Low Income Parents are Worse Parents?

Jodi - posted on 02/26/2012 ( 323 moms have responded )

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Okay, now don't anyone jump down my throat on this one! Meme mentioned in another thread that she saw low income parents doing a less than desirable job educating and entertaining their children whilst grocery shopping. And...I have to concur, kind of! lol



I am NOT saying all low income parents are bad parents, I am not saying ANY low income parents are bad parents (and neither did MeMe), but here are a few points, and this is from my personal experience with MANY low income mothers as I live in a relatively low income neighborhood.



The mothers I know, do not focus on nutrition, at all. I have been on food stamps in the past, trust me, they can afford to purchase healthy foods! (at least in my area) Instead, they buy instant food, food from a can and more often than not, hit up fast food joints.



The mothers I know, spank (like, many times a day, a few even many times an hour) They use yelling and spanking for everything, whereI would let most of these things slide with just a warning or a few choice words, they use their hands. (note, I do not have a problem with spanking when used appropriately!)



The mothers I know do NOT keep up their house. Now, don't get me wrong, my house is MESSY. But I'm talking about houses where you can't see the floor, where you can't shut the bathroom door because there's so much clothing on the floor. Where food is caked and moldy on counter tops etc etc.



They do not read to their children, their children are TV zombies, they barely speak to their children much less teach them, just a few days ago, I saw one of my 3 year old neighbors riding her bike, no helmet, all around the neighborhood in the middle of the road, mom wasn't even AWAKE!!!! We're talking 10ish in the morning.



So, I'm hoping for the sake of our world, this just an isolated phenomenon, but is this true in your experience, and why do you think this is?

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Stifler's - posted on 02/27/2012

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Housos is a term used for people who live in low income housing. Meanwhile it's funny to stereotype them (there's a show called Housos on SBS which is quite hilarious) I don't believe all people who live there behave that way. I know a lot of people who have lived in low income housing and their parents were not Woodstock guzzling, cheezel eating, "let's feed the kids cereal for dinner and they can stay in the car while we play pokies" type of people.

Sal - posted on 02/27/2012

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this post has really pushed my buttons, people only see what they want to see, if a low income mum has a trolley filled with prepackaged food she is a lazy bad mum, if a middle income working mum has the same stuff she is busy working mum just trying to get dinner on the table....same shit food different attitde, it really riles me, i have the odd night out with friends get drunk and generally have a good time and my friends say 'good for you, you put everything into being a mum you deserve a night out' put another woman, single low income there and she is an irrisponsible bad mum.....it is all double standards,

being poor doesnt make you a bad parent any more than being rich makes you a good one, rich parents kids are just neglected in style

MeMe - Raises Her Hand (-_-) (Mommy Of A Toddler And Teen) - posted on 02/27/2012

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Again long winded but I feel very passionate about this subject as I do for a few others (spanking especially)... I wanted to get out as much as I could. I of course have much much more... LOL



Edited to add: Again if I have offended anyone here it was not my intentions. I know there isn't anyone on this thread that are as I described above. These people rarely have a PC, let alone internet services. They cannot afford it... My heart goes out to the children in these families. They are going to grow up as their parents unless the cycle is broken. The Government needs to revamp how they do things and educate these people in order to help the next generation of each, figure out what life is really about and help themselves rise above the system!

MeMe - Raises Her Hand (-_-) (Mommy Of A Toddler And Teen) - posted on 02/27/2012

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As I posted in the other thread I have been on welfare (social assistance). I was on it for 7 (I can never remeber if it was 6 or 7, I just did the math and it was 7) years, as when I became pregnant I had nothing, not even a permanant place to live. I was 22 going on 23. I almost had my high school diploma but not quite (in Alberta you need 100 credits, I had 93).



Also, I want to be understood from my experience not by anyone else's here. I cannot speak for anyone else. Also, please keep in mind that NOT all low income or assistance riden parents are bad parents. I still keep in contact with a select few assistance people. I also live in Canada, where assistance is MUCH different that in the US.



From living in low income areas for a good 8 of the 6 years I was on assistance and from living in cities where there are many low income and assistance riden people I can speak very fluently about how it is in Nova Scotia and Alberta. Again don't get me wrong, I was on assistance and I was not a bad parent by any means, so not all are as I am about to define but a good 90% are. It is these people of why our program in Canada is so flooded and inapt to actually help those in dyer need.



In Canada they give you a monthly cheque or direct deposit and you get to decide how you see fit to use that money. The biggest issue with that is most of these people have never had a full education let alone been taught how to correctly spend money. That is a huge downfall for many of these parents.



Many people on assistance were on assistance as children because their parents were. They followed suit because it is what they knew.



