The girl demanded two hours a night on her iPad so she could watch YouTube videos.
The girl demanded two hours a night on her iPad so she could watch YouTube videos.

Teen’s demand before running away to avoid chores

A TEENAGE girl who ran away from home to avoid chores has been ordered by a judge to return to her mother's house.

The 13-year-old NSW girl, whose parents are divorced, moved out of her mum's house to live with her father, after her mother told her to pack the dishwasher and make her bed.

The teen had complained that her mother did not let her spend enough time watching YouTube videos.

She demanded two hours a night on her iPad - but the mother imposed a "rigid night-time routine''.

The landmark ruling for the girl to move back in with her mother, who had raised her from birth, is revealed in a judgment published this week by Federal Circuit Court judge Brana Obradovic.

The mother told the court she wanted to get her daughter to "take more responsibility and become more independent by implementing chores for her to do around the house (and) setting a rigid night-time routine".

 

The girl demanded two hours a night on her iPad so she could watch YouTube videos.
The girl demanded two hours a night on her iPad so she could watch YouTube videos.

 

The judge relied on a report by the girl's counsellor, who said the girl "was unhappy with her mum, that she worried that her mum wants her to do too much in the house''.

"She spoke of chores including dishes, making (her) bed and feeling this is unfair,'' the counsellor told the court.

"(The girl) said she does not have to do chores at her father's house and does not want to do them at home.

"She does not want to do things she does not want to do.''

The girl's mother told the court her daughter had pulled faces while her stepfather demonstrated how to pack a dishwasher.

The girl's father explained that his daughter had called him in tears, pleading: "Daddy, come and get me. I can't handle it anymore.

"I've been crying myself to sleep every night. They haven't been very nice to me.''

The girl's parents met after her swimming lesson and caused a "scene'' as they argued about where she should live.

The teenager ran and jumped into the father's car, but the mother threw herself onto the bonnet to stop them driving away.

The police were called but told the parents they needed to go to the family law courts to obtain custody orders.

Judge Obradovic ruled that the girl should return to her mother's home, in "a most difficult decision for the court to make''.

She urged the parents to co-operate, warning they would face "more upheaval'' and adolescent angst.

"She will rebel, and these are matters that the parents will need to cooperatively deal with,'' the judge said.

The judgment, handed down in Sydney in 2017, was published only this week.