Providing the Right to Life to Parents and Children is to Prevent Child Abuse
Parents carry the most responsibility when it comes to fending for themselves and their children and it is certainly easier when both parents have a job to ‘make ends meet,’ but what happens when marriages dissolve and mothers are left alone with the children, requiring two jobs at times to get sufficient money to live? Their mental health deteriorates, the lack of presence with their children creates further consequences in children’s life – as we had discussed previously in the entry Parents Need a Living Income Now – and marriages dissolve, shattering the family structure as the essential foundation of support for healthy child upbringing.
The documentary ‘Paycheck to Paycheck’ reveals how there are 43 million single mothers in America –that means 1 in three women living with one single low income having to fend for their children. The case in this particular documentary is about Katrina Gilbert, a single mother of three that earns $9.49 an hour having to deal with the process of splitting up from her relationship – which already implies at times using drugs/painkillers due to the emotional experience – as well as making enough money to pay for the rent, daycare, car insurance, gas, taxes, stressing about losing food stamps and adding ‘food’ to the budget for herself and three children leading to bad nutrition and as such health problems, having to even get rid of pets due to not having sufficient money to feed them – having no medical insurance, no further time for superior education – which is not a guarantee to get a job these days either – which creates stress, not having sufficient ‘time off’ as paid vacations or else and even having to resort to using credit cards to pay for basic groceries.
· These problems can be usually associated with parental irresponsibility, such as judging the fact that this ‘recently separated’ couple decided to have three children. However before judging people’s decisions, we have to look at the system that we all have created where living is a constant struggle and as such here focusing on the stress, the emotional distress that this constant survival mode creates in parents.
Parental abuse has become an unfortunate problem in our society and the reasons for it can include generational transmitted educational patterns or simple accumulated stress due to ‘living paycheck to paycheck’ as in worrying about not having sufficient money to fend for the children, which has led many parents around the world to even kill themselves or their children due to being incapable of supporting them effectively. Parental abuse is a grave problem that we all must contribute to preventing and one first aspect of it that we can focus on preventing is the lack of money to provide basic sustenance to the children – and this is where the Living Income Guaranteed proposes a solution to lay a basic foundation to prevent parental abuse and so promote familiar stability: providing a living income to children.
To begin with, children will be given money through providing it to their parents up to a certain age, depending on each country’s consideration. This is already in practice in some European countries, and the idea of this is so that the child’s basic living necessities are covered and not be dependent on the parent’s living income or wage. Within this, it also means that parents will be more ‘relieved’ from the usual pressure that having to fend for their children provokes. This stress/pressure that exists based on not having enough money to feed and tend to children’s basic necessities causes families to be disrupted and/or have either a mother or a father that doesn’t want to ‘take responsibility for the child/children’ because it involves quite a lot of money to maintain them. This is for example what happens in the documentary ‘Paycheck to Paycheck’ where the father prefers to separate himself from her wife and children because he could not find a good job enough to finance the children’s necessities.This is one of the reasons why parents end up having emotional distress that is then exerted either toward the children as a form of abuse and/or between the parents, which is one of the factors that influence divorces/ anger/ frustration/ depression in parents: not having money and so creating further desperate experiences based on not being able to fend for themselves/their family in a sufficient manner. In the documentary, the mother goes through thyroid problems which can be usually associated with emotional distress, which adds up further expenses to her already limited budget, which in turn: causes more stress.
Many times we consider that the problem are the parents and that children should be financially independent from them if they so decide to ‘live apart’ or ‘run away’ from them – but the point missed in such assessment is that parents are not ‘naturally’ evil or abusive, the same structural violence in the system of survival and stressing about not making ends meet is what becomes such strain at a physical and emotional level that they unfortunately end up channeling toward their own children. So, the Living Income is not for children to ‘escape their parents,’ but to rather prevent the causes that create any form of parental abuse, which as I’ve explained above, is linked to – most of the times – lack of money and the emotional disturbance that this creates.
This implies that with providing a Living Income, people will be supported to develop effective parenting skills and have sufficient time to spend with their kids and continue to educate themselves on how to best educate them, since the requirement to have a job to make money will no longer be their prime and sole point of focus and necessity. This thus will open up a space for parents to rather dedicate themselves to effectively learn and practice how to best support their children instead of spending all their time at work, wearing themselves out just to ensure the basic needs that children require.
In this, providing a Living Income implies providing the essential support that will enable us to have our physical necessities satisfied. However, it is also important to consider that giving the money per se won’t solve the origin of the problems such as parental abuse. This will require parental counseling support, providing proper education for parents as well as a supportive education system, so that families can become a proper foundation for children’s development and so also ensure that the money given as Children’s Living Income is used to cover the process of taking responsibility for one’s well-being as well as for the purposes of the inherent familiar stability, which is also necessary for a healthy upbringing at home and in schools.
