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To think if you're skint, it affects your children's outcomes in life

(135 Posts)
racetogether Thu 22-Aug-19 15:17:24

We have always been skint. We don't particularly have a good quality of life- very small house, needs alot of work, no Garden, . My kids have never been away on a holiday, they don't have bikes- we can't afford it. We can't afford trips out even it it's free as we need take into account cost of petrol so they are few and far between. Things like going to zoos etc is out of the question. They've been wanting to join a football club for several years but at £40/m there's no chance.

I feel sad for my kids. They don't have the same opportunities as I would have liked to have given them. I have mental health issues and suffer from depression on and off and this also I find affects the way I parent.

I feel I'm really letting my kids down.

Ok the other hand, their friends holiday regular ansn

IamPickleRick Fri 23-Aug-19 00:01:49

I grew up in a household like this. I am now out everyday doing something, anything, even if it’s just getting on the tube and going to the free museums or the good parks. I just want to give my kids every opportunity I never had, I know it’s the other end of the pendulum but I want them to see all the things in the world that I never knew existed. It’s not always expensive things, growing up poor means I am very resourceful and I want them to have the cultural experience as well as just fun days. I feel for you OP flowers

Soreo Thu 22-Aug-19 23:53:08

My DH grew up in a somewhat similar situation, he had to quit football as his parents couldn't pay for it anymore and he was gutted as apparently he was quite good (of course he would say that grin) and he couldn't take up his place at university as his dad said they couldn't afford to pay for it. His situation is different to yours as his parents technically could have paid, they simply didn't prioritize him but on the bright side it's made him incredibly driven.

He is waaaaaay better off than pretty much all of my middle class/university educated friends. His childhood was the driving force and his work ethic is incredible.

Having said that, he does occasionally speak of his childhood in a regretful way but it was less to do with money and more due to the fact that his parents didn't ever encourage him. So if you can find creative ways of improving your DCs opportunities they'll remember that you tried hard and encouraged them and that's what counts.

BizzzzyBee Thu 22-Aug-19 23:49:21

financial hardship contributes significantly to social exclusion
This was me growing up. I couldn’t go to dance and music classes with the other girls from school, so I wasn’t allowed in their clique at break time. As a teen I had no money to go out so I never met or mixed with anyone. I was always sat at home bored and depressed. As a young adult I interviewed badly due to having no extra curricular hobbies because I couldn’t afford any. I lacked well paid parents or other adults who could offer career opportunities or advice.

Now I’m grown up I’ve found that my peers (the other kids who hung around the streets broke and bored) haven’t done well in life. The kids who did well are the ones I couldn’t afford to hang around with. I’m doing everything I can to give my own DC the opportunities I never had.

maddening Thu 22-Aug-19 23:36:14

Ps mh I am talking severe mh, depression not so much

maddening Thu 22-Aug-19 23:35:19

There is a lot of focus on poverty and cause and effect.

Just skint because of circumstances, no, my gran was skint and widowed with a 6 Yr old and a 1 Yr old in 1954 in a strange country (UK) having fled during the war. However she was University educated though her qualification was never used due to her circumstances and she worked hard to bring up my dad and uncle why both went to uni and did V well.

Growing up in poverty due to mental health, addiction, criminality, abuse etc yes very much so.

It is lovely to be able to give dc amazing stuff,. But a loving parent is worth all the stuff in the world.

Faith50 Thu 22-Aug-19 23:24:07

Yes poverty can impact a child's future whether via lack of opportunities and experiences or the way a person views themselves.

I never ever went without food and did not wear second hand clothes so I know it could have been worse. My dm had to budget very carefully which meant our clothes were practical rather than fashionable. I recall owning just one pair of Nike trainers throughout my five years of secondary school. On one occasion I squeezed my feet into my cousin's trainers on PE day. I used to dread own clothes day as I did not having special to wear.

I felt like the poor relation among my friends. I started work at 16 and promised I would never find myself in a position where I have to borrow money.

Frequency Thu 22-Aug-19 22:58:05

Correction; I *would change it. I would fix the child maintenance service and pay everyone a living wage. I don't believe anyone should have to work 70 hours a week to afford a holiday a year and a few eyeshadow palettes. What I mean is I wouldn't go back to working less and having less.

Frequency Thu 22-Aug-19 22:54:54

Oh is it Blue Reef? I should have known. We used to go every year. A day trip to Cullercoats used to be the highlight of my kid's summer holiday. Even I loved it from the depths of my depression (although the effort of getting everyone ready, making the picnic and getting there was mentally and physically exhausting).