All low income communities I have been in and lived in are as Jodi mentioned. The parents are very messy and dirty people. I don't mean a bit messy, I mean you can't walk into their house and see floor. Some even have magot's in their kitchen sinks (I have seen it).



The parents do not feed their children healthy choices, some barely feed their children. They allow for the schools to feed them breakfast through the breakfast program. When it is cheque day, you know because the liquor stores are packed. Not the grocery stores, the liquor stores. When you see them on this day at the grocery store they are buying pallets of KD and frozen dinners. Very seldom are they buying anything that needs to be cooked.



Many of them either spank daily, even hourly or they don't provied any discipline at all. They yell, they freak out. I have seen them in stores grab them by the hair and flig them across the isle. Only to leave a very saddened child, helpless and hurt, in front of on-lookers. Their children are running around at all times of the morning and night, most often without adequate clothing. I am talking 5 year olds running the streets at midnight. The children don't even have their hair combed or clothing clean. they are running around with busted shoes and smelling of BO. They are being neglected and NO ONE is doing anything!



Many of them pop children out like they are candy. Keep having more and more so their monthly cheque gets bigger. They all put their children in Daycare (of which is paid for free of charge) and very few of them actually work. I see them drop their kids off at Daycare while still wearing their pajama's, they are going back home to do nothing. A large percent of them sell drugs. They sell these drugs and do drugs in front of their children. I have been confronted by 7 year olds selling weed!



I knew a man, of which I took to his daughter, she was the same age as my daughter. I kept her on most weekends, so that I could be certain she was being taken care of on the weekends in the least. I gave her ALL of my daughter's used clothing, otherwise she would've had NONE. He also had two boys. He would make one of his boys walk around house to house at 5am asking for a cigarette for his Daddy. It made me sick!



These poor children don't understand. Many of them are going to follow suit and ride welfare just like their parents.



It pisses me off that the system is so damn stupid and has not corrected how they do things. These people NEED someone to help them. Not only financially but mentally and emotionally. They need guidance on how to look for work and they need to be MADE to either go to school or find a job! In Canada you can ride the system FOREVER if youo choose too. That is the problem here. It is not the people per se, it is that the Government has allowed for them to not stand up and take control of their own lives!



When I went on assistance I knew it was going to be short term. They supported me and my daughter with $13 000/year (that includes child tax). My rent was $525/month. It was HARD, one of the most difficult things ever in my life. There were times I couldn't afford another jug of milk. They also paid for me to go back to school, I went back for 4 years. I got a degree in Computer Sciences with a Database Concentration. I was a single mother who was extremly poor. Although, I knew there was light at the end of the tunnel. I knew I didn't want that life for my child. I persevered because I had to for my child. I always bought good food, I always cooked for my child. I am a clean freak. Now I make very very good money. I can only thank myself and assistance for getting me here. Although I had good intentions when using the system and knowledge of how to get off, many do not.... I have been off of assistance and working in my career for 7 years now. It is the best thing I could have ever done but the absolute hardest to get here!



I also know why I was like that and so many other's are not. I did not come from a poor home. My mother was a clean freak. She was very mean and a single mother but those things I could change for myself.



I get why so many that are on assistance live the way they do. It is all they know, it is all they grew up knowing. It is the Government's fault for allowing it. There is no support for these people, NONE. They are simply given a monthly cheque and sent on their marry way. It pisses me off uncontrollably, it is not right. These people deserve a chance as anyone else. Instead they are left in the dust to figure life out on their own, sadly too many fail. It is hard to beat the system, so very hard.



I have been thinking very hard at getting involved. Find a way that I could promote healthy living on such low incomes. Show these people they don't have to be stuck. Show them I am living proof that you can make a difference for yourself and children. It is hard though, so many of them are so scorned from their childhood of poverty that they have no interest in rising.



The Government needs a good shake down. There are some parents out there trying but they are added to the pool of here is a cheque now go figure it out. We did our duty, now get lost! They didn't even tell me they would put me through school, I had to research that on my own and ASK for them to.



It disgusts me. We are paying all the taxes for these people. I don't mind doing that if it is going to people to better themselves but not to do nothing with themselves or their children.

Sal - posted on 02/27/2012

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it is a easy to make mistake and just plain wrong.....yes some low income patents can be judged as bad, but some are just amazing, some high income parents are fabulose but some are just as neglectful and lazy as any houso, and for that matter some commission houses i have been in are the cleanest healthiest i have ever known, and i have been in beautiful homes neglected and dirtier than you can imagine.....just because you are stoned out of your tree on high grade cocaine or drunk on moet doesnt make you less stoned or drunk.....money might give you the luxury to raise your child with every privaledge but being poor doesnt condem your kids to a life with crap parents.....