Within this all, we have to realize that there are certain social problems that stem from the lack of money – such as parents becoming abusive toward children. However in terms of solving the problem itself of ‘abusive parents’ or the emotional distress that single mothers experience: we will require more than just ‘giving money’ but also integrating proper education and psychological support for parents and for children at school, involving learning how to most effectively manage their money to cover their day to day living necessities, how to use money responsibly and also how to manage their emotions and experiences effectively so that with money and the support it provides, there can also come a healing/supportive process at an emotional and physical level for the parents and so for the children too.
The ideal plan would be that along with the implementation of a Living Income model, money is also earmarked to be part of educational programs for parents along with the aid of the education system, so that it can be a supportive platform to learn personal finances for parents, an early education on a good use of money for children and so understanding this provision of money as a given point of stability so that we as individuals can focus on developing our families, our parenting skills, our lives to their fullest potential.
Therefore a Living Income provided to children will alleviate parents from the current pressure and emotional stress experienced when having to take care of children while not earning sufficient money to do so effectively.
It is definitely required to understand that money in itself is the first given point of support – but, these programs of support and counseling for parents are required as well as certain regulation in order to ensure that the money granted for children in the hands of the parents is genuinely used for living needs and not for other purposes. I fully agree that at this stage there is much abuse – specifically also on the third world – where there is no culture at all of being granted support, which means: when living in poverty, it is quite difficult to all of a sudden use money wisely after you haven’t had access to it. So, along with the provision of a Living Income comes a collective agreement to support ourselves to become better parents, to create better education systems, to learn how to properly utilize our money, how to plan our lives, expanding our awareness of how to best utilize our time and money to educate ourselves and children the best possible way, which enables relationships of support and so preventing abuse.
A common argument to this solution would be: ‘Can we trust abusive parents with children’s money?’ The first point to look at here is to not see parents as ‘the problem,’ but to understand how it is that we become ‘bad parents’ based on this pressure, stress, worry and constant survival mode we’ve conditioned each other to, which most of the times becomes the source of parents that become addicted to substances to relieve such stress/pressure, become abusive toward children in order to exert their accumulated fear, stress which causes more problems in our society than we might currently think of, as this implies having the foundation of children’s lives warped and so creating a broth for delinquency, criminality, mental illnesses, resentment toward ‘society and the system’ often leading to rebellion and/or further escape-mechanisms such as drug addictions and further violence.
Within this it is also clear that there will be a transitional phase as with any form of change. This comes within the realization that when we create a point of benefit that is available for everyone, it will also take time to learn how to use that support in an effective manner, which will imply monitoring the effects of how our own physical and emotional experience changes as one gets access to a living income – for parents and for children alike. For example: in being in a third world country, being a parent that is usually stressed out and having to work all the time, then suddenly realizing that you don’t require to work as much and you can actually provide support for your children can initially create an uncertainty of how to best utilize this money. This is where these supportive programs to suggest to people how to best utilize their money, how to administrate it, consumer advisory, etc. can be implemented.
Along with this given support, we will prove ourselves wrong about our usual beliefs such as ‘people cannot change’ for example, and believing that ‘abusive parents will always be abusive’ without realizing how such perceived ‘abuse’ is also a consequential outflow of the same poverty, the same marginalized experience of having no money to eat and live in dignity, or patterns of abuse that have been transmitted from generation to generation that most likely also have originated in a form of lack of support – either physically or emotionally.
So, when looking at the myriad of current consequential outflows in our societies, it is definitely so that money will grant the necessary access for us to have that first starting point of support so that parents can also reconsider their relationship to money and how that ‘lack’ affects their relationship to their children. With being provided money to live along come the social-responsibilities which could imply having to attend parental support meetings or educational parenting programs so that our decision to support each other is not only done at a financial level, but also at a psychological and relational level when it comes to providing support for parents, for addicts, criminals that had resorted to rob in order to eat, for all people that have had extreme conditions of surviving in the system with the least amount of support/money and so, having developed a ‘rougher’ type of personality in order to cope with this ‘dog eat dog’ system, which is our collective responsibility for not having supported each other to live in dignity since the beginning of time.
We are facing our collectively accepted consequences and so if we created the problem, we can for sure also create and lay out the solutions and Children’s Living Income along with Parental Support can change the way the family structure exists in our societies nowadays. It is definitely suggested that physical and mental support is given along with the provision of a Living Income for parents that decide to stay at home and educating their children. This will change the foundation of the future of the world which are our children, so let’s make it happen.
- Read the Living Income Guaranteed Proposal to find out what it implies and how it can be financed
- Read the Equal Life Foundation’s Bill of Rights: Our right to life can only be assured with money, and our Bill of Rights has a direct way to be financed with the provision of living Income.
- Watch our Equal Life’s Fundamental Human Rights presentation and share it around
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Katrina Gilbert Of ‘Paycheck To Paycheck’ Explains Why She Was ‘In Shock’ After Seeing Documentary (VIDEO)