Equal Shared Parenting (ESP)
Happy Thursday. It’s a bit soggy out but a good news week and I’ve got a couple big ideas for you.
BC Confederation of Parent AC News
First, our president, Anne Whitaker, shared an interesting article yesterday about youth mental health and asks if we transfer health tasks from healthcare to education, what would that look like? Parents do not usually discuss family health problems with teachers, and Abbotsford Youth Mental Health and the local office of the Ministry of Children and Families do not share with teachers either. Teachers are left out but still have to deal with some extreme problems on a daily basis. The result is teachers get surprised when strange things happen at school – things that were easily predictable – things that everyone should have been looking for. Healthcare is a big job. I’m not sure teachers are up to taking on many healthcare tasks, but if they were informed about divorce decrees, and if they tracked children of divorce, they would be fighting parental alienation instead of promoting it. That would go a long way toward improving Youth Mental Health. Dr. Judith Wallerstein is very supportive of fathers. I interpret her research on the sad legacy of divorce to say that two big stressors for children are divorce and sole custody. So if teachers knew which children were divorced, they would have a warning to look for health problems and for attempts to dispose of a parent.
Second, while I was researching this article I found another intriguing BCCPAC report about overhauling the Teachers’ College. If you want great education reports, you should check out their website.
Here are the first two paragraphs:
As many of you may know, Education Minister Abbott introduced sweeping legislation to address concerns raised by Don Avison’s Fact Finder report regarding the BC College of Teachers (BCCT). While much of the details of the legislation had remained unknown and preliminary concerns were raised by BCCPAC regarding the structure of the new council BCCPAC has reviewed the legislation and is comforted that it contains many of the significant changes that parents have been requesting for years.
BCCPAC supports the high degree of transparency and public reporting that has been included in the legislation and believes this transparency will assist in ensuring the work of the teachers regulatory body will be better able to act in the public interest. Bill 12 has passed third reading receiving unanimous support in the house and only awaits royal assent before becoming law.
I reported that Royal Assent on the day it happened back in November. BCCPAC feels the focus and changes to standards and regulations provides opportunities for significant improvement and is committed to following these developments to ensure these address concerns raised by parents. Our provincial umbrella PAC encourages you to keep them informed of your concerns and input regarding Bill 12 to firstname.lastname@example.org subject line Bill 12
I Didn’t Do Anything Wrong, Most of Us Didn’t Do Anything Wrong.
I am just learning about the things Bob Geldof said to help children. He suggests Judges believe men are hairy, uncontrollable brutes, violent and dangerous, and certainly useless for parenting.
While Family Courts maintain this outdated view of women as sugar and spice, and men as slugs and snails, the rest of us have moved on. – Bob Geldof on Fathers
This antiquated, prejudiced, biased, discriminatory law must catch up with us, it must redress the balance, reflecting the way men and women chose to live now, how we bring up children together, put perhaps in a different way. Our Family Courts with all thier inefficiencies have caused thousands of children such damage, fathers such stress, such turmoil, that more and more men are simply giving up. The system is so stacked against them that fewer and fewer even have the energy to get to court in the first place.
The Car Radio Story
Geldof interviews a dad who says: Why don’t more men go to court? Because you know you are going to lose. What would be the point? Last week my car radio was stolen. Did I report it to the police? What would be the point? The police are not going to get my radio back so I don’t bother. In the same manner, I don’t bother to go to court if there’s some difficulty with my contact with our children, because I’m stuffed if I do anyway. So I don’t bother to go to court and I’m not part of the 10% of fathers who go to court – on a big issue like that. More of Mr. Geldof’s remarks are in the embedded video.
National Post Calls Equal Parenting In Canada “Inevitable”
The National Post says hopefully last week’s UK decision to provide £10 Million for mediation will hasten equal parenting in Canada. It’s obvious to rational observers that Canadian courts are broken and rarely the best place for resolving private disputes about the care of children. Sociologists have done tons of research into the terrible social costs of fatherlessness, for example triple the rates of truancy, teen pregnancies and drug abuse. For a longer list, see Abbotsford Fatherlessness PowerPoint presentation at this website. The Post created a new acronym: ESP. I have been to court approximately 50 times, and reading all I can and I have never heard of equal shared parenting referred to as ESP. But I’m not against anything that draws attention to this terrible child abuse caused by family courts.
