Finally a Legal Precedent- Crazy Parents Beware

One of my readers Laura McNally supplied this. Hopefully some father who has kids playing in tournaments every weekend in Canada will be next.

Children’s ‘Exhausting’ Schedule Leads to Loss of Father’s Custody Rights
Vesselin Mitev

New York Law Journal
March 17, 2010

The father of two Long Island junior tennis prospects has been stripped of custody by a New York state judge who found their rigorous training schedule to be “overly burdensome, exhausting and completely unacceptable.”

The Cavallero brothers — Giancarlo, 10, and Jordy, 5 — were required to leave school early to spend six hours a day at tennis practice and play tournaments on the weekends. Giancarlo, with five junior tournament wins before turning 10, was likened to a young Andre Agassi in a 2007Daily News article.

But in a ruling last week, Acting Supreme Court Justice Norman St. George of Nassau County found the “grueling” training regimen had left the children “constantly tired, regularly late to school … and their tennis appears to be negatively impacted.”

After a four-day custody trial, the judge awarded sole custody to the children’s mother, Maria Pena, and ordered the father, George Cavallero, to undergo anger management counseling.

The case is Cavallaro v. Pena (pdf), V-00390-09.

12 Responses to “Finally a Legal Precedent- Crazy Parents Beware”

  1. Brian Mong Says:

    hey coach, good but disturbing article. i found this article today and was wondering if you had any comments. I work at a high school and am amazed at how many young women where these boots. thanks!

  2. Mike,

    Thanks for sharing this good information. Not easy to be a good father or a true dad nowadays.

    Sport requires a lot of sacrifice, but training six hours a days is way too much for a kid, they are just kids.

    Rick Kaselj

  3. Mike,
    Mixed feeling about this as I don’t like legal intervention is what is essentially a private matter but on the other hand the father is stark, raving mad.
    Bruce Kelly

  4. Roy Hanratty Says:

    Like Andre Agassi indeed………………unfortunately my take on that comparison has less to do with innate tennis ability and more to do with the parental treatment.

  5. The dad is obviously off the deep end. No sensible parent who is trying to create a healthy, well-rounded little person would subject a child to that kind of a life. The anger management order is telling.

    But one of the judge’s findings tucked in at the end of the article backs up what Mike has been saying about the importance of not specializing too early. The judge found that “their tennis appears to be negatively impacted.” So not only was this crazy schedule harmful to the non-sport parts of life, it was also counterproductive in the one area the father seemed to care about. Lose-lose all around.

  6. Quite a shame such action has to be taken.

    Parents need to realize if they wouldn’t do that much practice/training of a sport, why would their kid want to?

  7. mboyle1959 Says:

    I think any more than an hour a day of any one sport is too much. I really like multiple sports for kids.

  8. Great post, Mike. While having parents support their child’s efforts in a sport, I think too many feel that if they make their kids practice more and compete more, that they will be better in the long run than those they are competing against. What is lost is the fact that they are just children. Let them be kids. There will be plenty of time later for them to dedicate themselves to a sport if they so choose. Sounds like this guy is a little extreme, but I see too many parents who are not far off of this guy’s effort.

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