Tina - posted on 02/26/2012

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Not everyone is judgmental but in my case. When my partner and I had our first child. All my partners mum could care about was the area we lived in. She complained to her ex husband (partners dad) about how we were living in the slums. It wasn't the greatest area but it wasn't that bad either, we had a nice elderly lady living next door and it was a stepping stone for us we've move since then into a nicer area and bigger house. But she'd never visit us and still hardly does. She acts nice, but appparently I'm not good enough because I'm not wealthy enough. I own everything I have I worked hard for everything. My car appliances etc. My partners ex's were well off. The rest of his family I get along fine with even his Dad and brother who earn quite a bit. But the funny thing is His mum and Dad started out pretty well the same as us. They lived in the same type house. Were on a low income and had to budget. She left her husband a few year ago because he didn't earn enough apparently at that stage he had 3 jobs and was earning the same as her. But it wasn't good enough. She's moved up in the world and people like me aren't good enough. She does try to take over to the point she wanted my newborn to stay at her house and I put my foot down. Most people are okay but there are a select few that think money is everything and you're not good enough for them if you don't earn as much as them. I also come from a family of 10 kids. Low income family We've all turned out good. My younger brother is well educated and earns alot. The rest are still in school. My partners Dad said I'm alot more involved with my kids then his wife ever was. She didn't have time for them still doesn't. Her needs come first.

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Sorry! I'm just going to jump in with what I've seen. My husband came from a family of 7. His mom stayed at home. I think their family is quite amazing. His dad worked very long, hard hours for not the best pay. His mom's job was to stretch every penny. He said he never noticed as a child that they were struggling. His parents were involved in their education and pushed them to be their best. The oldest has a degree in industrial technology and is currently considering a MBA. The second son works with an A/C and heating company and can fix just about anything. The third, my husband, has a master's in geology and wants to continue his education as well. The fourth son is a rocket scientist. For real. He builds rockets and he's also getting his master's. The fifth child and only girl is a forensic chemist and works for the government. I've known this family my whole life and I've been with my husband for almost 9 years and the more I learn about them, I'm just amazed. They did so much with so little. So there's a positive story from a low-income family.

Jodi - posted on 02/26/2012

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'housos' I have never heard this term before...can you tell me what it means?



also, I'm reading a lot from both sides here, which is neither good nor bad. some are saying, they see the same things I see in my area, some are saying they don't see it, but quite a few are saying they see it...but we shouldn't judge. Seriously, no one here is judging as far as I can tell, and pointing out what we see, what we experience, that's not judgement, it's observation. I am appreciating the feedback, it's opening my eyes to many other possibilities.



The moms in MY area, by the vast majority, that are low income, on assistance, are sub-par in terms of parenting by my standards. That doesn't make them bad parents, it just means, they have a lot more room for improvement than most people. We can all improve, but what I see, are parents who arn't trying. (again, this is specifically the majority of mothers i see in MY area). Maybe because of depression, maybe because of stress, maybe lack of sleep, lack of education...whatever it is. We're all human, we all struggle, we all do the best with what we have when we have it...but I'm just wondering is some really know HOW to do the best with what they have...does that make sense?

Tina - posted on 02/26/2012

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I'm am a mother currently on a low income. I cook my children fresh healthy meals. I play with my kids. The budget is tight. I never get enough sleep and I am dealing with depression. I go without a lot. But I love my kids more than anything. My kids always have nice clothes. My kids do watch tv as a means to occupy them while I clean and prepare meals. I figure it's safer for them to be watching cartoons then hang around my feet while I cooking and handling hot food and boiling water. I have safety gates around my home. The days my partner works. I load the pram up and go for a walk I get a bit of exercise and my kids love it. I gets my groceries pay my bills send my parcels etc. My son isn't even 2 yet and I have him learning his ABC's. My youngest is 8 months and they are both very good provblem solvers. Every parent is different regardless of their income. My situation is temporary. My partner is doing a trainee ship. Within the next couple of month will be in a job that is fulltime and pays well. While I choose to stay at home until my children are atleast in kindergarden or until I am confident that they can communicate well with me incase anything were to happen to them in the care of someone else. I am over protective. Meanwhile I try to make money from home I do this on the internet while my children nap or play. People are highly judgmental. Yes I am on a low income. No I am not the best parent but I try very hard to be the best I can be, educate my children, spend time with my children and keep a clean house and cook healthy meals. I have lived near people that I would say aren't very good parents on a low income but they probably had kids for the wrong reasons too. But I also know some very good parents on a low income. That goes they same for the other end of the scale. I know a woman who is very well off and doesn't have time for her children and is very selfish. But that would be an isolated case too. You can't judge someone by their income. I'd say life would be a little easier if I had more money I would stress alot less.

