For me the pic at the top of the page says it all. There is so much to say about this topic and so little time and space so I’ll do my best to whittle it all down to some basics.
Labelling and name calling is ALWAYS about making judgements. Too often we do just that before we have enough information to justify the label we have assigned to people. We don’t know their story and we sure don’t understand the circumstances concerning why they make the decisions they do.
Here are 5 reasons why some fathers and mothers are often seen as ‘dead beat parents’:
a) They don’t make any effort to connect with or see their kids.
b) They have a good job that would cover most expenses but refuse to pay or contribute to their children’s futures or even their maintenance.
c) They do pay-eventually-but only when he/she feel as though they are in ‘control.’
d) They make arrangements to see the kids then cancel out at the last moment because he/she has something else they’d rather do.
e) He/she might terminate his/her employment to avoid paying more support.
f) He/she doesn’t want the responsibility of being a parent now.
Some legitimate reasons for not being able to continue on as a parent:
1. Because one of the parents or perhaps both, although highly unlikely, suffers from a mental health disorder of some kind that confuses their self identification as a parent. They are afraid to act out in front of their kids.
2. Because they are unemployed or make a minimal salary and cannot afford to pay the court directed child support without becoming homeless themselves. In some jurisdictions there are sanctions that include paying fines. This one strikes me as odd in that if I can’t pay my support then how will I pay the fine. If I could pay the fine wouldn’t it be better to use the fine money to pay some of the support owed?? If I don’t pay the fine then incarceration becomes a likelihood and if I am jailed how do I work to pay the support??
3. Often times one parent will use the children as pawns against the other parent and so things like visitation agreements get changed at the last moment or the length of time of the visit is shortened dramatically. Kids get upset with this and so they opt out of the deal. For them it is just easier and less disappointing and less hurtful.
These are but a few of the circumstances that may exist in a broken family and many of them lead to a parent who WANTS to be a part of their children’s lives and the kids want him/her to be a part of their lives but the system gets in the way.
The important points here are these:
1. We need to step back and be very sure that we have a complete picture of the extenuating circumstances that exist BEFORE we start name calling and disparaging other people’s reputations.
2. Our children are our most important consideration here and that ‘getting back’ at the other person by using the kids as some kind of vengeful tool is irresponsible and dangerous. Don’t do that. Besides-it is really harmful to the kids and their own sense of mental health and self worth.
3. If the kids voice an interest in spending time with the ‘other one’ then so be it. They should be the ones who determine what’s in their best interest not some angry and bitter parents who can’t seem to get their lives sorted out.
4. We need to come up with a different system of taking care of the children’s best interests and get away from this idea of punishing those dissenting parents. Compliance doesn’t come with punishment. All you get is ‘a dog that will attack it’s governor at the first opportunity’. Perhaps some mandatory social work for both parents on how to move forward in their lives and how that needs to include the children. The probability is that once the parents both understand what their actions are doing to their children their energies would be centered more on what is in the best interests of these human beings we brought into this world.
Anyways, that’s how I see things–all the best, Jim
A Seniors View Of The World:
I thought that since I turned 70 this week this explanation would be quite appropriate. I was going to do a commentary on turning 70 but this says it so much better than I could and it uses far fewer words than I would have. I have changed some of the text to suit my own views but mostly it is as it was written by Robert A. Hall. I do not wish to assume any credit for his words or his work. He makes some great points that others should read if they haven’t already.
Except for one semester in college when jobs were scarce and a
six-month period when I was between jobs, but
job-hunting every day, I’ve worked, hard, since I was 18.
Despite some health challenges, I still put in
50-hour weeks, and haven’t called in sick in
seven or eight years. I make a good salary, but
I didn’t inherit my job or my income, and I
worked to get where I am. Given the economy,
there’s no retirement in sight, and I’m tired.
I’m tired of being told that I have to “spread the wealth”
to people who don’t have my work ethic. I’m tired
of being told the government will take the money I
earned, by force if necessary, and give it to
people too lazy to earn it.
I’m tired of being told that Islam is a “Religion of Peace,”
when every day I can read dozens of stories of Muslim men
killing their sisters, wives and daughters for
their family “honor”; of Muslims rioting over
some slight offense; of Muslims murdering
Christians and Jews because they aren’t
“believers”; of Muslims burning schools for
girls; of Muslims stoning teenage rape victims
to death for “adultery”; of Muslims mutilating
the genitals of little girls; all in the name of
Allah, because the Qur’an and Sharia law tells them to.
I’m tired of being told that, out of “tolerance for other
cultures”, we must let Saudi Arabia use our oil money
to fund mosques and madrassa Islamic schools to preach
hate in America and Canada, while no American
nor Canadian group is allowed to fund a church,
synagogue or religious school in Saudi Arabia to
teach love and tolerance.
I’m tired of being told I must lower my living standard
to fight global warming, which no one is allowed to debate.
I’m tired of being told that drug addicts have a disease and I must help support and treat them, and pay for the damage they do. Did a giant germ rush out of a dark alley, grab them, and stuff white powder up their noses while they tried to fight it off?
I’m tired of hearing wealthy athletes, entertainers
and politicians of both parties talking about innocent
mistakes, stupid mistakes or youthful mistakes, when we
all know they think their only mistake was getting caught.
I’m tired of people with a sense of entitlement, rich or poor.
I’m real tired of people who don’t take responsibility for
their lives and actions. I’m tired of hearing them blame
the government, or discrimination or big-whatever
for their problems.
Yes, I’m tired . But I’m also glad to be 70 – because, mostly, I can still see the great promise that this land holds for those who are willing to act out their dreams. We still live in the greatest country in the world.
Truth Talkin’ Thursdays:
Episode 7–Jane and I are talkin’ about ‘dead beat dads’ and what does one do or not do to get the reputation of being a dead beat dad?
That’s it for me for the week. I appreciate hearing from you about whatever is on your mind so you can connect with me at: firstname.lastname@example.org OR jimcloughley.com