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I am so angry and sad about this teenage pregnancy.

(153 Posts)
ShockingBadHat Sat 22-Nov-14 17:14:06

A member of my extended family is pregnant. She's 17. She hasn't worked since leaving school and doesn't intend to ever. The boyfriend is older and 'on the sick' long term with a minor injury (think sprained wrist and you'd be on the right lines).

Her parents separated after she was born and she was removed from her mother by ss so lived with her father. They were recently moved to a brand new house by the HA. He pays very little rent as he keeps his wage from self employment low so he can claim HB.

She has now left the house and moved into a council B and B and is waiting for a HA house for herself, the boyfriend and the upcoming baby.

Her mother has never worked. Her father works very part time and claims full tax credits etc.

So this baby will be at least the third generation of this family to be born to parents who are completely reliant on the state BY CHOICE.

I am struggling with this so much, it's making me reevaluate all my left leaning, pro welfare principles.

How have we ended up with an entire underclass with such complete poverty of aspiration? How can we address it?

Aibu to feel so angry and sad about this? What a waste of a life.

PrettyPictures92 Sat 22-Nov-14 17:16:43

Really? You'd hate me, I'm a single mother on income support with two kids, in a council house and haven't worked in a while.

You sound like a judgemental bitch. Get over yourself.

ShockingBadHat Sat 22-Nov-14 17:19:03

So did you make a considered and active choice to never work and have your life funded completely by the state? I doubt it. But if you did then yes, I'll be judging you.

ShockingBadHat Sat 22-Nov-14 17:20:26

It's worth adding we live in an area with almost no unemployment. Jobs abound.

StickEm Sat 22-Nov-14 17:22:00

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

fluffymouse Sat 22-Nov-14 17:22:38

Lots of people will come on flaming you op.

I agree with you that benefit dependency is a problem, and it is very sad when it goes on for generations.

KeemaNaanAndCurryOn Sat 22-Nov-14 17:23:26

Reading between the lines, he sounds like a feckless wonder too.

There's a difference between finding yourself in need of support off the state and making a concious decision not to work.

theeternalstudent Sat 22-Nov-14 17:24:17

I think it's a little early to declare a wasted life. She is 17, perhaps being a mother will be the making of her. She may yet grow to be a great parent and member of society.

Also, I don't envy her, having grown up without a mother to love and guide her and now a baby so young.

ROARmeow Sat 22-Nov-14 17:24:37

What could you do to help? Or is it easier to clutch your pearls and shake your head?

Yes, it is sad, but I agree that the 17 year old isn't solely responsible.

tigermoll Sat 22-Nov-14 17:25:30

The welfare state is a vital part of calling yourself a civilised society. Yes, there will always be the very few who exploit it, but the vast majority of claimants don't. (Just the same as there are a few people who go to hospital claiming to be ill and aren't. That is no reason to reduce health provision)

Would it help calm you down to think of the benefits as being for the sake of the soon-to-be child? Which is essentially what they are - no child should be born into poverty to punish the perceived fecklessness of their parents.

PS If you think living on benefits is such an easy ride, then you can try it yourself. It is, after all, a career path open to everyone. However, the majority of claimants are actually working and do not stay 'in the system' for longer than they need to.

ShockingBadHat Sat 22-Nov-14 17:25:39

I only haven't mentioned him much because I don't care about him. I do care about her.

I'm angry and sad that all her potential has amounted to nothing and that she has made a decision (not in a vacuum) to live this life.

PrettyPictures92 Sat 22-Nov-14 17:26:09

Thing is, it's absolutely none of your business what life choices I've made or how I ended up in the situation I'm in. It's also none of your business what that girls life as become. If she's had the life you say she has it's no surprise that she's ended up in that situation, you're a product of your environment.

And pointing out that she was removed from her mother, the fact that she's a teenager and the fact that her father works part time and earns a low wage just makes you come across as a snob. I had my dd at 17, my ds at 19. I worked bloody hard to give them a good life and I have been on benefits through need after having two mental breakdowns. When I'm well enough to start working again I will but it's attitudes like yours, the "teenage mother who chose to live a life on benefits" one that makes me so damn ashamed of who I am.