It was our yearly treat when we were on the bones of our arse. I don't recall how much entry is exactly but it can't have been much. We haven't been this year. We went to Alton Towers instead and have a cottage holiday planned later this week. I beat my depression, went back to college and got two new jobs.

It's not easy OP, it's really, really not, especially when the kids are very young but it is summermountable. It might not feel like it today but keep plugging away and you'll get there. I'm not rich. I won't lie to you and tell you it you're fortunes will suddenly change if you conquor your depression. They won't. I work my ass off, working 40-70 hours a week in job(s) I don't hate but it means we have enough to get by with a bit left over for treats, savings and pensions. We're much happier overall to when I was barely scraping by on PT wages.

I resent having to work the equivalent of two full time jobs in order to live what I consider to be a normal life with normal things to look forward to but I wouldn't change it.

Sarahisthatyou Thu 22-Aug-19 22:41:38

YANBU - absolutely it does. I grew up on/below breadline. I’m good with money, I pay my own way. I am self sufficient, hardworking, proud, resilient. I got used to not having ‘stuff’, my parents adored me and Dsibs and honestly ( and I know there where times when it was really hard on them) thatbwas all that mattered. We didn’t have proper heat, or hot water, or a phone,or a car or anything that wasn’t used, clothes, toys whatever for a very long time.
We never stayed overnight anywhere, No hols- my parents took holiday time from work and hung out with us, did day trips, all day at the beach with a picnic, went to the mountains or forest parks. We had their undivided attention.
They didn’t travel much or go anywhere much, so we’re always there for us,
We got a lot of family time.
Couldn’t afford books, but the library was beside the supermarket so we went every week. I have a literature degree.
Clothes were 2nd hand - I could give a damn about clothes now but appreciate that I can go buy new ones if I want.
I was 32 before I owned a new bike, bought if for myself. Mum always found us 2nd hand ones tho. I can buy my kids new bikes, they have 2nd hand ones and love them. They’re new to them.
There’s so much you can give kids, and I honestly believe if you have enough food, heat and a roof over your head then the rest will be ok.

StealthPolarBear Thu 22-Aug-19 22:32:57

Beside the point of the yhread but sea life centre is in Scarborough and is doing vouchers. Tynemouth has a blue reef.

h0rsewithn0name Thu 22-Aug-19 22:24:37

I get it OP. When my children were growing up we were really skint, due to my DPs long term medical problems.

Yes you can go for a country walk, but at the end you will be faced with an ice cream van. You can go to a free museum, but there will be a gift shop. It's really, really tiring saying no to children all the time.

Stick with it. If I've learnt anything, it's that being skint is the very best way of teaching children how to manage money, and want to work hard as teenagers.

HeyThereDelilah1 Thu 22-Aug-19 22:05:01

I think what’s harder than poverty is the inequality. I grew up with a single mum and we were seriously skint, but so were all my friends and we were genuinely happy. It wasn’t until I got to university I started feeling sad about our situation as the difference in attitudes was so striking. I think I over-compensate with my own children now and I do need to address this, as it’s seriousky not doing them any favours.

jellycatspyjamas Thu 22-Aug-19 21:40:00

timshelthechoice yeah you're right, the OP should just give up, sit at home fedling depressed and hopeless and not make any attempt to improve her situation. hmm

Of course she should try to improve her situation, but many posts here seem to have no idea just how challenging that can be when you’re living in poverty. I worry that the whole “pull yourself up by the bootstraps” philosophy merely distracts from the damage that austerity based policies and practices have in forcing children into poverty and preventing social mobility.

Social mobility is shown to be at is lowest levels, the opportunities for people to lift themselves out of poverty are fewer and fewer and this government knows that’s what’s happening.

Yes the OP can give her children as many free opportunities as she can, she can clean toilets and take in ironing - and she might win, but there’s no question the dice are loaded against her doing so by virtue of child poverty and austerity politics.

feelingverylazytoday Thu 22-Aug-19 18:56:28

timshel I don't see hardly any victim blaming tbh, just a lot of people making suggestions. If they're not applicable to the OP they can move on and consider another option.
It would help if the OP would come back on and give more details but until then it's perfectly valid to ask OP if she has any expenses she could cut down on, or to share their own experiences. The OP is certainly not the only poster on here who has been in this situation.

ReanimatedSGB Thu 22-Aug-19 18:46:28

Sympathies, OP. It is well known and has been proven by study after study that poverty has a negative impact on DC and their prospects and life chances. Unfortunately, the plundering of this country by a handful of wealthy parasites is getting even more out of hand.
The best advice I can give you is to look into community/activist groups for hope and mutual support - and sometimes practical advice as well.

