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Posts Tagged ‘Children Without Dads’

Kids Understand Impact of Father Absence

In Activism, Alienation of Affection, Best Interest of the Child, Child Custody, Child Support, Children and Domestic Violence, children legal status, children's behaviour, Childrens Rights, Civil Rights, deadbeat dads, Department of Social Servies, Divorce, Domestic Relations, Domestic Violence, due process rights, family court, Family Court Reform, Family Rights, fatherlessness, fathers rights, Marriage, Non-custodial fathers, parental alienation, Parental Alienation Syndrome, Parental Kidnapping, Parental Relocation, Single Parenting on October 22, 2009 at 7:12 pm

Kids Understand Impact of Father Absence

childA teacher named Patrick Welsh, frustrated by his all-black class’s performance on a test, asked, “Why don’t you guys study like the kids from Africa?” (Source)

Bold, yes? That’s what frustration can do to you. One student said, “It’s because they have fathers who kick their butts and make them study.” Another said, “You ask the class, just ask how many of us have our fathers living with us.”

According to Welsh, no one raised his/her hand.

Speculating about why racial preferences exist isn’t brain surgery. Whether arguing for compensatory justice or skin deep-only diversity, the truth is that in 2009, racial preferences exist because generally, blacks score lower on standardized tests than everyone else.

Embarrassed and probably feeling a little guilty, people use all kind of justifications for lowering standards to accommodate blacks. Before we can begin to tackle the issue, however, we must understand that family structure impacts performance.

“My students knew intuitively that the reason they were lagging academically had nothing to do with race, which is the too-handy explanation for the achievement gap in Alexandria,” Welsh writes in the Washington Post. “And it wasn’t because the school system had failed them. They knew that excuses about a lack of resources and access just didn’t wash at the new, state-of-the-art, $100 million T.C. Williams, where every student is given a laptop and where there is open enrollment in Advanced Placement and honors courses. Rather, it was because their parents just weren’t there for them — at least not in the same way that parents of kids who were doing well tended to be.”

The kids admit what academics try to avoid. Children with no father in the home perceive the lack of discipline and respectful fear an authoritative male instills. I agree with Welsh to a certain extent. He believes focusing on race is too simple, and that family support and involvement are important. And focusing on race can stigmatize black students, but it can’t be ignored. Three quarters of black babies in the U.S. are born into fatherless homes. Black students disproportionately are without residential fathers. For better or for worse, race must be part of the discussion.

It’s not the children’s fault. The blame rests solely on the parents. It will take a sub-cultural shift away from a 75 percent out-of-wedlock pregnancy rate toward stable, two-parent (preferably married) homes to improve the condition of these chidlren. As the article notes, school superintendents “have little control” over these issues.

What can the government do about fatherlessness? Practically speaking, nothing. Individuals must turn the tide.

Addendum: The Center for Equal Opportunity’s Roger Clegg blogs:

“Of course, [Patrick Welsh is] not alone, and there are more and more nonconservatives who are coming around to this view. Problem is, the problem isn’t getting any better. And it is still the case that this problem is unique among social pathologies, in that — unlike crime, drug abuse, dropping out of school, etc. — there remain a nontrivial number of folks who don’t see the problem as a problem at all.”

John Rosenberg of Discriminations echoes my view about the role race plays in this scenario, again, for better or for worse:

“The color of a father’s skin does not cause his absence from his family, nor does the color of a mother’s skin determine how strict she is about homework. Still, Welsh goes overboard in attempting to dissociate race altogether from the dysfunctional educational behavior he observes, if for no other reason than that there the percentage of black children in single-parent families is three times higher than whites. It is true that damaged families, not race, stack the deck against black kids raised in single families, but it is not true that their difficulty ‘has nothing to do with race.’”

Kids Understand Impact of Father Absence.

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Britain to press Japan on foreign fathers’ rights to access children › Japan Today: Japan News and Discussion

In Alienation of Affection, Best Interest of the Child, Child Custody, Child Custody for fathers, Child Custody for Mothers, Child Support, Children and Domestic Violence, children legal status, children's behaviour, Childrens Rights, Civil Rights, Department of Social Servies, Divorce, Domestic Relations, Domestic Violence, False Allegations of Domestic Violence, family court, Family Court Reform, Family Rights, fatherlessness, fathers rights, Non-custodial fathers, parental alienation, Parental Alienation Syndrome, Parental Kidnapping, Parental Relocation, Parentectomy, Protective Dads, Protective Parents, Restraining Orders, Single Parenting, UNCRC, United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child on October 18, 2009 at 1:02 am

Britain to press Japan on foreign fathers’ rights to access children

LONDON —

London is to put fresh pressure on Tokyo to improve the rights of its nationals seeking access to their children living in Japan with estranged partners.

