Did you know that this Sunday, July 27, 2014 marks National Parents’ Day? While it may not be as popular as Father’s Day or Mother’s Day in the United States yet, National Parents’ Day has existed now since January of 1994 and takes place on the fourth Sunday in July each year.
Introduced as a bill by Senator Trent Lott and signed into law by President Clinton, Parents’ Day was created to support both the mother and father roles equally and to minimize stereotypical gender-based ideas about parenthood.
Supreme Court Justice Ruther Bader Ginsburg has commented that, “Replacing Mother’s Day and Father’s Day with a Parents’ Day should be considered as an observance more consistent with a policy of minimizing traditional sex-based differences in parental roles.”
But the concept of an overall Parents’ Day hasn’t quite picked up the momentum that other holidays have over the past decades. While there are those who acknowledge and celebrate this important day in July each year, it reflects a culture that still follows stereotypes when it comes to parents’ roles, custody arrangements and parenting arrangements after divorce or separation.
National Parents Organization (NPO) points out in a recent article, “Celebrate Parents Day by Fighting for Shared Parenting,” that stereotypes are still quite real for many fathers who face issues with child custody, reasonable child support payments, visitation, establishing paternity and more.
“Contrary to common belief, shared parenting – where both parents are fully engaged in their children’s lives – is rarely ordered inside our nation’s family courtrooms. In reality, unequal child custody arrangements continue as the norm – despite federal statistics and research showing children are more likely to succeed where both parents, compared to one parent, play a significant role in their lives,” reported NPO.
In an important study published by the American Psychological Association (APA) in 2002, the organization reported more clearly than ever that “children in joint custody arrangements had less behavior and emotional problems, had higher self-esteem, better family relations and school performance than children in sole custody arrangements.”
Yet, as NPO published, nearly 30 percent of children in the U.S. are growing up in homes where parents do not live together, and in many of these cases, the children live with the mother while the fathers gets occasional time with the kids.
This Parents’ Day, whether you get to celebrate it with your or not, honor this important day and spread the word about its importance as a national holiday meant to recognize the significance of both parents’ roles equally.
Happy National Parents’ Day from DadsDivorce!