The Oxford dictionary includes the following definitions of “Fair”:
- treating people equally without favouritism or discrimination.
- just or appropriate in the circumstances: to be fair.
- not violent:try first by fair means
- without cheating or trying to achieve unjust advantage.
What is the ‘Fair’ in Fair Parenting?
The Fair Parenting Project introduces a community approach to parenting plans to increase Fairness to everyone, and as a consequence, increasing the benefits to the children on the Fair Parenting Plan.
In the last two decades, parenting plans attempted to put the best interests of children at their forefront. They did this by trying to solely meet the needs of the parents involved. Unfortunately, repeated studies have shown this family centric method of developing parenting plans harms children. With parenting plans based upon parent’s unique needs, children lost out on integrating with community activities (sports, music, arts, etc.) and services (daycare, school bus). If the child on a familycentric parenting plan did participate, it was more often than not at the cost of hostility and conflict between the child’s two homes. Children lose out on participating in their communities and the communities miss the children.
The Fair Parenting Project created the Fair Parenting Plan to produce a standardized schedule and set of Fair rules so that:
- Parents and relatives can understand and plan for a child’s schedule;
- Scheduling disputes can be resolved swiftly and economically;
- The children’s experience at school and in their community is normalized; and
- Services and activities can integrate with the common Fair Parenting Plan.
Fairness to both a child’s homes:
Fairness in parenting is not just about a fair or equal division in time. It is about taking a fair share of the responsibilities, obligations and sacrifices required of child rearing. The Fair Parenting Plan divides responsibilities equally to allow the minimum impact on both of a parent’s careers and maximizing the time a child spends with each parent.
Both a child’s homes benefit in Fair Parenting Communities. Children’s service providers and activities integrate with the Fair Parenting Plan for the convenience of parents and the inclusion of children.
Fair for the child’s community service providers (like daycares, school bus services, therapists, and tutor groups):
The Fair Parenting Plan recognizes that the best adult outcomes involve a child participating and receiving community services without conflict between their homes. The standardized Fair Parenting Plan allows service providers to integrate children with minimal or no inefficiencies while meeting their human rights obligations not provide services that discriminate based upon Family Status.
Fair to the child’s sports, music, arts and service club organizations:
Children’s activities benefit in a similar way to service providers. Many activities are run in whole or in part by volunteers, many of whom have children of their own, there are very few extra resources. Coaches, teachers and instructors put their hearts into training their participants and trying to provide a positive experience. When a child misses many practices, or shows up only every second week, then they fall behind and require a lot of extra resources to keep them up to speed with the other children. Sometimes practicalities hinder the completion of projects because they span sessions. It also negatively affects team morale and cohesion.
Fair to the community:
Poor parenting plans that set children off in a direction of constant conflicts and disputes has an impact on the community. There are costs for the operation of the family court system, costs for providing therapy for children and scarred adults, and costs for children not reaching their potential as adults.