Sleephead1 Thu 22-Aug-19 18:45:58

It sounds really tough and very hard for you all. I think it's also easy to say well why don't you do this but to be honest we live near the beach and often go out with a picnic but then the children want an ice cream ect so you end up paying a few pounds or you go to he free museum but then they want something from the gift shop ect and yes you can say no but if you are having to say no every single time it must be really hard for you. We live in the north east I work very part time in admin in the NHS and my husband works in a factory we are both on a bit more than minimum wage I think s£ more so that helps He works over time for time and a half and I think we get by ok. My son never really misses out but we are sometimes skint by the end of the month. Obviously no idea if this will be the same in your area or if suitable for your children's ages but some ideas to look into. Our libraries have done brilliant free activities from science shows,, coding with cubetto, sand art, crafts ect. Local parks have had family fun days on, picnic in the parks, free storytelling, some of the churches have activities have you been to messy church at all they do craft activities and things and you get a meal there( obviously there is a religious element ) In our area there has been Tyneside rocks ,( decorate rocks and then hide them ) this year its books so you get to keep the book to read then re hide somewhere else with a little note to the next person. BlackBerry picking, collecting leaves ect to print, paint with, creating scavenger , nature hunts are also free , make dens on woodland walks, nature art, try and make paints with nature , we do lots of beach , park days with a picnic, thinks like paper mache projects usually take a while if you have paint ect to decorate , my son is little so still enjoys playing with water if you don't have any outside space and they are young enough a bath with containers ect and little toys. I agree about signing up to local Facebook pass it on sites also where we live there is a service its 5 to join but its then a toy library and you can go every month and lend new toys just like books and then keep then take back and swap again. Our council also has been doing cycling courses over the summer I find know if you have to have your own bike or can lend one but might be worth looking at. Lastly if you did have a few pounds spare you can get some good jigsaw, puzzles ect at charity shops to entertain them on wet days. Hope things improve for you soon and sending love

NotSoThinLizzy Thu 22-Aug-19 18:38:15

I know someone who grew up very poor to the point she didnt know that shoes wasnt ment to squash your feet. She went off to cambridge and now works for westminister as a environmentalist impact researcher. Anything's possible

timshelthechoice Thu 22-Aug-19 18:29:33

FFS, feeling, NO ONE has suggested that. But she brought up a topic you simply cannot discuss on MN without a whole load of victim blaming and sunshine and bollocks about how you can magically move or give up your car and then be quid's in hmm.

whattodowith Thu 22-Aug-19 18:28:45

Also the majority of things we do are free or inexpensive. I use the app Hoop and find fun activities nearby, many are walking distance. I live in a small northern town too.

whattodowith Thu 22-Aug-19 18:27:33

I went to uni to combat this very situation. When my eldest three were small I worked in crap min wage jobs and I knew I (and they) deserved better so I worked part time and studied full time at uni. Had a degree after three difficult years then a post grad, now a college teacher. I’m far from rich but we can go on day trips without worrying and have an annual holiday.

Could studying be an option?

Mermaidoutofwater Thu 22-Aug-19 18:24:29

In my experience as a child, unmanaged parental depression is so much more harmful to happy childhood memories than being skint.
We were on a pretty tight budget growing up but free, very cheap activities or just free time to play were great. What was not great was my mum constantly whinging about not being able to afford overseas holidays and telling us how crap everything was, she never imagined our lives being this poor etc. Having to reassure a parent that everything was ok and minimise my own feelings has definitely had a much larger impact on my life prospects than not having lots of expensive days out.

EssentialHummus Thu 22-Aug-19 18:08:19

How old are the kids op?

feelingverylazytoday Thu 22-Aug-19 18:03:12

timshelthechoice yeah you're right, the OP should just give up, sit at home fedling depressed and hopeless and not make any attempt to improve her situation. hmm

transformandriseup Thu 22-Aug-19 17:56:26

My sister is single has five children. Days out for her are often just walking the dog on the beach or on the moors. Her children have never been on holiday but she has a good relationship with all of them and they are very close with her IYSWIM. I think that is better than having lots money.

CSIblonde Thu 22-Aug-19 17:42:37

You have to be more resourceful if skint I think. I like Gumtree for nice furniture that's barely used going for pennies etc as it's all local stuff. My Dads family were beyond skint, he got a scholarship to grammar school then a grant to go to Uni & worked weekends in a bakery to give his parents some financial help while studying. He ended up in a really great well paid job.

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