Nikolas Cruz And The Need For Fathers!



our-blog-icon-topFebruary 25, 2018 by Robert Franklin, Esq, Member, National Board of Directors, National Parents Organization

This is not a post about guns. If you want that, there are plenty to choose from elsewhere. This is a post about fatherless boys. I write it of course because of the horror perpetrated against school kids in Parkland, Florida by Nikolas Cruz. The debate about guns will go on, but sadly, it seems that it won’t include a debate about fatherless boys. Here’s Suzanne Venker to try to right that wrong (Fox News, 2/19/18).

Image may contain: 1 person, textI often point out the many deficits produced in children by the lack of a father in their lives. The statistics are overwhelming and have been around for decades. The terrible effect of fatherlessness on children, including when they become adults, is the single greatest social ill we face. And yet we promote it – actively promote it – as a matter of public policy. Family courts do it, child support laws help, adoption laws pitch in and so do child protective agencies. The absence of laws prohibiting paternity fraud does its part too. Depictions of fathers in the news media and pop culture also contribute. At every turn, where we should be doing everything in our power to keep fathers in children’s lives, (which is where most of them fervently want to be), we do the opposite. We sideline them marginalize them, call them deadbeats, assume they’re not important, assume their greatest importance is as a source of money. Not occasionally, we offer cash incentives to mothers and states to keep fathers out of children’s lives.

These are the broad-brush strokes of the problem. They paint a picture of a deeply dysfunctional society. It is a picture of a society that knows what’s right and deliberately does the wrong thing, the thing that damages everyone, fathers, mothers, children, society generally and the public purse.

Nikolas Cruz was raised without a father. So was Adam Lanza. So was Dylan Roof. So were countless others.

Broken homes, or homes without a physically and emotionally present mother and father, are the cause of most of society’s ills. “Unstable homes produce unstable children,” writes Peter Hasson at The Federalist.

He adds, “On CNN’s list of the “27 Deadliest Mass Shootings In U.S. History,” seven of those shootings were committed by young males since 2005. Of the seven, only one—Virginia Tech shooter Seung-Hui Cho—was raised by his biological father throughout childhood.”

Returning fathers to children’s lives won’t stop violent crime; it won’t stop mass slayings like the one in Parkland. But it will reduce violent crime and indeed crime generally. It will mean boys do better in school, have fewer emotional and psychological problems, be better able to commit to relationships, be more likely to be employed and to hold a job and be happier people. What’s not to like?

Venker quotes Warren Farrell:

 “Without dads as role models, boys’ testosterone is not well channeled. The boy experiences a sense of purposelessness, a lack of boundary enforcement, rudderlessness, and often withdraws into video games and video porn. At worst, when boys’ testosterone is not well-channeled by an involved dad, boys become among the world’s most destructive forces. When boys’ testosterone is well channeled by an involved dad, boys become among the world’s most constructive forces.”

Just so. The case for fathers gets lost in so many ways. In the Nikolas Cruz case, it’s lost amid the hubbub of the gun control debate. When drug and alcohol abuse is the topic, fatherlessness is there like the elephant in the living room, huge, present and unmentioned. When the decline of American education is discussed, there’s fatherlessness again, but again, if it’s mentioned at all, it’s only in passing.

So thanks to Suzanne Venker for doing what needs to be done. Multiply her effort by 10,000 and we’d be getting somewhere. Fatherlessness is an issue that We the People understand, but with which policy elites can’t be bothered. It’s time we forced them to do the obvious thing, the right thing, the constructive thing. It’s time we forced them to change laws, regulations and the public discourse toward solving the most important problem we face – the absence of fathers from children’s lives.

Nikolas Cruz may be an argument for greater regulation of firearms, or he may not be, depending on your take. He is unquestionably an argument for keeping fathers in children’s lives whenever possible. MORE 

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Coparenting as a Women’s Rights Issue!

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My sabbatical this year has afforded me the opportunity to make good on invitations to present on the topics of shared parenting and parental alienation around the globe. What has struck me in the recent presentations I’ve made in countries like Iceland, Turkey, Belgium, Spain, Korea and Iran, is the degree to which women and women’s organizations are advocating for a reform of the family law system in the direction of shared parenting as a legal presumption. From Iceland, where coparenting is increasingly recognized as an essential element of gender equality (Iceland is the first country to legislate equal pay for women), to Turkey, where I heard an impassioned presentation by a woman’s studies scholar on the benefits of shared parenting for mothers (in a country where traditional roles and responsibilities of mothers are barriers to women’s advancement in the public realm), to Iran, where fathers are typically granted legal custody of children and mothers are at risk of being replaced in their role by fathers’ new partners, the appeal of shared parenting as the foundation of family law is being voiced by women’s and children’s advocates.

This stands in stark contrast to the portrayal of shared parenting and parental alienation as “men’s rights” issues in North America. Opponents of a legal presumption of shared parenting in the United States and Canada go so far as to characterize the campaign as a “fathers’ rights conspiracy.” This viewpoint not only overlooks the fact that in many parts of the world, a paternal preference in legal child custody determination still exists, but also ignores the increasing rates of paternal custody decisions and maternal alienation from children’s lives in North America. The characterization of parental alienation and shared parenting as “fathers’ rights” issues has rendered invisible the plight of many mothers, and negatively affected the global campaign to establish shared parenting as the foundation of family law as a fundamental right of women and their children.

