Continued from part 1.

On Nov. 23rd, I read an article in the ABA Journal titled Mom sues child and clinic over transgender treatment(link is external), claims Minnesota law violates parental rights.

Bear in mind that this particular mother kicked that same child out of the house(link is external) for being transgender

Now, she wants to exercise her parental rights.  What about her parental responsibilities?  Was she acting responsibly or irresponsibly in kicking her child out of the house for being transgender?  

Sadly, this particular mother is by no means alone in her insistence on her parental rights and refusal to exercise her corresponding parental responsibilities.

"Nearly seven in 10 (68%) respondents indicated that family rejection(link is external) was a major factor contributing to LGBT youth homelessness, making it the most cited factor. More than half (54%) of respondents indicated that abuse in their family was another important factor contributing to LGBT homelessness.

Statistically, LGBT youth make up no more than 10% of that population segment, yet total 40% of homeless youth."

Social science researcher Brene’ Brown(link is external) has said the following:

When it comes to our sense of love, belonging, and worthiness(link is external), we are most radically shaped by our families of origin – what we hear, what we are told, and perhaps most importantly, how we observe our parents engaging with the world….

Belonging is the innate human desire(link is external) to be part of something larger than us. One of the biggest surprises in this research was learning that fitting in and belonging are not the same thing. In fact, fitting in is about assessing a situation and becoming who you need to be in order to be accepted. Belonging, on the other hand, doesn’t require us to change who we are; it requires us to be who we are….

Throughout the country and regardless of type of school, middle and high school students talk openly about the heartache of not feeling a sense of belonging at home(link is external).”

Are parents acting within their parental rights in causing their children not to feel a sense of belonging at home, or is it the result of a failure to exercise their parental responsibilities?

It's worth noting that many modern-day conservative Republicans hold Ayn Rand in very high regard, despite the fact that the following quote is attributed to her:

"Individual rights are not subject to a public vote(link is external); a majority has no right to vote away the rights of a minority; the political function of rights is precisely to protect minorities from oppression by majorities (and the smallest minority on earth is the individual)."

Meanwhile, the 2016 Republican Platform(link is external) was quite the contrary, as was Donald Trump's campaign rhetoric.  There are reasons why Trump was endorsed and supported by the alt-right, white nationalists, white supremacists, neo-Nazis, the KKK and other such groups.  

However, consider the following from the Leonore Annenberg Institute for Civics:

"The essence of democracy(link is external) is majority rule, the making of binding decisions by a vote of more than one-half of all persons who participate in an election. However, constitutional democracy in our time requires majority rule with minority rights. Thomas Jefferson, third President of the United States, expressed this concept of democracy in 1801 in his First Inaugural Address. He said, 

'All . . . will bear in mind this sacred principle, that though the will of the majority is in all cases to prevail, that will to be rightful must be reasonable; that the minority possess their equal rights, which equal law must protect and to violate would be oppression.' 

In every genuine democracy today, majority rule is both endorsed and limited by the supreme law of the constitution, which protects the rights of individuals. Tyranny by minority over the majority is barred, but so is tyranny of the majority against minorities. 

This fundamental principle of constitutional democracy, majority rule coupled with the protection of minority rights, is embedded in the constitutions of all genuine democracies today.... 

Majority rule is limited in order to protect minority rights, because if it were unchecked it probably would be used to oppress persons holding unpopular views. Unlimited majority rule in a democracy is potentially just as despotic as the unchecked rule of an autocrat or an elitist minority political party."

The following is an excerpt from an article titled Power in Negotiation: The Impact on Negotiators and the Negotiation Process that was recently published by Harvard Law School's Program on Negotiation:

"Powerful Negotiators Lose Perspective

One of the most crucial skills that negotiators can develop is perspective taking, or the ability to appreciate and understand the world from another person’s vantage point.

This brings us to the most consistently negative effect of power on negotiation behavior and outcomes: powerful negotiators often fail to take their counterpart’s perspective. Power leads individuals to overlook what the other party wants and needs and why he needs it.

Power in negotiation is most effective at the bargaining table when combined with perspective taking. When the powerful take time to consider their counterpart’s points of view, they harness the positive benefits of power (including the making of first offers and persistence) without succumbing to excessive risk taking. The ultimate lesson? Strive to possess power in negotiation – or simply feel powerful – and follow up with perspective taking."

According to Brene' Brown, Ph.D., in the United States, the majority culture is white, Judeo-Christian, middle class, educated, and straight.

In other words, the "powerful negotiators" in our society are members of the "dominant culture."

Dr. Brown also contends that empathy is a skill set and that the core of empathy is perspective taking.  She also says that perspective taking is normally taught or modeled by parents. The more your perspective is in line with the dominant culture, the less you were probably taught about perspective taking, which is entirely consistent with the loss of perspective by powerful negotiators.

Unfortunately, this is why we have so much conflict in our society.  

Perspective-taking is the core of empathy, which is the key to conflict resolution or management.  This is why empathy conversations are so incredibly important.  

Mark B. Baer, Esq. is a mediator, collaborative law practitioner, conflict resolution consultant, co-author of Putting Kids First in Divorce, and co-founder of Family Dynamics Assistance Center. He also regularly writes for the Huffington Post and Psychology Today.