Sally - posted on 02/26/2012

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I have to agree. It drives me nuts. I have had to live on benefits for a short time and i found that fresh veg was cheaper,not meat i might add but i belive that a veggie diet a couple of times aweek never hurts.. Don't understand people who say nuggets, chips etc are cheaper. Fresh veg is cheap but you got put effort in and there lays the problem.

Messy homes. I know what you mean there are some ,i wouldn't except a glass of water. My nanny joyce used to say that a home should be clean enough to be healthy and dirty enough to be happy. I live by that.

Right spending time with kids. Im so going to get shit for saying this but iv'e found that the really young mums, teens and not all are the worse. I know you get older mums that do it as well, so stop shouting. I truely think this is because their kids themselves.

I do want to end on saying it is harder on a lower income to do things and i think thiis leads to depression and hopelessnesss.

Merry - posted on 02/26/2012

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My mom got wic for our foster babies so I was familiar with it and didn't feel it labeled me badly when I got on it. I do get looks at the grocery store but usually it's because wic checks make my check out take for ever loving long and people behind me get annoyed. I'm sure theyre thinking mean things about poor annoying me on assistence and my kids who were likely teen pregnancy whoopsies but honestly I put the thoughts out of my head and ignore them. I'm a better mom then most moms I know and I don't care if using wic helps make me a better mom then so be it.



Now I work for wic as my counties breastfeeding peer counselor so I'm giving back what I 'took' and it's great :)

Stifler's - posted on 02/26/2012

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Also I agree with the comments that it's not a level playing field. White bread, potatoes, 4 for 5 dollars potato chips are so much cheaper than cauliflower, lean meats and everything else. It is stressful having no money too not knowing whether you can pay your electricity bill or have any food next week would stress the hell out of you resulting in frustration with your kids and withdrawing from them. Being stuck on welfare and not being any better off working sucks too.

Stifler's - posted on 02/26/2012

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I think you are stereotyping low income people as all being 'housos'. I grew up very low income and my mum read to us and I know a lot of people who make decent money who don't read to their kids or know much about nutrition or positive discipline.

Janice - posted on 02/26/2012

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Jodi, it is so good to hear that I am not the only woman to cry over using WIC. I'm not being funny either. My bum sister and friend thought I should be so excited and couldn't understand why I was so miserable. I am thankful for the help but not happy about needing it!

Jodi - posted on 02/26/2012

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Oh, and i had never thought of the coming home from work exhausted...nearly all the moms I know are SAHM's, but that would easily explain any dad's. And depression is definately something to think about, that will really kick a person when they're down!

Jodi - posted on 02/26/2012

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First of all, I would like to point out that I am absolutely NOT condemning anyone! I am low income, though not on assistance any longer, and in my area, with my parenting style and philosophy is a far cry from the norm here. (That being, interacting with my kids a lot, reading as much as we can, keep a clean, though cluttered/messy home, positive parenting as much as possible, a healthy diet etc etc.)



Kelly B, you asked where I'm from. I am from a small town in Wisconsin. Here, there isn't much for middle class, there's the poor...and the decidedly not poor. My case worker (I was on assistance for about a year) was great. She not only was super supportive, she told me and helped me receive every benefit we needed (heating assistance, food stamps, WIC, Badgercare, which covers basically any medical costs etc etc.) She helped my husband find a job, she was non-judgemental and basically held my hand through the whole process. And I know from other people she did the same with them, they just viewed as more harassing than helpful.



TSome of the apartments in my area for subsidized housing, are easily nicer than my house, though they're treated like crap a lot. My neighbor was given a car (I have no idea how, but it through our case worker), brand new to drive 10 miles to a job she kept for 2 weeks after. I drive a used 2005 van for the record. My budget for grocery shopping monthly is about $150-$200 dollars (now, granted, we grow our own fruits and veggies and raise our own meat...but that comes with it's own cost!) and my cousin receives $600 dollars a month for groceries...but they still eat Mcdonald's several nights a week.



In my area, there are a few moms who I know who are low-income and/or receiving assistance that are terrific parents, but the majority don't seem to care if their children stink, are doing safe activities or have healthy food in their stomachs. They do not seem interested in doing anything to change their circumstances.



I know how it feels to be judged for being low income, been there done that. I sat in my car and cried after using my first WIC check, it was aweful, but it provided food for my kid, so I did it. I do not think any of these mothers (or fathers) are bad parents, I just wondered if this is a factor of my environment, or if it's all over. I don't know about many "rich" families in my town...it's very segregated, and they wouldn't deign to socialize with us poor peons (and low income is normal in my community, there's one neighborhood of *rich* people), but I have no doubt that many of them are less than perfect in their child rearing skills.

