Thursday, 10 September 2009

It starts with the parents

I am a true believer that at the end of the day most things come back to the parents. Especially when they are under the age of 10. Sure, there are other factors in their life that make impressions on them and can sometimes not be the fault of the parent. For example, my mother-in-law thinks it is hilarious when my son tries to hit people, and encourages this (sometimes with household items) in ways, so I always end up going home and having a week long battle of again trying to make my son understand it is NOT ok. Which I of course, always do, but then it all starts up again next time mother-in-law has a go (Before you jump to conclusions about my mother-in-law please await a later post regarding the integrates of life with the in-laws).

Now the reason I'm talking about this is because this morning I was reading an article on Sky News called "UK Kids still living in Dickens-Style Poverty". Children from poverty are starting school not yet toilet-trained, unable to dress themselves and use and knife and fork properly... Now, my first thoughts are you don't need money to do those things, right?... And if anything toilet-training saves money, no? I mean, think of what you'd save on nappies/diapers! So, this hasn't got to do with poverty so much as it has to do with laziness.

These kind of things truly really absolutely get my blood boiling. And it's totally a common thing in Britain and the main problem with society here. Everyone blames the government and expects the government to fix their problems, NO ONE takes responsibility for their own life and their own children.

It boggles my mind still that people who don't want children still have children when there are so many methods to prevent pregnancy and to terminate it. And no no, don't tell me these 'gangsta' 18 year olds are pro-life so won't get an abortion. No one who is pro-life would then go on to not give their child a real chance at life... Or at least I'd hope not.

A quick disclaimer here; I am not saying nor assuming that all teenage/poor/whatever parents are bad parents, I know plenty that are brilliant parents.

The world makes my heart ache so much. I, coming from an abusive childhood, am very aggressive to bad parenting. And I'm not talking about different parenting from mine, because I get it, every parent is different (because every child is different, blahblah, you know the spiel) but abuse/laziness and neglect I can (like many) not tolerate. Seriously, what do you expect from having a child? My co-worker said "some people should be sterilized" and although I wasn't brave enough to say it (for fear of bordering on sounding like Henry Perkins, founder of Vermont Eugenics, who was like Hitler for Vermont...Another interesting and not widely known event in US history) I had thought it briefly too.

These people are neglecting to toilet-train, neglecting to teach their children basic things in life, and why? Because they don't have any money? ... No, Because they are lazy. The government have come up with an official term for these people, "Work Shy". That's a nice way of saying "You're too damn lazy to do anything and expect the government to give you benefits and free childcare so you can sit around and pop out some more rug rats because you can't be bothered to go to your GP and get FREE birth control".

Now, I'm not saying these people don't love their kids... Maybe some don't... But I assume most do, they just don't know how to be parents, which probably stems from how their parents were with them. And that brings me back to what I started out saying; It all starts with the parents.

So... Should the government maybe start a class available to all parents-to-be on the basics of raising a child? (I knew a woman that didn't know to hold her baby or change it's nappy)... Or again, is that pointing a finger at the government and saying it's their problem, when really it's ours.

I guess, at the end of the day I wish people would just take a bit of responsibility for their own lives. Be it not having kids if you're not ready or "rising to the occasion" so to speak. Because it's not fair... It's not fair on all these children, and it makes me so angry.

Quoting the article I linked to above:
A teacher said "I sent a first reading book home with a little girl, who was absolutely bursting with pride, for her to share with her mum, and was told 'It's not my job to listen to her read - It's yous'."

Does that make anyone else angry? Or am I just getting all worked up for no reason? Maybe this is my calling, social work. I don't think so, because I'm pretty sure a lot of people would end up with a mouth full of my fist.


Theta Mom said...

The beginning of your post broke my heart. Even if times are tough, there is NO excuse for raising children and not properly showing them how to use the potty or the needed day-to-day survival skills. Totally unacceptable and how are they getting away with this? My heart bleeds for those poor babies because they never asked for this.

confused homemaker said...

Nope it's not poverty, these types of family lifestyles happen at socio-economic levels. Difference is once you are out of poverty the gov't isn't as interested in you.

Heavenly Housewife said...

I agree with you. I also think that giving birth to a child and then sending them out into the world so ill equipped is a form of child abuse.

JennyMac said...

Heartbreaking.....those poor kids...because plenty of people without money have raised incredibly wonderful children. Shame on those parents!

Miranda said...

aww..That is terribly sad.
I was blessed with two amazing parents and I strive to be like them.
Yes, it pisses me off to see parents who put themselves first on a regular basis and forgets about what is truly important.

Hilary said...

Interesting post. I read this article too last week and I agree with much of what you say. I tend to agree that this is very much a British problem - more so than in North America. As much as it's not really about poverty, there is a very definite underclass in this country where these problems are occurring. I'm just not sure what the answer is...

Elizabeth said...

This post broke my heart. Of course I agree with you on all points--the thought of such neglect makes me hurt inside too. I had no idea that such things were happening in the UK! I think you're right that people don't feel the need to think for themselves because they assume the government will always be there for them. But nobody can do your thinking for you.
You don't have to become a social worker to fight problems like this, though. As a writer, you can raise awareness by writing about the issue and as a mother you can set a good example.