Okay, this is going to sound a bit crabby, and perhaps insensitive, though it is not meant to be mean-spirited.
I saw yet another story about a poor, single mother who is having a hard time affording essentials for her children. And what I want to focus on is the word “children”, as in more than one child. In that story, it was a single mom with 3 children. And that is where I have the problem.
A teenage girl who gets pregnant by accident; I can understand that this could happen to many people. And if the dad doesn’t step forward or is unable to support the kids, then that is when the government needs to step in to be sure that child has food and clothing and especially a good education. I am all for all of that.
It’s when people who can’t afford even one child have their second and third kids that I get upset. As callous as this may sound, those kids have a small chance of getting the support they need to be motivated and successful students. We blame failing schools all the time for high dropout rates and low test scores in schools that serve kids like this, but little or no attention is paid to why families who can’t afford kids are allowed to keep having them and putting them on the government dole.
I wonder if these kids would have a different future if instead of being the second or third child in a family in poverty, the government placed those babies in adoptive homes that COULD afford to give them what they need to grow up healthy and successful. One mistake would be accepted and supported, but more than that is an equation for failure.
And there is way too much proof of that already in our culture.
Having children is NOT a right; it’s a responsibility. If you can’t afford to feed and clothe and house and educate a child, you shouldn’t be having them. Stop having sex, or learn how to use birth control. I know this issue is a lot more complicated than that, but at some point, like with good parenting, we need to be kind and firm and do what is in the best long-term interests of the child.
I’m all for educating teens about birth control, and giving teen parents all the support and education and training they need to be successful. And families living in poverty need whatever supports they need to not repeat unhealthy cycles . But at some point there needs to be more accountability.