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Equal Parenting: Cause of Child Well-Being, or Correlation

This continues from yesterday my discussion of Dr. William Fabricius’ paper “Equal Parenting Time: The Case for a Legal Presumption,” that will be published in hard copy in October of this year in the Oxford Handbook of Children and the Law, edited by J.G. Dwyer and published by Oxford University Press.

Is there a causal effect of equal parenting on increased child well-being or are the 60+ studies finding better outcomes for children with equal parenting merely correlational?  Dr. Fabricius finds that equal parenting tends to cause those improved outcomes.

 

Dr. William Fabricius: Evidence Compels Equal Parenting Presumption

May 24, 2019 by Robert Franklin, Member, National Board of Directors, National Parents Organization
As Joan Kelly has pointed out, the current child custody statutes were written in the absence of evidence of how well they promoted children’s well-being. The evidence that is now available is compelling that failure to enact presumptions of equal parenting time risks unnecessary harm to children’s emotional security with their parents, and consequently unnecessary harm to public health in the form of long-term stress-related mental and physical health problems among children of divorce.
That’s how Dr. William Fabricius closes his latest paper on the science underpinning equal parenting and children’s well-being.  It’s about as succinct and powerful an endorsement of equal parenting as I’ve ever seen.  It captures the historical context of present-day law, i.e. laws on child custody were written by lawmakers who had no access to scientific evidence about how the laws they passed might influence the very people they were supposedly designed to serve – children.

 

BBC Finds No Mothers – Only Fathers - Who Harm Children

May 23, 2019 by Robert Franklin, Member, National Board of Directors, National Parents Organization

To watch this article try – really try – to be gender-neutral in its treatment of domestic violence and child custody arrangements, only to cave into blatant anti-father sentiments that are only too well known to readers of the BBC, would be amusing were the subject not so grave (BBC, 5/15/19).

The issue seems to be whether courts treat claims of DV by one parent or the other too casually and whether that results in unnecessary harm to children.  Apparently, five children in the U.K. have died while in a parent’s care who was allowed access by a family court.  Needless to say, five children killed is five too many and nowhere in the article is the rate of other, less serious injuries mentioned.

Plus there’s the problem that British family courts act in almost complete secrecy, meaning that neither the BBC nor any other news outlet can investigate the matter.  That of course creates quite the irony.  The secrecy provisions were instituted and are invariably defended as protecting children from unwanted publicity.  That such secrecy might be contributing to their injury and death would very much turn that policy on its head.

 

The New York Times Ignores Fathers’ Voices

May 22, 2019 by Robert Franklin, Member, National Board of Directors, National Parents Organization

This continues yesterday’s discussion of a New York Times piece that excoriates fathers for not doing their share of childcare, but ignores mothers’ failure to pull their weight in earning (New York Times, 5/4/19).

In so doing, the author, Darcy Lockman, produced one figure on the percentage of childcare done by mothers with no citation that contradicted the best survey data on what men and women do every day. Plus, she ignored all figures on how much time at the office or plant men and women spend.  And of course, she also failed to mention that, when hours spent in paid and unpaid labor are aggregated, men and women are as close to identical as statistics-gathering allows.

 

New York Times Trashes Dad - Again

May 20, 2019 by Robert Franklin, Member, National Board of Directors, National Parents Organization

This being the New York Times and a pre- Mothers Day piece, we’re not surprised to find it astonishingly anti-dad and utterly incurious about the realities of family life and the “work-life balance.” (New York Times, 5/4/19)  Put simply, the writer, Darcy Lockman ignores the obvious, the not-so-obvious and basic common sense in order to excoriate fathers.  Doubtless, come Fathers Day, she’ll turn her sights on moms. In the meantime, as an attack on dads generally, it’s also an attack on their right to have meaningful relationships with their kids post-divorce.  After all, if fathers are as bad a bunch of ne’er-do-wells as Lockman pretends, why should they have even part-time custody of their kids?

It’s the same old complaint we read every year, usually several times a year: mothers, even working mothers pull a second shift; they do the lion’s share of the childcare and that’s not fair to them; fathers are clueless louts who not only don’t parent the kids correctly, they don’t do it very much.  Needless to say, mothers are angry about the matter.  Of course they are.


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