Monday, March 21, 2016

National Single Parent Day & Shared Parenting

Today is National Single Parent Day! If you 're a single parent then you should know just how much you are appreciated ~ give yourself a pat on the back or a high five!

Aside from taking a moment to congratulate yourself on doing a wonderful job with the kids, today is a day that is being recognized by the National Parents Organization, who urges citizens and legislators nationwide to also recognize the day by supporting shared parenting legislation in numerous states.

"Right now, most children of divorce have just one single parent, plus one "visitor." With shared parenting, they get not one, but two single parents ~ two for the price of one," said Dr. Ned Holstein, MD, MS, Founder and Board Chair of National Parents Organization.

In 1984, President Ronald Reagan honored a request from Congress by issuing a proclamation for the day, and in doing so, he stated that "with the active interest and support of friends, relatives, and local communities, single parents can do even more to raise their children in the best possible environment." 

"The evidence showing shared parents is in the best interest of children when parents divorce or separate is now overwhelming. With this in mind, backing family law reform that seeks to move shared parenting from rare to common in divorce courtrooms is a terrific way to support "the best possible environment for children." Dr. Holstein said.

While shared parenting ~ a flexible arrangement where children spend as close to equal time as possible with each parent ~ is unusual, efforts to turn it from the exception to the norm within family courts are growing. For instance, The Wall Street Journal revealed that nearly 20 states have proposed shared parenting laws. At least three states have recently implemented reform, and numerous states ~ including Florida, Missouri, Maryland, Colorado and Iowa ~ are currently considering shared parenting legislation. Additionally, shared parenting has received high-profile endorsements, including from the 2015 International Conference on Shared Parenting and the Council of Europe.

"Millions of American children are suffering from the outmoded practices of the family courts of awarding custody to just one parent, with only a few days per month of parenting time with the other parent. This custody model is not in the best interest of most children. It causes heartache for children, who ardently desire the love and guidance of both parents. And such children do more poorly in school, have higher rates of substance abuse, drop out more frequently, and have higher rates of delinquency, gang activity and trouble with the law," Dr. Holstein said. "This National Single Parent Day, let's work together to help give children of single parents what they most want and need ~ the constant love and support of both parents."

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