**Jackie** - posted on 02/26/2012

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Holy crap! Thanks Laura! I hope there is not a next time but thanks for the tip! I would've felt awful if I had made the situation worse.

Merry - posted on 02/26/2012

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Hey Jackie totally off topic but I was watching an animal cops show and the people from the SPCA mentioned on the show that if a dog is overheating and dehydrated its best to give them warm to room temp water as cold water can put their body into shock.

I hadn't heard of this before but think it should be a known fact as too often people see dogs suffering in the heat!

So next time, hopefully there isn't a next time but if there is, give overheated dogs room temp water :)



And on topic, those are wonderful examples of the diversity of families on assistence, they come in all types and some can be wonderful parents

**Jackie** - posted on 02/26/2012

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We are not on any kind of assistance but the house next door to us used to be rented by Section 8 renters. They are slobs! I've called the police on them so many times for leaving their dog outside all day in the summer (I used to put huge bowls of ice cold water out there for him) and for letting their 4 year old twins ride their bikes in the middle of the road without ANYONE there to supervise.



They finally got evicted and before they left, they peed on all of the floors, ripped the doors off of most of the cabinets in the kitchen and left the faucets running.



To make this more interesting I have to tell you about the people that live 6 houses down. They are also on assistance, Section 8 I believe, and they have a dog that is fed very well and kids that are very well behaved. We had a storm one year and I get a knock on my back door from the little boy and girl with their mother. The boy said "Excuse me, can we borrow your snow? We ran out." It was the cutest thing! I told them they are more than welcome to play in our back yard if they want but they can have all the snow they can carry. I mean how awesome are those manners!



Two families that are both low income, and two completely different types of people.

Merry - posted on 02/26/2012

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We are low income and on assistence because we chose for me to not leave our kids in daycare to work full time and my husband could make more money if he was away more hours but he likes being a part of our kids lives so he works just enough to keep us living well.

So for us, being on assistence came as we made the choice to be the best parents we could be which ment being with our kids as much as possible.

We don't spank :) we don't eat fast food either :) our house it cluttered but always sanitary. Our kids absolutely don't go outside alone and while we dot do too much book reading, we are trying.

Am I in the minority? I have no idea. Some would say its wrong of us to not do everything in our power to get off assistence but honestly I think the impact it would have on our kids is not something I'd risk just to get off the state. Our assistence is minimal anyways.

[deleted account]

It's probabaly always been that way. I know people like to point to the exceptions and the success stories but poverty does breed poverty.

Mother - posted on 02/26/2012

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I would have reported them anyways....I know how awful and cold that sounds but that is so wrong. I became very ill in 2005. I was told I've never have any more kids....well, its very unlikely. I'd give anything to have more children. Stories like this really put a bee in my bonnet.

Janice - posted on 02/26/2012

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Kelly, we all really wanted to take her home. Its crazy that these people with the means to give their child everything, gave he nothing.

Mother - posted on 02/26/2012

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What a mortal sin!!! I would have scooped that wee one up and taken her home!!! LOL

Janice - posted on 02/26/2012

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Oh there are definitely wealthy, bad parents too.

When I worked in daycare this little girl started in the toddler room next to me. Her parents owned their own company. This little girl had issues, she was always dirty and smelled, she could barely talk at close to 3 years old and had very limited self-help and social skills.After finally convincing her parents she needed intervention, a ST and OT began coming to work with her. They also would go to her home. We learned that she was completely neglected there. Mom and Dad ignored her completely while doting on their older 2 children. I'm guessing she was an unwelcome surprise. Her time at the daycare ended badly and I wonder what ever happened to the little girl. Dad dropped off the 2 year old in his 2 seater hot rod - no car seat! The director let him know if she was seen with out a car-seat again that she would be required by law to report him to CPS for child endangerment. Mom picked the little girl up a few hours later and we never heard from them again.

Jenni - posted on 02/26/2012

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That is true, housing is easier to get in the city. I didn't consider that because I wouldn't have qualified for housing at the time (no children). And jobs are more plentiful. Notice I didn't say I succeeded at finding a job when I lived in a town. ;)



I had no issue finding one in the city. Handed out 10 resumés and had 2 call backs. Had a job within a week of handing them out.

Mother - posted on 02/26/2012

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I agree 110% People with money aren't any better then anyone else...for the exact reasons you stated. I said the same thing but i think it was in a different thread.

[deleted account]

I live in a low income area. The split is 50/50. No different than any other walk of life.



