March 23, 2015
On March 21, 2015, RealClearPolitics published the op-ed “Why Shared Parenting Legislation Makes Sense” by National Parents Organization Founder and Board Chair Ned Holstein, M.D., M.S.
The opinion piece ran on Single Parent Appreciation Day.
Holstein’s op-ed began, “Being a single parent is a tough gig. Hustle the barely conscious kids off to preschool, fret whether your afterschool program is meeting the needs of your children, fidget in rush hour lines at the grocery store — or feel guilty about getting them a Big Mac and fries. That’s why we have National Single Parent Appreciation Day on March 21, courtesy of President Reagan in 1984.
That’s also the reason National Parents Organization wants to make single parenting a thing of the past. To help, we have a killer app: shared parenting by divorced or never-married parents. Instead of one frenetic single parent and one non-parent called a “visitor” (and relegated to every other weekend), both parents divvy up the work. The other reason for shared parenting is the emerging consensus among child development researchers that children want shared parenting and do much, much better in life if they have it.
In this age of gender role convergence, people are often surprised to learn just how often courts currently favor one parent over the other. In fact, sole custody is awarded to one parent in about 83 percent of cases, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, thus creating a single parent and a “visitor.” Thrusting parents into a winner-take-all gladiatorial arena helps create bitter custody battles with attendant and corrosive effects that last for years. National Parents Organization recently published a Shared Parenting Report Card that graded each state’s child custody statutes A through F. The results show no state is heading for acceptance into the Ivy League.”