National Parents' Day highlights importance of parental involvement
by By Marie Nesmith, marie.nesmith@daily-tribune.com
Jul 13, 2013 | 1812 views | 0 0 comments | 39 39 recommendations | email to a friend | print
With July 28 marking National Parents’ Day, those in the counseling and life coaching fields are stressing the relationship between family stability and children reaching their full potential.

“It’s really a day to ... recognize parents and the family unit in an uplifting way, basically supporting the role that parents play in raising children to be productive members of society,” said Amanda Dellinger, a Cartersville resident and the owner and director of Thrive Counseling in Kennesaw. “I think the importance of family stability and the importance placed on programs that really increase opportunities for families to learn to look at techniques if they’re struggling or also just to enhance their tool set if they are a strong family unit is essential to keeping the family unit strong.

“In addition, I think that it’s wonderful for parents to serve as role models in today’s society and to kind of honor parents as a critical factor in their child’s life for kids to look up to. ... What we do at Thrive is we encourage parents to really dedicate that day as a family day. We provide handouts and literature on fun activities where parents and families make a commitment to spending the day together.”

Created in the mid-1990s, National Parents’ Day is celebrated on the fourth Sunday in July.

According to www.parentsday.com, “In 1994 President Bill Clinton signed into law the resolution unanimously adopted by the U.S. Congress establishing the fourth Sunday of every July as Parents’ Day, a perennial day of commemoration similar to Mother’s Day and Father’s Day. According to the Congressional Resolution, Parents’ Day is established for ‘recognizing, uplifting, and supporting the role of parents in the rearing of children.’ The establishment of Parents’ Day was the result of a bipartisan, multiracial and interfaith coalition of religious, civic and elected leaders who recognized the need to promote responsible parenting in our society and to uplift ideal parental role models, especially for our nation’s children.

“Since the creation of this annual day of commemoration, local faith communities, elected officials and activists throughout the nation have creatively launched many activities around the theme of Parents’ Day designed to celebrate and strengthen the traditional, two-parent family. The National Parents’ Day Council does not envision Parents’ Day to be yet ‘another’ day to honor parents, but rather a day when parents honor their children and the God-centered family ideal by rededicating themselves to manifest the highest standard of unconditional true love.”

Echoing Dellinger’s statements, Tom Bandy — referred parenting director for Bartow Family Resources — also emphasized the need for family stability and parental involvement.

“There certainly are resources available and anyone could go to our website, bartowfamilies.com, and follow the links,” he said. “... I’m a member of the American Association of Christian Counselors [and] I get a lot of study information, and any study in America reveals again and again when there is not a two parent home or when one of the parents is not significantly involved in the child’s life, the statistics double or more for that child to have difficulty in the teenage years and further difficulty in their adult years. So parents, stability and parents being involved in the children’s lives and caring about them is just critical to that child becoming a healthy, self-sustaining, functioning adult. We’re just built for relationships and without good connections, we just don’t work right.”

At Bartow Family Resources, Bandy offers video-driven parenting classes — for those who are referred from various agencies. The classes consist of an hour and a half session per week for nine, 10 or 11 weeks.

“We get referrals from DFCS, from the juvenile and superior court system or from parent attorneys referring folks to us who may have a case in any one of those courts or situations where their children may be in or not in the home,” Bandy said. “... We’re a nonprofit, and we’re able to provide parenting skills and support and actually our little motto is ‘adding hope to help.’ A lot of people if you have a DFCS case or court situation, your family life has been pretty disrupted and those disruptions are challenging to the children as well.

“So what we’re able to do is kind of come alongside the parent and help provide them the skills, the tools and actually the heart and hope to keep on and maybe help change the dynamics in their family. A lot of families, it’s no longer mom and dads and sister and brother in America. It’s a far different setting, and relationships are just challenging and a lot of folks need help working those relationship problems out and that’s what we do and kind of why part our service is called the Relationship Center because we try to help people rebuild connections, whether it’s between parents or between parents and children.”