father's day dadIt’s Father’s Day — hope you remembered to send a card to your dear sweet pops. Or called or something. Heck, we’ve seen people honoring their dads by changing their Facebook profile pictures to favorite father-and-son/daughter snapshots from childhood. It’s how we young folks say “I love you” in the digital age.

OK, we’re getting away from the point: It’s Father’s Day. And in May we had Mother’s Day. But it takes more than Mom and Dad to raise the kids. Isn’t there that famous saying that claims it takes a village … ?

There is no Co-Parents Day to celebrate the other adults who are instrumental in nurturing a child, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t. UC Berkeley psychologist Philip Cowan confirms the importance of co-parents (life partners, caregivers, relatives, etc.) who aren’t necessarily fathers. Says Cowan, “The point is to have two adults who are positively engaged with the child.”

Cowan and his wife have helped conduct a study on the topic, and preliminary data reinforces the many advantages that appear to be rooted in two-parent families. The best thing, though, is that the term “two-parent family” isn’t limited to the “traditional” style with one mother and one father a la “Leave It to Beaver.” Nope, the term is applied to families with two parent figures — neither marital status nor gender is a determining factor.

So, by all means, wish your father a happy Father’s Day. Thank him for teaching you how to ride a bike or whatever. But don’t forget to make your appreciation known to any of the other “co-parents” you might have neglected to celebrate, too. After all, everyone loves getting those endearingly corny musical cards. Say it or sing it however you like; we’ll stick with the tried and true. Thank you!

Image Source: Clover_1 under Creative Commons
Father’s Day, Mother’s Day. How about Co-Parents Day? [UC Berkeley News Center]


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