As more and more women enter the workplace, the separated mother-father paradigm is breaking. It’s no longer the sole purpose of a father to work long hours to provide for his family, spending his kids’ birthdays and baseball games in the office and missing their plays, speeches, graduations, and honors while he works overtime.
Nowadays, a father is finally being seen as a vital component to a child’s success. No longer is the mother seen as the only important aspect to a child’s life. In fact, more fathers than ever before are deciding to spend time with their children instead of treating them as the responsibility of someone else.
The time a father spends with his children at home can be the best hours of both the children’s and the father’s lives—a rewarding experience that should not pass undone.
This is the Fathers’ Rights Movement: the breaking of that old paradigm, replacing it with a more apt and viable one, and finally, integrating that paradigm into the social mindset until it becomes ‘the way it is,’ not ‘the way it should be.’
What is the former paradigm?
That’s best described this way—mother, home; father, work. It’s a broken machine that no longer runs in today’s social construct.
Even though two parents may no longer live in the same house, they’ve still got an equal part to play in a child’s development. However, up until recently, that wasn’t the theory. A divorce meant the children would almost always go with the mother, forcing the father to pay alimony, or child support, to the mother. This led to many instances of fathers caring for the well-being of the child and the adult, not just the child. Ergo, the child received less care for the amount the father paid.
However, the home and workplace shift gives the father more chances to step in and take equal responsibility for raising the child or children.
And so many fathers are relishing that chance.
What is the new paradigm?
Look at it this way—mother, home and work; father, home and work. It’s an equal timeshare, payshare, liveshare, loveshare… and everything else.
The benefit of this is many-fold. When two separated or divorced parents are raising a child, it’s tough for each parent to get their private time when one is working long hours and the other is unemployed. Obviously, with both parents employed, they’ll have to work together to ensure their child always has protection and care.
An equal time-split between parents will give the child a full education by allowing each parent to instill values and teach skills. It will give the child a full impression of his family and how much each parent cares, and then the child can learn that the divorce or separation isn’t his or her fault. It’s always on a child’s mind, and it’s something that parents should never ever push on their kids.
- Okay, this all makes sense. But how does this become ‘the way it is’?
The answer: step-by-step.
Know this upfront—it won’t happen overnight. This is the kind of systemic change that has to permeate many cultures and communities, and the old paradigm is tied so tightly to some of these communities that it will take a few determined people to catalyze the instance of change.
But this is the time to be determined. The tide is turning, and today’s fathers should want to be on the right side. It’s the side where responsibility meets fulfillment and joy. It’s the side that brings you closer to your child.
It’s a confusing time, though, and which side is the right side isn’t always clear. We believe that not every father is right for custody, but that every father has a right to it. The Fathers’ Rights movement recognizes the inefficiencies and inaccuracies in some of the social constructs that dictate familial behavior, and opens up the opportunity to determine what is truly in the best interest of children who experience the divorce or separation of their parents—whether that means the mother, the father, or shared custody.
Call the Fathers’ Rights Law Center for guidance. We can help you figure out the best strategy to keep yourself in your child’s life, and to keep your child in yours. These are the formative years for your child, the years when he can grow in your image.