Britain is trying to assist its citizens who are either seeking the return of their kids to the United Kingdom, or are denied access to their children by the Japanese civil courts.

The Foreign Office in London believes Japanese courts presiding in custody cases could be breaching obligations under the U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child.

In Japan, courts will generally side with the Japanese parent and order the children remain in their care in Japan.

Critics argue that, due to cultural reasons, Japanese courts will always grant custody to the mother in separation battles, and the idea of joint custody—more common in Europe—is an anathema. Even if a court grants limited visiting rights for the father, they are not enforceable.

Shane Clarke, a father trying to gain access to his two daughters in Japan, recently received an e-mail from Helen Paige, a child abduction caseworker at the Foreign Office.

In the Oct 12 message, she states, ‘‘We will ask the British ambassador in Japan to raise with the Japanese government the obligations of states to develop and undertake all actions and policies in the best interests of the child, referring in particular to article 10.2.’’

This article asserts that a ‘‘child whose parents reside in different countries shall have the right to maintain on a regular basis … personal relations and direct contacts with both parents.’’

Paige said the British government is willing to raise cases with Tokyo and cite the convention if an individual has gone through the legal process and remains dissatisfied.

Clarke said he is happy that Britain has ‘‘acknowledged’’ the convention and that ‘‘it applies to these situations.’’

While it is claimed that Japanese society accepts that mothers must be given priority in custody battles, many foreigners who married Japanese women find the position intolerable.

And the growing number of mixed marriages, and subsequent separations and divorces, has meant the issue is being put on the international agenda.

Despite Britain’s attempts to force Japan to honor its convention obligations, officials readily admit there is no method of ‘‘international enforcement’’ if it is judged that a Japanese court has failed to heed the convention’s strictures. Clarke disputes this point, claiming the International Court of Justice could provide this role.

However, the 1980 Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction, which Britain has been pressing Japan to adopt, does provide an enforcement mechanism.

This convention requires that if a child has been taken by one parent to another country following an estrangement, the child must be returned to the country where he or she is ‘‘habitually resident.’’

It also seeks to standardize laws and ensure custody decisions can be made by appropriate courts and protect the access rights of both parents.

Many Japanese women have returned to their home country realizing that it offers a safe haven from any court orders arising in other countries.

Clarke’s Japanese wife returned to Japan with their two daughters after a four-year marriage in Britain. The British courts have ordered that the children should be returned to Britain where they are ‘‘habitually resident’’ but this is not recognized in Japan, according to Clarke.

Britain, along with the United States, is pressing Japan to sign The Hague convention. In correspondence with Clarke, Britain’s Ambassador David Warren has said he is ‘‘concerned’’ about the number of ‘‘abductions’’ and is hoping to hold meetings with the new government on the issue.

Japan is currently investigating whether to sign The Hague convention. There are fears it could make it harder for Japanese women to flee abusive relationships in one country and return with their children to Japan. The government denies Japanese courts are ‘‘institutionally racist’’ against foreign fathers.

This issue has been thrust into the spotlight recently with the arrest of Christopher Savoie, a 38-year-old American, who was released Thursday in Fukuoka after he snatched his children from his Japanese ex-wife as they walked to school.

His wife took their two children to Japan in August from their home in Tennessee. In his wife’s absence, the U.S. courts gave Christopher Savoie full custody and issued an arrest warrant for his wife. Before his wife left, Savoie had tried to obtain court orders which prevented her from leaving the country.

Britain to press Japan on foreign fathers’ rights to access children › Japan Today: Japan News and Discussion.