The 1978 Family Law reform Act interpreted the “best interests of the child” to mean: “where feasible, a child should have maximum access to both parents”; the “animosity of the parents should not interfere with this interest”; and the “needs of both parents should be considered.”
The in-depth 1998 Senate-House of Commons Joint Committee Report For the Sake of the Children also recommended ESP as a default presumption.
In 2003 justice minister Martin Cauchon stated, “Divorced fathers have no rights, only responsibilities.” He might well have added, “Divorced mothers have no responsibilities, only rights.”
In 2011, at least three BC fathers went to jail for failure to pay child support. These men had done nothing wrong, but they were given longer jail sentences than cocaine dealers or thieves convicted of possession of dangerous weapons. The thieves were protected by the Constitution and only had to complete two thirds of their sentences in lieu of good behaviour. The dads were unprotected by any law and had to complete 100% of their sentence. These fathers were held, without legal counsel, despite requesting a habeous corpus lawyer and habeous corpus hearing. Everything about these detentions was unconstitutional and just plain wrong. BC Judges are acting in a wilful, deliberate, and outrageous attempt to delay and obstruct justice. Turning loving, responsible parents into criminals is a very strange law.
If you talk with Judges, some will admit this system is failing. But they have powerful forces silencing them. In court, Judges always tow the line and claim there is no discrimination in family court.
I was always told that each year one woman and ten men commit suicide in Canada during a divorce. But this article gives the following statistic:
Most fathers anguish over the loss of their children. Post-divorce suicide rates for men rise to 12-16 times those of divorced women, a direct reflection of the grief and trauma fathers suffer from their marginalization.
ESP has been a major plank of the conservative party for years, so what’s the holdup Mr. Prime Minister?
The Shadow Market
For those of you who believe the recession is over, here’s an interesting article from Time Business magazine. It says that most of the houses on the market right now are foreclosures, because banks hold a strong aversion to distressed sales. If we ever sell off these, then we will have all the regular houses that would be for sale right now if not for all the backlog. Time calls this the “shadow” market.
Gangs, Guns, and Girls
The Surrey School District says the fact that girls and women are becoming involved in gang activity is an increasing concern. Gangs are also a problem for the Abbotsford School District. Girls want to be arm candy for gangsters and may even end up being drug mules, get-away drivers, or killed because of their gang involvement.
Girls are starting to need as much help and warning in dealing with gangs as boys. We need to have some frank discussions with girls about gang recruiting techniques, like showering girls with gifts and treating them like princesses, while unable to shield them from bullets.
The Surrey Rep Project encourages girls to do their homework, have better relationships, always have someone with whom they can talk, or go out for a snack. Many fathers groups have claimed fatherlessness has increased these effects on children.
Glenn Sacks Retires as CEO of Fathers & Families
The four people who gave me lots of support over the last 14 years of my parenting and child advocacy have been: my own mother and father, Carey Linde, and – Glenn Sacks. I might not be the man I am without their encouragement. Pastor Rylaarsdam, at First Christian Reform Church in Abbotsford, sent me to Naniamo to train as a Rainbow Societies children’s program facilitator. Pastor Christoph Reiner of Peace Lutheran Church let me coach kids soccer with him. He has a dangerous bicycle kick. Susan Voth took me to Central Heights Mennonite Church with her to help with Divorce Care For Kids. Susan is dedicated to helping others. The Reverend Connie Thompson of Trinity Memorial United Church introduced me to the Abbotsford Youth Council. Never get in a dragon boat race or even a horse race with her.
And finally Glenn Sacks ran a radio show in California and sent me frequent news letters. I hope this one sounds like his. He was saying things we had never heard before and he was the only one saying them. I am sure that after such a life, good things lie ahead for Mr. Sacks and I want to send him my deep gratitude and best wishes for his next endeavors.
See you next time, as we make Abbotsford a parental alienation aware city.