TondelayoSchwarzkopf Sat 22-Nov-14 17:27:38

You sound horrible - try showing your relative - who is a minor with a history (I presume given SS involvement) of neglect some compassion and support instead of wailing and gnashing your teeth about welfare.

What can you do about it? You can be there for your relative for a start.

ShockingBadHat Sat 22-Nov-14 17:27:40

I've been on benefits. I'm not talking about scrapping benefits fgs.

I don't at all think it's an easy ride. I think it's utterly ridiculous that people exist in multiple generations who believe it's the best way to live.

shouldnthavesaid Sat 22-Nov-14 17:27:40

Yes, but we can assume you had the privilege of being born into a family and an environment where you were supported to learn, and fulfil your potential.

By what you have told us, your relative was born into a relatively unstable family, taken from her mother by the social services and sent to live with her father, possibly changed school, possibly didn't feel motivated to learn, possibly didn't have the space or the support, did mum and dad go to parents evenings, etc? You can imagine that in a household where the parents don't work a lot, aren't well educated, etc that the child will then turn out the same.

Unfortunately, she hasn't had the support that she needed as a younger teen and so has found herself in this position at present - not her fault necessarily, just as you made no active and deliberate choice to work, you were led to that choice through your upbringing and experiences.

Possibly having a child that she needs to care and provide for will be the making of her, you never know.. And just because she's younger and not working doesn't necessarily mean she's going to be a bad parent, per se.

ShockingBadHat Sat 22-Nov-14 17:28:32

My whole point is that she's a product of her environment! That's why I gave the history in the op.

ThinkIveBeenHacked Sat 22-Nov-14 17:28:33

Or maybe she is living the life she sees as normality? The apple doesnt fall far from the tree, OP, and there is probably not much "choice" from her......she is simply coninuing on from the upbringing she has had so far.

TondelayoSchwarzkopf Sat 22-Nov-14 17:29:00

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

CountingThePennies Sat 22-Nov-14 17:29:44

Most of my extended family dont work.

Most have spent most of their life out of work rather than in work.

To avoid being made to get a job they go on the sick and claim sickness benefit so they dont have to get a job.

My sister and myself are one of the very few who have worked since school and never claimed any benefits.

Recently there have been a few pregnancies in the family were they have recieved a council house and loads of free stuff from people.

According to family members there is no incentive to work as they get the same in benefits as they do working full time.

R4roger Sat 22-Nov-14 17:29:59

we were better off when DH was unemployed, but it is not healthy. He has a part time job and we are worse off!

at least your relatives are housed.
it is sad that she is pregnant at 17. Did you expect her aspirations to be different

ShockingBadHat Sat 22-Nov-14 17:30:42

Her father works part time by choice. He deliberately keeps his earnings low so he can claim his full entitlement.

He is my relative and we are fairly close so I know this. It downstairs make me a snob to think that is a fucking stupid and lazy choice to make.

lunar1 Sat 22-Nov-14 17:30:50

There is a group of people who don't see that there is any option but this. If she is the third generation that has never worked she has no role models to look to.

If she has the support network she could break the cycle but she will need a huge amount of support to do it. Hopefully her partner will be a supportive dad. She has plenty of time to make something of her life and be a great mum.

shouldnthavesaid Sat 22-Nov-14 17:32:02

Changing it needs to be a very, very multi agency thing - government, nhs, social services, council, schools, youth groups, families, all sorts. Need changes in housing, welfare, education, sex education, societal attitudes, nhs help, earlier interventions, loss of massive council estates and run down areas..

But who has the money for that? And who's going to want to get involved when there are people referring to those stuck in the cycle as being part of the feckless underclass?

StickEm Sat 22-Nov-14 17:32:11

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

formerbabe Sat 22-Nov-14 17:32:25

I agree with you op.

Anyone can find themselves in a difficult situation and need to claim benefits, but to start out your adulthood like that with no other aspirations is tragic.

I would be devestated if that was my daughter.

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