Fathers’ Rights: Top Ten Things Divorced Dads Need to Realize

In Child Custody for fathers, Children and Domestic Violence, Childrens Rights, Department of Social Servies, Divorce, Domestic Relations, Domestic Violence, Family Court Reform, Family Rights, fathers rights, Non-custodial fathers, parental alienation, Parental Alienation Syndrome, Parental Kidnapping, Parental Relocation, parental rights, Parents rights on September 22, 2009 at 11:00 pm

I have to agree with this 100 percent.  Children do not have “visitors” in their lives, but moms and dads.  Dads never divorce their children and it is time the court recognize dads are forced into divorce 80 percent of the time by moms, and then children are forced into a relationship with only one parent.  It is a cruelty that is forced upon children, and dads served with divorce papers and restraining orders must realize they are just as important in the lives of their children after the divorce. – Parental Rights

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Top Ten Things Divorced Dads Need to Realize

by: Joel Schwartzberg

Top Ten Things Divorced Dads Need to Realize

It seems like a new celebrity father gets divorced every week. Recent divorced dads include Jon Gosselin, Robin Williams, Usher, Mel Gibson, Bradley Whitford, Edward Furlong, and Thomas Jane — and those are just the famous ones. Roughly half of all American marriages end in divorce and some studies suggest 60% of those splits involve children.

But while there’s abundant advice directing divorced fathers to avoid “screwing up” the kids, 2009-07-23-dads.jpgthere’s little out there to help dads appreciate the big parenting opportunity — yes, opportunity — before them.

Below are, IMHO, the ten most important things divorced fathers should realize as they transition parentally from “Husband and Father” to “One-and-Only Dad”:

1) You divorced your ex, not your kids

Many divorced dads disconnect from their kids when they separate from their ex-wives, but the divorce can actually be an opportunity to re-connect with your children — this time on your own terms.

2) The only parenting expectations worth a damn are your own

Divorce freed you from not only your ex-wife’s expectations, but those of your parents, her parents, Dr. Phil, and all those dads you see talking joyously about fatherhood on television. You’re the expert when it comes to your kids. Create your own expectations and standards.

3) There’s no such thing as a part-time dad

You’re either a dad or you’re not. Many divorced dads spend more time with their kids than fathers in intact families. But no matter how much time you spend with your children, if you commit to it regularly and responsibly, you’re a dad. Period. Exclamation point.

4) You are not a babysitter

There’s no need to constantly take your children on expensive adventures, shower them with gifts, or keep them perpetually entertained, as if filling a perceived hole in their happiness. They are just as happy to simply be with you as you are to be with them.

5) Your children have two homes…and two sets of rules

Your kids don’t “visit” you; they live with you. They have one home with Mom and another with Dad. And if they can adapt themselves to different rules between home and school, they can do the same between home and home. The phrase “But Mom lets us” carries no weight in your home.

6) You have an “inner dad”

There’s an “inner dad” inside you. He’s the one who tells you when it’s OK to let your son stay up late, when it’s appropriate to be interrupted on the phone by a whining daughter, and whether a tense situation calls for stern rules or just an all-out, no-shoes family wrestling match. You’ll get to know that inner dad gradually, moment by moment, and in the process become a more genuine dad — the best kind of dad you can be.

7) Most kids can cope

Divorce doesn’t necessarily mean therapy time for your kids. Studies show that many children cope well with divorce, especially if there’s joint custody and the kids are encouraged to openly express their feelings and fears. When I got divorced, a quick internet search told me I was ruining both my and my children’s lives. But it didn’t go down like that — in fact, I now feel like a better dad than I’ve ever been and I’ve stopped treating Google like my conscience.

8) You can do what you like

Too many moms and dads feel martyrdom is a necessary part of the parenting process. Find those things that you and your children honestly enjoy together — going to the movies, having cart-races at Kmart, bowling, or impulsively getting pizza in the mid-afternoon. Your children love nothing more than watching you enjoy yourself with them. And it’s way more fun than standing on the playground sidelines checking your Blackberry, isn’t it?

9) Your issues with the ex don’t belong in your kids’ lives

Like the corn and mashed potatoes on your first-grader’s plate, your parenting should be separated from any conflicts you have with your ex. Children need to know their parents’ love is unconditional and impenetrable, even and especially in the face of something as potentially devastating as divorce.

10) You’ll screw up…and that’s okay.

Making mistakes is as fundamental in parenting as making dinner. Own up to them — your kids will learn that they can too.


Joel Schwartzberg is a father of three, an award-winning essayist, and author of the first-of-its kind collection of personal essays from the perspective of a divorced father, “The 40-Year-Old Version: Humoirs of a Divorced Dad”

Fathers’ Rights: Top Ten Things Divorced Dads Need to Realize.