The emergence of shared parenting as a women’s rights issue is no great surprise, given the fact that in many countries, a paternal preference continues to dominate in judicial child custody decision-making and results in many mothers becoming alienated from their children’s lives, and the fact that in some countries, children are still considered to be the “property” of fathers. In North America, we see increasing rates of primary residence determinations being made in favor of fathers in states where a maternal preference previously existed. It is now well-established that women are as much at risk of parental alienation as fathers, both in North America and abroad (Warshak, 2015).

Image may contain: textShared parenting has been long-championed as a vital element of gender equality in two-parent families, and is now emerging as equally important for separated and divorced families. It is neither desirable nor viable that mothers work a “double shift” as full-time wage earners and parents; fathers’ assumption of responsibility to share the care of children in dual-earner households in particular is an important concern of women.

It is in the realm of parenting after divorce, however, that shared parenting is vital for the well-being of mothers, as well as for fathers and children. My own research on the lived experiences of mothers alienated from their children’s lives in Canada (Kruk, 2010; Kruk, 2015) revealed that far from voluntarily relinquishing their traditional maternal role, as some have suggested, mothers are being forcefully removed from their children’s lives in North America. When accusations are made that court systems are biased in favor of mothers in the US and Canada, they have responded by increasing rates of paternal custody (as opposed to shared parenting) legal determinations. This places mothers’ relationships with their children at serious risk.

The storied experience of each of the mothers I interviewed focused on the following themes: attachment and loss associated with involuntary child absence; legal abuse within the adversarial system, and judgment based on non-conformity to a motherhood ideal; physical violence and emotional abuse in the family system; access denial and parental alienation; stigma and lack of support services; and serious financial losses. I also examined mothers’ perceptions of their children’s needs in the divorce process, mothers’ responsibilities in relation to those needs, and the responsibility of social institutions to support mothers as parents. In this context I examined mothers’ views about needed changes to the legal framework of child custody determination and other priorities. Above all else, mothers identified the need for a rebuttable legal shared parenting presumption as facilitating the most salutary post-divorce outcomes for themselves and their children.

Overcoming the barriers to the re-engagement of mothers alienated from their children’s lives is a vital social justice issue. The key in this regard is shifting away from an adversarial stance, toward supporting both parents in the fulfillment of their parenting responsibilities after divorce. The lack of such support for non-resident mothers by representatives of social institutions is an issue too long neglected in social policy and clinical practice. Shared parenting is a preventative legal measure to ensure the continued involvement of mothers in the lives of their children, and this makes it just as much a women’s as a men’s rights issue. MORE 

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Coming Home

Karen Woodall

To offset the negative, I also often receive positive comments and here this week I received one of the most wonderful comments.  A comment to make my heart and yours, sing.

To cheer us and encourage us, to underscore all that we say and do at the Family Separation Clinic and to keep your faith, hope and belief in the love that your child holds in their heart for you, with permission I have reproduced the comment so that everyone can share.

Go well in your world this weekend and tend to your heart and your soul.  In the heart and soul of your alienated child, nothing, but nothing is forgotten.

From Holly

I have posted previously, sharing my experiences as an alienated parent. I am happy to now post as a reunified parent. Just before her 18thbirthday, my daughter who had completely stopped all communication with me, called me…

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Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, urges parents to read to children~Given the Chance! @Daily_Express

Duchess of Cornwall

The Duchess of Cornwall is urging parents to read to children daily and “lead them on a voyage of discovery”. MORE

Writing in the Sunday Express, Camilla spoke of the joy her father brought to her by reading to her every night.

She said: “Those evenings didn’t just pass on a lifelong love of reading; they made me, too, want to share that passion with my children and now with my grandchildren.”

The duchess was writing ahead of ahead of World Book Day on Thursday.

She said a day dedicated to books may seem “a bit old-fashioned” in a world “that sometimes feels dominated by too many screens and too much information”.

But Camilla said it was a “timely reminder” of how important books and reading are, especially for children.  Image result for Harry Potter

‘Brains buzzing’

She said: “Turning the pages of a favourite book creates a very special bond with our grandchildren, but it’s not just an indulgent pleasure. We all know that reading is an invaluable life skill.

“It is vital for children in their education and as they take their place in the grown-up world.”

The duchess also said books can “fire the imaginations” of children and “get their brains buzzing unlike anything else”.

She added: “Reading to our children and our grandchildren is something we can all try to do every day of the year.

“Not only does it give us pleasure but it leads them on a voyage of discovery and enrichment that only books can bring.”

Recalling her own father, Major Bruce Shand, reading to her as a child, she said the “fervent bibliophile” brought characters such as “the dashing Scarlet Pimpernel” or “inquisitive Alice” to life “vividly”.

“We couldn’t wait for the next instalment,” she added.

As well as encouraging children to read, the duchess is also passionate about children using their imagination to write their own stories – and is regularly on the judging panel of BBC Radio 2’s annual 500 Words competition. 

Given the Chance! 

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#FamilyCourtCorruption 2 End in 2018 

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Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaite told the press yesterday at the informal Brussels summit that the EU would lose around a fifth of its budget due to Brexit.


Dalia Grabau-Skire (A Skite = A Braggard in GW’s books)

This woman was actually unhelpful to the UK over its wish to limit immigration and also demanding UK pays more. Lithuanian pays nothing into the EU. Why do these people even have a voice. Full of demands and assertions but contribute nothing. This is where Remainers fall down. 19 countries are irrelevant in the European Union because of non-contributions. 4-5 others are tiny contributors and hold no power. Only 3-4 are relevant. So when you tout the single market you should really think about 3-4 European countries that make up the bulk. Remainers cannot get it into their head.

The EU single market drops to 430m, the CommonWealth that is overtaking the EU on trade size year on year by contrast has 2.2 billion.

90% of the global growth will come outside of the EU. Remainers get it into…

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