Friday, May 24, 2024

A Plea For Fair Parenthood.

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( We talk a lot about the parental journey and how new parents can learn tactical tips and tricks. Terms such as mindful parenting and stress-free parenting are popular searches on Google. Many new parents worry about their parenting skills, trying to learn as much as possible about how to promote and support the physical, emotional, intellectual, and social development of their child. However, very few users seem to be concerned with the concept of fair parenthood. Parenthood refers to the status of being a parent, while parenting describes the activity of bringing up a child. Fair parenthood means that every parent should be treated with the same respect and given equal chances to be the best parent they can be. Fair parenthood is a crucial social movement that needs to happen across the country to support families of all shapes and ages. The quest for fairness in parenthood revolves around the following elements that can be too often misinterpreted or unnoticed: 

Monoparental families vs. two parents

It takes a village to raise a child. The saying has often been attributed to several African cultures. In Kihaya, a famous saying claims that a child does not belong to one parent or home. The bottom line? Parenting is not only the responsibility of the parents. A lot of parents rely on grandparents, uncles and aunts, friends, neighbors, and teachers to help bring up a child. Therefore, it is fair to say that most children are surrounded by positive role models outside of their parents. Consequently, it is unfair to judge families and assess the skills of parents, based on whether the child grows with one or two parents. Parenthood, whether it is shared with a partner or alone, deserves respect and kindness. The best thing that can happen to a child is to be loved by their parent(s) and love them back. Contrary to popular belief, the worst thing that a child could face is not to grow up in a monoparental family. It is to be forced to choose one parent over another. 

Divorced parents are still parents

It is foolish to assume that couples that get separated don’t care for their children. While there are obvious cases where an abusive parent is banned from seeing their children, most divorces should encourage fair, shared custody rights between parents. Unfortunately, the common practice is to assume that the mother should retain the custody right, leaving fathers begging for the right to remain a parent to their child. That is precisely because of this practice that dads are advised to seek a specialized divorce attorney for men who can defend their right to parenthood during and after the separation. Even after a divorce, shared parenting offers a healthy relationship model for children who can learn that respect and trust can continue to exist even when mom and dad are not together anymore. 

Yes, fathers are involved

It is popular in the media to promote motherhood and the challenges faced by mothers. Of course, mothers matter, and nobody would think of saying otherwise. However, fathers, and especially Black fathers – but not only – are increasingly involved with their children. It is not uncommon in modern households for parents to share equal tasks and time with their children. However, the mediatic focus on mothers can often make us forget that dads care and fear for their kids just as much. In a world where parenthood is depicted as a maternal only journey, it is essential for us to remember that fathers are present and active. Recognizing and valuing their involvement is the beginning of fair parenthood. 

Yes, fathers can parent just as well 

There is no denying that for a long time in Western societies, mothers have single-handedly held the parenting front. However, things have been changing dramatically. More and more parents are proud to share parenting roles as fairly as possible. Yet, while a lot of women share tasks, many are not mentally and emotionally ready to allow their partner to be their equal as a parent. Dad shaming is a surprisingly common problem that many fathers face. An overwhelming majority of men admit that their partner is the person responsible for most of the criticism and belittling comments they face as a parent. Dads are just as capable as parenting as mothers, and they don’t need to be judged or shamed for it. 

In conclusion, we still have a long way to go toward fair parenthood. However, accepting that no parental constellation is better or superior is a healthy start to parenthood fairness. Giving your kids the love, attention, and values they need in life has to prevail and stop parents from destroying and judging each other. 

Staff Writer; Carla Jones

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