What Is Parents’ Day?
Many Americans are unaware that our nation has a new day of commemoration called Parents’ Day. This is good news for America’s parents and families. 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.
The establishment of Parents’ Day affords a wonderful opportunity for communities, organizations, churches, mosques, synagogues and temples to honor exemplary parents and to encourage families everywhere to invest in our most precious resource – our children. Among the most popular of these activities has been the recognition of outstanding couples as parental role models who have been honored as “Parents of the Year” at the national, state, local and faith community level. We encourage you to get involved in helping us recognize outstanding parents worthy of this recognition by establishing a Parents’ Day Selection Committee in your faith community or local area. Please also recommend such parents to your state’s National Parents’ Day Council affiliate or our national office for consideration to be selected “Parents of the Year” at the state or national level.
Why Parents’ Day?
In every culture and time period, the family has stood as the most fundamental human institution. Family is the starting point of life, the sustainer of well-being, and the school of love. A family begins with the joining together of man and woman, husband and wife, becoming father and mother – and parents. The most powerful of human bonds is the parent-child relationship. Commitment to family has always been a core value. Tragically, however, what was often held as a common value, recognized as common sense, even understood as self-evident in the past, is sometimes not so today. As our nation struggles with effects of family breakdown, youth violence and a host of other critical problems, more and more voices are calling for a re-examination of our priorities and fundamental values. Too often we have let other concerns take precedence over our responsibilities as parents. Yet is there any more important calling than that of nurturing and raising a child? Unfortunately, our popular culture over the past several decades has emphasized self-fulfillment and self-gratification. Such focus on the self runs counter to the essence of parenthood, which fundamentally involves unconditional true love. Parents’ Day provides an opportunity to recognize and promote parenting as a central vocation for our families and communities. More than just a time to celebrate, it is an occasion to make a statement about what is important in our society. It is a chance to create a positive tradition based on a core axiom – that the role of parents is crucial in the nurturing and development of children, and thus requires investment, focus, and commitment. *Text of Legislation Creating National Parents’ Day (House Joint Resolution 398)
113th Congress of the United States of America
At the Second Session
Begun and held at the City of Washington on Tuesday, the twenty-fifth day of January, one thousand nine hundred and ninety-four.
Resolved by the Senate and the House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled. That the fourth Sunday of every July shall be established as “Parents’ Day” to be recognized as a recurring, perennial day of commemoration.
Sec. 2 Recognition
All private citizens, organizations, and governmental and legislative bodies at the local, State and Federal level are encouraged to recognize Parents Day through proclamations, activities, and educational efforts in furtherance of recognizing, uplifting, and supporting the role of parents in the rearing of children. The resolution, passed unanimously by the House and Senate, was signed by the Speaker of the House, Thomas Foley, and the President pro tempore of the Senate, Robert Byrd. President Clinton approved the resolution on October 14, 1994.
The National Parents’ Day Coalition, a project of the American Family Coalition Inc. is a nationwide network of racially and religiously diverse leaders focused on the promotion of Parents’ Day activities. The Coalition works to promote Parents’ Day in the following ways:
National Parents’ Day Coalition
- Uplifts outstanding parental role models through the annual selection of Parents of the Year at the local, state and national levels.
- Focuses attention on the centrality of the parental role through educational programs that stress parental commitment and responsibility.
- Promotes family stability through programs that encourage fidelity between husband and wife and foster abstinence in young people prior to marriage.
- Encourages participation in Parents’ Day activities by all levels of government, community groups, and faith organizations.