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NPO publishes blog articles to inform and to stimulate conversation about issues of importance to NPO's mission.  All blog articles express the opinions of the authors as individuals and do not necessarily reflect the views of National Parents Organization, its Board of Directors, or its executives.  

September 3, 2018 by Robert Franklin, Member, National Board of Directors, National Parents Organization

Today’s the day we celebrate the contributions of the men and women who work every day to make everyone’s life easier, better, fuller and safer. We probably should do it more often.

A few weeks ago I watched a short Jordan Peterson video in which he pointed out to his interlocutor how fantastically complicated our economic system is. For us consumers to get, say, a fresh head of lettuce in a super market involves so many different moving parts of the economy as to boggle the mind. The fields have to produce, the produce needs to be harvested at the right time, it must be inspected, cleaned and packaged, put on a truck that functions and whose refrigeration system does as well. The driver has to drive the truck to market, there must be fuel for the truck at a place where it’s needed, the produce needs to be unloaded and displayed in a refrigerated area of the store. And of course every single aspect of the system I just mentioned has its own massively complex support system. For example the crude oil that’s the basis of the diesel fuel has to be extracted, refined, etc. Electrical systems have to be maintained and function properly. Etc., etc.

Of course, working people do all of that. They do it every minute of every hour of every day. And all of us benefit.

So we should always remember the people who go about their lives doing the work that makes all our lives better.

And, this being a blog about families, family laws and family courts, I’d be remiss if I failed to point out what working parents provide for their children. After all, without someone earning the money that supports the family, the members thereof would be in a world of hurt. Without that income, there’d be nowhere to live, nothing to eat, no clothes to wear, no ability to buy medicine, etc. In short, the parents who work and earn perform a service for their kids that is more basic, more important, more necessary than any other.

Now, we know to a significant degree, it’s fathers who do that. Yes, mothers are doing more paid work now than before, but dataset after dataset, in the U.S. and all the countries of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, show men and fathers on average do more paid work and earn more than do women and mothers.

Vital as that is to their kids and families, it’s almost uniformly ignored by family court judges who seem to consider the only form of parenting worth the name consists of feeding, bathing, reading to, etc. the children. Important as those activities are and deserving of recognition, earning the money to pay for it all is as well.

So, on this Labor Day, let’s remember the workers of the country and the world. And let’s especially remember the contributions they make to their kids. And let’s resolve to remind family court judges of that obvious fact that’s sadly too often overlooked.

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