I've been the single mum stuck completely on benefits. My child was always my first priority. I went without. We ate proper food not junk. It may not of been organic or considered quality standard by many but it wasn't processed. I had a child with disabilities and often wanted to stick my head under a pillow and cry because everyday was a struggle and having no money was harder.



You have the parents who want to do better for their kids. They want a job but when you have 40 people applying for every job and you're the person with no qualifications, limited experience or you can't work fully flexible hours due to child care arrangements, your chances are slim to nothing. They get into a slump. They do their best not to let it affect the children.



Then you have parents who don't care about improving their situation. They don't care about getting as job as they've learnt to manipulate the benefits system. They don't care about what their kids get up to. Throw them out on the street and tell them not to come home till 6pm.



The only difference I see between poor families and the more well off families is that the well off ones can pay for things or pay other people to make their job easier.

Mother - posted on 02/26/2012

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Weird...I always thought being in the city would be easier. More jobs...better opportunities...more housing....more day cares...etc etc



you have to wait for YEARSSSSS to get housing here unless you're willing to move from town to town to hopefully get in.

Jenni - posted on 02/26/2012

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I wouldn't be surprised if in cities more people fall through the cracks than in small towns. My case worker had me prove I was job searching, had me involved in welfare to work programs, weekly appts to check on my progress. Gave me extra incentive for job interviews, clothing for interviews and gas.



But in the city, it's like they don't even care what you do. They probably have huge case loads. My uncle was on assistance for years and I couldn't believe he never even had to show he was looking for work! Just went down to city hall to collect his check monthly.

[deleted account]

Teresa, I hope that didn't read like I thought the poor parents couldn't read parenting books or wouldn't want to read them, they are often just too stressed and overburdened by their current situation to have time.

I was thinking of those times, like when you try to read the news paper after a long, exhausting night, then find your eyes at the end of an article, but your mind has no recollection of what you've just read.....

Mother - posted on 02/26/2012

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Oh ya?? Maybe things have changed since I was in the system. My g/f is on assistance and she was handed a whole page of programs available. It even categorizes it for them. Isn't that amazing?? From housing to daycare to occupational therapy programs.



Ya, my worker rode my ass too. I think she hauled me in there for shits and giggles. i shut her up quickly the last day we had a"rational adult discussion". she was still on the....with your resume you should be able to find a job, kick. Without missing a beat I said....Ok, is your job available because I'm sure I could do a hell of alot better of a job then you're doing right now. the entire floor broke out into laughter. hee hee hee

[deleted account]

I was a high school drop out who used to read parenting and child care books for fun..... 7+ years before ever becoming a mom. ;)

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Less than ideal parenting is more prevalent in families who live in poverty. That has been proven. There are several hypotheses as to why this is, but to my knowledge, nothing is conclusive to date.



On idea is that stress, exhaustion, and lack of education play a very big part in it.



The low income parent often comes home from work exhausted, both mentally and physically--they just don't have the energy to make up games and play with their children. They are more likely to spank because they are stressed and too exhausted to come up with more imaginative, effective forms of discipline. Plus, other forms of discipline take more time, which they just don't have, so they spank, which fixes the problem for the moment, but causes more problems later, and thus a cycle that makes them look like bad parents, when in fact, they are doing the best they can. This exhaustion, along with lack of education, also effects their ability to read parenting books and advice and understand it at a level where they can apply it to their lives.





Another hypothesis is that they lack will power. Many of these families are depressed--whether they are poor because they are depressed, or depressed because they are poor remains at question, but either way, untreated depression, even in mild cases, can cause a parent to just "float along" in their current place. They will not make the effort to better parent their children or clean their homes because they just can't find it in themselves to do so.

Jenni - posted on 02/26/2012

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Thanks Kelly.



I noticed a huge difference when I switched case workers when I moved. When I lived in a small town, my worker was all over my ass. lol I had appts. with her weekly. She was very informative.



When I moved to the city, I only met my worker once when I first applied.



You do generally have to inquire about what programs are available. My SD's mom took advantage of the free daycare program and finished her HS diploma.

Mother - posted on 02/26/2012

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{{huggs Jenni}} This is the second time today that a person's post has stopped me in my tracks with jaw on the floor.



