Father's Day, Missouri and Shared Parenting

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June 23, 2016

NPO Logo National Parents Organization improves the lives of children and strengthens society by protecting every child's right to the love and care of both parents after separation or divorce. We seek better lives for children through family court reform that establishes equal rights and responsibilities for fathers and mothers.
Major Media Round-up of Father’s Day Coverage
By Steve Kropper - Based in Boston, he is the lucky father of two daughters. On his grave he hopes to inscribe “My daughters are proof of magic”.
On Fathers Day, American dads are in good company. From Argentina to Russia, from Kenya to Japan, most nations seem to set a day to celebrate fatherhood.

The first US "Father's Day" was 1908, when a West Virginia mining community was mourning the Monongah Mining Disaster. 361 men were killed, 250 of them fathers, leaving around a thousand fatherless children.

I surveyed the Boston Globe, Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, and the Los Angeles Times to find out the current meaning of Father’s Day in the U.S.

Father's Day news articles suggest that we men like sports, we want gifts (or our loved ones want to buy us something). We like to cook and look at recipes. We take delight in inspiring and impacting our kids' careers. We revel in a bit of respect and the chance to share our wisdom and experience. So indulge us for a day. We want to show you our world - give us a chance to show our children and partners what makes us happy, because maybe it would make you happy too. But really, we want time with our kids and partners, on our terms one day a year.

Here is a selection of headlines on what newspapers think of us as Fathers:

Chicago Tribune

The Trib Celebrated, not just Father's Day, but Fathers WEEK - a week of articles about Dad. The sports section leveraged baseball stars in “What baseball fathers know: Advice from Cubs and White Sox Dads”. The Health section lauded fathers “Meet the modern dad: Hands-on and clued-in.” The Food section gave dining tips “20 Father's Day restaurant deals” and covered our libation legacy: “For some of us, dear ol' dad was our first introduction into the world of beer”. The Life section went deep by covering “The perception of Asian dads and masculinity”. Finally, the Trib advised on “Cool things to do with dad for Father's Day” and “Father's Day gifts with style”.

Los Angeles Times

Every newspaper gave gift advice. One Times headline was “Father's Day: Gifts for dear old dad.” Another “Weekly obsessions: A Father's Day gift guide”. And in the Fashion section, “18 fashion-forward gifts to consider for Father's Day.” For time together, how about mixing sports: “Catch 'Field of Dreams' at the Crest Theaters for Father's Day”. Fatherhood even warranted an Op-Ed covering “Mick Jagger, modern patriarch has a grandchild!” More recipes in “Oh, Daddy! 10 Father's Day recipes from the L.A. Times Test Kitchen”. The Entertainment section looked at another star father “For father-daughter duo Clint and Alison Eastwood, directing is a family business”. This highlighted a recurring theme of fathers hoping their kids would find satisfying careers. We fathers like to feel like a font of knowledge...at least one day a year, so the Home & Garden section columnist said “”This Father's Day, I'd like to pass on a few "dadisms" - little bolts of wisdom.” Read more...

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Boston Globe Backs Shared Parenting Bill
By Robert Franklin, Esq, Member, National Board of Directors, National Parents Organization
In a huge boost to the Massachusetts shared parenting bill, the Boston Globe has published this endorsement of H 4107 (Boston Globe, 6/20/16).
Massachusetts’ child custody laws are outdated. The Child-Centered Family Law bill acknowledges a widely held belief that isn’t always reflected in court orders: Children benefit from spending significant time with both parents. The legislation would encourage family-court judges to grant parents shared custody, with a child spending at least one-third of the time with each parent. The law would affect only the small portion of divorcing couples who rely on the courts for a custody agreement after negotiations or mediation fails — but those cases often drag on for months or years, causing irreparable damage to all involved.
Together with other important stakeholders, the National Parents Organization, and particularly our Chairman, Ned Holstein, have been instrumental in backing this bill. The bill is opposed mostly by family lawyers, an all too common phenomenon. Just two months ago, we saw the same process at work in Florida in which family lawyers, almost alone, were implacably opposed to fairly modest reform of laws that, as the Globe describes H 4107, are outdated. Read more...

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What Are Republicans Doing to Promote Family Stability? Not Much.
By Robert Franklin, Esq, Member, National Board of Directors, National Parents Organization
Meanwhile, good friend of National Parents Organization, Terry Brennan delivered this zinger (Daily Caller, 6/17/16). It’s an election year and it’s worth considering what the two major parties have to say about the crisis in American families. The answer is, ‘not much.’

That’s particularly problematical for Republicans who’ve long claimed to be the party of “Family Values.” But, as Brennan so assiduously points out, the GOP seems to think it can just make the claim and be done with it. The idea of actually lifting a finger to promote families doesn’t seem to have been part of their approach to the issue.

We know this because Brennan analyses the results of Republicans’ “efforts” to keep families intact, and rightly finds them entirely inadequate. He reminds us that, for a policy position to be considered a success, it must pass three tests - “they should be reviewed for effectiveness, be comprehensive and stand up to rigorous critique.”

Republicans fail miserably on all three tests. Their “get married and stay married” mantra has had little-to-no effect on declining rates of marriage or alarming rates of out-of-wedlock childbearing as mountains of data demonstrate. Read more...

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NPO Battling for Shared Parenting in Missouri
By Robert Franklin, Esq, Member, National Board of Directors, National Parents Organization
HB 1550 is still sitting on Governor Jay Nixon’s desk awaiting his signature. It passed the state Senate unanimously and the House by an astonishing 154 - 2 margin. With that support by the people’s elected representatives, there’s really only one way for Nixon to go. A veto would say loudly and clearly that Governor’s Office is deaf to the voice of the people. Here’s NPO’s press release on HB 1550. Meanwhile, call or email Governor Nixon and tell him to sign HB 1550.

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NPO Ramps Up Media Presence in Advance of Father’s Day
By Robert Franklin, Esq, Member, National Board of Directors, National Parents Organization
Here’s a round-up of major editorials by NPO stalwarts prior to Father’s Day.
The Hill published Ned’s op-ed "Hillary Fights for Fathers Rights, Or Does She?" on its Congress page, click here 

WND published Ned’s op-ed "Don't Forget the Single Dad on Father's Day,” click here

The Dallas Morning News published Robert's op-ed, "Why Texas CPS Needs Dads," click here

Richmond Times-Dispatch published an op-ed by Virginia member Cole Bockenfeld, "Virginia Law Should Make More Room For Fathers," click here. Read more...

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National Parents Organization is working to build a strong affiliate in every state. What will it take to bring National Parents Organization to your state? Leadership. It takes a team of volunteers to organize in your state and to reach out to legislators, media, and other groups who will work with us to make shared parenting the norm.

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The opinions expressed herein are those of our guest authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Parents Organization or its Board of Directors.
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"I have been a step-parent for over 20 years and now am a doting grandmother to two beautiful granddaughters. By spending time with my step-children through the years, I have seen first-hand the wants and needs of children whose parents are divorced or separated. I believe children deserve the opportunity to love and to spend time with both of their parents equally through shared parenting."

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