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Judge in parenting skills warning

A High Court judge who specialises in family cases has said that many clever people make "absolutely rotten parents".

Mrs Justice Parker, who sits in the Family Division of the High Court in London, suggested that "book learning" was no guarantee of parental success.

She said many people who were "intellectually impaired" provided children with a "wonderful upbringing".

And she said no-one was a "perfect parent".

The judge has made her comments in a ruling on a family court case about the future of a child whose mother had been diagnosed with a learning disability.

"Learning disability is not in itself a reason for a parent not looking after a child," said Mrs Justice Parker.

"Many clever people make absolutely rotten parents and many people who are intellectually impaired, in the sense that they are not good at book-learning and so on, are warm and caring and provide children with a wonderful upbringing."

She added: "No-one is a perfect parent. The more perfect people think they are, the more imperfect they are. We have all got faults."

The judge concluded that the child at the centre of the case she was dealing with should be taken into care.

She said she had concerns about his father's hostile behaviour and his mother's vulnerability. She said that no-one involved could not be identified.

Mrs Justice Parker, whose first name in Judith, has been a judge in the Family Division of the High Court for more than five years and, according to the Debrett's guide, became a barrister more than 40 years ago after studying at Oxford University.

The judge made her comments about parenthood when delivering a ruling following a hearing at a family court in Watford, Hertfordshire. The hearing ended on Friday.


From Belfast Telegraph