The human spirit truly is amazing isn't it?!?! I think if more people knew the stories behind anothers fake smile....we'd be more inclined to help and be helped. And for the record....Being a Dancer is NOT anything to be ashamed of.....it's an honest living. and a damn hard one to pull off gracefully while wearing stilettos!! :D

Janice - posted on 02/26/2012

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Tam, its not just as simple as accepting assistance. I took out 70K in student loans to get my BS. I was convinced by everyone around me that by getting a degree I would have a better life. Instead, I have 700 a month in student loan bills (500$ is currently in deferment) and no job will support both 1760 a month in daycare and my loans. And guess what when you apply for assistance student loans DO NOT count. So we do not qualify for help, (which I am okay with cause just accepting WIC has caused me severe anxiety) based on the fact that hubby's job does cover the bills. But I have this giant student loan debt that will come out of deferment in May and IDK what we will do.

Actually, I will work nights to pay the bills and avoid daycare cost. I cant wait to see how my house looks or how good my parenting skills will be when I don't get a chance to sleep.

Mother - posted on 02/26/2012

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Something else I noticed while on assistance is....the workers aren't very forthcoming with information about programs that could help a family out. I don't know how many times I'd hear of something that would have helped us tremendously but didn't know it existed. When I questioned the workers they were like....we didn't know it would interest you. Ummmmm....HELLOOOOOOOOO trying to better ourselves here. My worker was a real pill. she and I butted heads on a few occasions. i am not tooting my horn here but my resume was pretty great. I was in upper management of franchises before I got pregnant. However, when my spouse left us....I was a stay at home Mom. I couldn't just go back to work which was a commute of an hour each way. she hauled me into the office more times then I cared to count. Finally, I got pissed off and I called her on it. She looked right at me and said with your resume there is no reason why you should be in here. By the time I finished with her the entire office was on egg shells. sometimes those workers are the worst at judgments. Most people don't want to be in there and then to get treated as such....is reprehensible.

Jenni - posted on 02/26/2012

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I was in the university working 2 jobs when shit hit the fan. I charge my dad with abuse, he went to jail. I stopped talking to my mom. No more student bank loans and I couldn't qualify for OSAP because my parents made too much. So I had to drop out. I started stripping (bad choice) and was on a downward spiral with alcohol and an abusive relationship. I quit dancing, left my ex, got on assistance as a stop gap. Reconnected with my mom, moved back home. Got a part time job at 24 (I think it was) or it was to do with my parents divorce I was able to qualify for OSAP and went back to college. So yeah, personally... I've seen a lot... I've seen a lot of poverty working in the clubs and a lot of shit mothers. May have turned me a bit jaded on the topic, I'll admit that.

Rosie - posted on 02/26/2012

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i honestly don't know anybody's income that i've met, but i suspect my oldest childs best friend comes from a family that is very low income. their house is a shithole. a broken down, bug infested, STINKHOLE, comlete shithole. i almost vomited from the stench the first time i went in.

she has 3 kids, the oldest is a boy the other two are girls. the boy is not fat, but not necessarily skinny. her girls are overweight, especially the youngest who is 4. she looks like i could roll her over like a ball she's so overweight.

the kids are very well mannered, polite, and out of all of my childrens friends they are the best behaved.



overall, i believe that poverty is the contributing factor for all the things you've described. a lot of low income families only have one parent. that parent gets stressed, doesn't know how to cope, doesn't get enough help -turns to crime etc. stressed out leads to yelling, and spanking and hitting. if that's what you grow up with, that's what you do when you have kids of your own.

you are poor you don't have a vehicle, the projects don't have grocery stores within walking distance most of the time. so people are going to go to the gas station that accepts food stamps and get ice cream, cookies and pop. so many people like that don't have the opportunity to have vegetables. poor eating leads to poor health, and since this wonderful country doesn't have universal healthcare more parents dying or being ill. the kids take over raising their siblings and the cycle continues cause they can't educate themselves while trying to feed their families. also in those neighborhoods schools are supported by taxes and if there aren't that many taxes going in, the schools are going to be shit.

poverty is the thing that makes everything in this country shit, and i wish our representatives in congress would realize this.

Jenni - posted on 02/26/2012

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I'm very torn as you can tell Laura, part of me understands that. But part of me believes strongly in personal responsibility. Probably based on my own personal experiences. I sympathize with the situation, I do. I understand the strength, courage, hard work it takes to break away from the norm, how you grew up. I understand few do, statistically... I completely understand the odds are stacked against the person. I am proud we live in a country that *does* try to help and doesn't want to leave anyone behind.



But I get a little bitter when I see people who don't take advantage of the opportunities available to them. I just don't like giving excuses to adults. But again, this is probably just because I don't make excuses for myself. It's more of a personal feeling, than an opinion. If that makes sense?

Mother - posted on 02/26/2012

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Me either Laura. I remember going to the grocery store with milk vouchers....the looks people give you will be forever burned in your memories.

