for added effect dad gorges himself on ice cream and snacks while the kid watches. Kid doesn’t go home for several more hours and dad won’t even let him have a drink of water.

    The first scenario is an example of appropriate limit setting but I’d pretty pissed if anyone ever treated my kid like dad in the second scenario (and unfortunately I know people who DO parent that way). And either way I find it incredibly sad that these parents can’t get their act together in order to effectively co-parent. That poor kid’s in for a rough ride I’m afraid.

    • Sara610

      I completely agree with your last point. Fine, you’re having problems with your ex-partner. But don’t turn your kid’s diet and his ability to see his father into part of the battle ground unless there’s some serious abuse going on. If they can’t get their sh*t together enough to put their son’s well-being ahead of their petty back-and-forth, their son is going to pay the price in the long term. Can you imagine what it must be like to be this kid, growing up knowing that his mom responds to normal, everyday dustups by reporting his dad to a psychologist and trying to get his visitation reduced? What’s that going to do to his relationship with his father?

      No matter what problems you have with your ex-spouse, your kid’s well being always has to come first. ALWAYS.

      And since the mom refuses to comment on this, so far all we have to go on is the dad’s side of the story.

  • E cigarette

    After all they are child! We are parents and we know better than them what is good for them and what is bad for them! Don’t we have such right over child to direct him or her to that path which is best for him or her?

    E cigarette

  • Kendra Richards

    “Wholly incapable?” A little much, isn’t it?

    LOL. Just the way things are in this world right now… I don’t even know words for it. Pathetic? Impossible? Ridiculous? Those don’t even do this situation (and a lot of others) justice. Just damn!

  • personal

    I do let my kids decide to some extent what they eat but we certainly don’t go to McD’s every time my 4-year-old asks. Having said that, the choice of having no dinner would not be on the table, so to say. Of course, an angry out-of-control 4-year-old will choose no dinner in the heat of the argument. IMHO, he shouldn’t be held to that. I can imagine some folks might say an hour later, ‘You chose not to eat….’
    At our house, if she won’t eat what we’re eating, she gets Cheerios and a banana or a cheese sandwich and cucumber. Those are foods she likes. That’s the choice.

    • Sara610

      My daughter is 2, and her big thing right now is asking for something else before she’s eaten what she was given. Our rule is always that she has to eat what she was served before she can have anything else (especially since we usually give her some choices along the lines of “would you like an apple or banana? Cheese or yogurt?”).

      Very often she pitches a fit and refuses to eat what she has because she’s mad that she can’t have the thing she was asking for. When that happens, we don’t make a big thing of it, we just take up her plate and put it aside so she can try again in half an hour or so. She almost always finishes her dinner then.

  • Sara610

    IF this actually happened the way the article says (and I always add that caveat because so often these stories are missing crucial pieces of information), it sounds like the dad is the better parent of the two. So what, the mother just gives in to every demand and tantrum? Awesome.

  • CassidyHarvill

    whenever Parent should give the freedom for their children and should not refused for the any demand of children.

  • Evelyn

    Oh dear, it seems both my husband and I are incapable of raising a child. If we ever split who on earth will they give the kid to as neither of us reward tantrums with McDonald’s and while we are fine with an occasional McDonald’s neither of us are that fond of the place and would both rather take the kids elsewhere for dinner out. My own 4 year old loves the idea of McDonald’s more than she loves the food so she asks for it then leaves much of the food. This means that when she asks for a McDonald’s she gets a no, and a tantrum about it would lead to getting no treat food at all. We must be awful parents, I am now expecting Social Services to kick down the door at any minute.

    I realise that divorce is an emotional and upsetting time but reporting the other parent for not finding the precise kind of food the kid would deign to eat after a temper tantrum, when food was offered to the kid, is rather petty and kind of proves the dad’s point a bit.