Mother - posted on 02/26/2012

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Jenni, our stories sound similar. My parents weren't shitheads but we did not see eye to eye. I left home at 16. I worked an almost fulltime job at nights and went to school during the day. When I finished school I did not qualify for OSAP because my parents made too much money. So, I never went to post secondary right away. I couldn't afford to go and work because some classes would overlap work schedules. As it was i was barely making ends meet. Of course at that time I wasn't a parent either....thank goodness.

Jenni - posted on 02/26/2012

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I do think the US in particular has a very huge issue with systematic poverty, that goes far beyond just having the pull yourself up from the bootstraps solution. Don't get me wrong. I just don't see it as much here where I live.

Isobel - posted on 02/26/2012

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well...I'm pretty sure the cycle of poverty isn't a matter of opinion. It's been proven since the beginning of civilization. Poor people beget poor people.



I'm not saying it's IMPOSSIBLE to break the cycle (I did) but it's extremely rare and I refuse to judge those who can't or don't know how.

Tam - posted on 02/26/2012

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Low income families in the US are not without medical recourse. It's a wide misconception that exists.



The program (medicaide) is very burdened, particularly with the unemployment rates right now, but it covers most medical needs. And there are programs in place for children up to age 19.



The US has a lot of programs for social welfare. Many people either dismiss them, or don't do the research. Lots of people qualify for them, but pride makes them refuse to take advantage, and there are also those who live on them simply because it's there, like any assistance program.



I'm lucky enough that I managed to join the reserves and get my healthcare through the military after losing my job. Funny thing is, more places take medicaide than Tricare (the military insurance) because medicaide pays more to the provider, and Tricare is taken at a loss at a lot of places.

Jenni - posted on 02/26/2012

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I've also had friends who were on assistance with children. One of my best friends was when she first had her daughter. Her daughter is now 10 yrs old and my friend has been employed full time for 8 years now. She had to file bankruptcy at 24 years old. I'm not denying that it's a hard road... and harder for some depending on their situation. And that some feel there's no way out. But I have also met some, who don't want out... because it's easier to not try or it's the only life they've known. I have met the ones who pump out kids every year to receive more benefits. I've heard them brag about it. I'm definitely not saying they're a majority, but they do exist. And yes, in those situations... systematic poverty, parenting among other things are usually lacking. BUT... these things occur in middle/high income homes as well.



You do have to try harder if you weren't born to an optimal situation. I may have came from a family that did alright income wise... but my parents were shitheads. I cut them out of my life at 19 years old. Didn't make me a rotten parent (at least, I hope not!) But I had to work my ass off to break away from the norm of my childhood. So that's probably why I have little sympathy for any parent/person (regardless of income) who uses how they grew up as a scapegoat to continue on the same road as their parents.



We all fall on hard times. We all make mistakes. We all have our own personal issues/situations we have to work hard at to rise above. I just don't buy that there aren't opportunities abound for those willing to try. I'm not willing to pat someone on the head and say, "It's not your fault, you don't know any better". Simply, because I don't hold myself to that standard.

Mother - posted on 02/26/2012

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So true....I don't know how many in the United States do it!! they have my unwaivering respect and admiration. the healthcare ALONE could set someone back. My mom looks after an elderly man who while on vacation fell ill. He had to go into the hospital for 5 days. He had medical insurance so he wasn't worried. When he arrived home he received a bill for almost a HUNDRED THOUSAND DOLLARS!!!. I near about passed out when my mom told me. His insurance company for reasons unsure to me....is refusing to pay. The poor man is devastated.

Isobel - posted on 02/26/2012

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If I am being honest, being poor in Canada is certainly a far cry from being poor anywhere else. My Child Tax Benefit was $700 per month and when they were little we got $100 each for them.



BUT...when I spent all my money on a lawyer fighting for custody and suddenly won I was put in a big long line waiting for subsdized daycare (because where I live there are not a lot of spaces as I don't live in the projects)...this is the ironic part, my darling Mr. Harper gave us $100 per kid under 7 and shut down half of the subsidized daycares so...yeah, I would've traded the $100 for the ability to stay at work.

Jenni - posted on 02/26/2012

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Laura, I did say I imagine it's different in larger cities. I'm just going off personal experience here. I live 2 blocks away from a large co-op housing project. It's situated in the middle of middle class subdivisions. Actually, most of our co ops are situated on the east side of the city which is generally middle-high income homes. I can't think of any in the west-end.



I've been on assistance as well. Not as a parent, however. But I used it when I fell on hard times. I was subsidized when I found part time employment and I returned to college on OSAP. I also said there are plenty of parents who are honestly doing the best they can at raising their children. And that bad/good parents exist in all incomes. I said; low income is often a symptom of a larger issue. Not a cause of the things listed by the OP.

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