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fed up with bad publicity single parents get-i do better job than most 2 parent families!

(55 Posts)
AMAZINWOMAN Sat 14-Jul-07 11:19:51

David Cameron and the Conservatives are once again encouraging marriage by giving married people better tax breaks.

I'm fed up with all the bad pubilicty that single parents get. I am bringing my kids up much better than people in 2 parent families. Both of my kids are bright, the best behaved in class, got lovely friends and are both happy and confident. Especially my youngest-this school report said he always does his best, asset to school, delight to teach etc etc

why cant the conservaties just encourage tax breaks FOR ALL families instead of singling out families-why do my kids have to see this on the news and be made to feel differnt? rant over!

mytwopenceworth Sat 14-Jul-07 11:24:33

You're not bringing them up better than me. We're the best 2 parent family around. So there!

jellyjelly Sat 14-Jul-07 11:49:33

I agree i dont see the point of paying people to stay married when for alot of families it is better to be apart.

neva Sat 14-Jul-07 11:57:40

I agree amazinwoman. Children can thrive in a single parent household. But that doesn't make good headlines for a media obsessed with bad news!

Tinkerbel5 Sat 14-Jul-07 12:32:07

think DC is deluded, giving married couples £20 a week isnt going to keep them together if their marriage hits the rock, he is desperate for votes.

mojosmum Sat 14-Jul-07 12:38:48

i agree with you amazinwomen its just a pitty that all the narrow minded people are the ones who have never been a single parent & dont see what great work most of us do

my mother is one of these narrow minded people she thinks you should work on a relationship & if you have kids you have to stay together & her & my father have a really bad marriage once a mnth hes threatening to go to the solicitors for a divorce i would rather they where apart me & my father have never had a good relationship thats why i chose to live over the other side of the country to them so staying together ismt the best for the kids i have a crap relationship with my parents think we only have a relationship for dd & i think thats because they stayed together think things would have been a 100% better for us all had the split you before

anyway these my rant over

chikenmother Sat 14-Jul-07 12:39:41

No 2 parent family even imagine what extra work and effort is needed to bring up children as a lone mother. Any discrimination should be forbidden. Single mums do work harder and deserve more support than other families.

Surfermum Sat 14-Jul-07 12:51:13

You do mean "some" people in 2 parent families don't you AW? And chikenmother, isn't that another generalisation? I can fully empathise with what hard work it must be bringing up a child on your own.

mojosmum Sat 14-Jul-07 12:51:46

if anything things should be made better for us im a childminder who wants to go back to work but know that if my child is ill childminder wouldnt be able to have her so it would mean me taking time off work i would also like to continue to suport dd with any school things she does ie, watching her plays, going to shareing assemberys [sorry cant spell] but a boss wouldnt let that happen
most i know not all but most 2 parent familys can take all that in turns so as not tobe asking for so much time off
we have it hard & they are just rubbing it in our faces & making it easier for others when we need it the most

mytwopenceworth Sat 14-Jul-07 12:52:13

Single parents work hard. so do 2 parent families. We should not allow ourselves to be put into opposing corners of a boxing ring, by bloody mp's!

However. I really object to comments like I bring my kids up better than people in 2 parent families. Offensive.

mojosmum Sat 14-Jul-07 12:53:57

we are not slating 2 parent familys what we are all saying is that it is hard for us & the gov & like are not making it easier by making it look like we are being punished & 2 parent familys rewarded

why shouldnt we be rewarded for our hard work???????

mojosmum Sat 14-Jul-07 12:55:25

think that wasnt ment to mean some 2 parent familys there are bad 2 parent & bad 1 parent familys i think we can all agree on that

mojosmum Sat 14-Jul-07 12:56:16

that was ment to mean is what i meant sorry

nutcracker Sat 14-Jul-07 12:59:07

I wouldn't say that one does a better job than another tbh, depends on who is doing the bringing up and the type of person/people they are.

I know married people whom I think do a better job than me, and then I know married people who do a far worse job than me.

I think, that as it is, on my own, I do a better job than I did when I was with xp, as I am in charge and don't have to run things by anyone else, and everyone knows where they stand.
I would prefer to be bringing my children up as part of a two parent family, however £20 a week would not have made me rethink splitting up with XP.

allgonebellyup Sat 14-Jul-07 19:50:25

i know that being a single parent is bloody hard work, but to be honest it was harder living in a marriage that was going nowhere!

offering £20 a week to make couples stay together aint going to fix a thing!

skyatnight Sat 14-Jul-07 23:20:53

Obviously DC is floating this policy to see whether it might be a vote-winner at the next election but, I agree, it just seems like something else to cause a divide between single and two parent families. Why can’t we all be considered as just families?

I feel like having a loooong rant, and going slightly off-topic, so feel free to ignore this:

I'm fed-up of the stereotypical portrayal in the media of single parents as stupid women, not in a stable relationship, who got pregnant accidentally (and don't know who the father is because they were sleeping around) or deliberately just in order to get a council house and live on benefits. There is very little mention in the media of the fact that the majority of single mothers are not teenagers, many of them were married when they had their children, many of them work and pay taxes, etc., etc..

I'm fed-up of the lack of mention of all the feckless, unreliable or dishonest men who are in many cases the reason for children growing-up in single parent families. I'm fed-up of the fact that the only time the man's role is mentioned it is by angry 'tax-payers' in the context of the CSA and unpaid child maintenance. Angry taxpayers who believe that single parents constitute the rot of society and that they are having to pay for us because we were irresponsible in getting pregnant. Why do they assume that all single parents are collecting benefits? And who cares if some are anyway? There are people without kids claiming benefits too. What are the statistics? I'm sure it is all massively over-blown by the media.

Obviously it is hard for a single mother to work and provide the best care for her child. Where the father is absent and where there is no extended family to help, there is no other person to cover for her if she is ill or has to work long hours. It can be exhausting and very stressful being a single parent. What if the single parent is so exhausted that she has no energy/time left to look after her child, apart from the absolute basic care? Isn't that short-changing the child? Rightly or wrongly, this government has tried to help with tax credits which make working part or full-time more viable for single parents but it is still harder for a single parent to find a decent job (employer prejudice plus just the sheer practicalities). Being a SAHM is a valid choice (whether single, in a partnership or married). Why is it not recognised and financially compensated? I suppose because many of us would just give up work if it was. On the other hand, having a job does set a good example for your children and Xenia would say (and has on many occasions!) that all women should work in case they get dumped in their middle age and end up with no career, no income, no identity, no status, no life...possibly very wise but I think that is a slightly separate topic.

Why is it that fathers4justice (I think there is a new reformed version of it?) get so much publicity so that the commonly-held view of absent fathers is that they're desperate to see their children but their ex-wife is not allowing them access? Why is it that in soap operas the situation is nearly always represented this way? Of course there are people in just this situation and it can be very unfair on the father (family courts, etc.). Perhaps the family court system should be reformed and more rights given to fathers, but, it is rarely mentioned that, in other cases, the man is abusive, possibly even to his children. And/or when he is given access, he doesn’t bother to turn up and the child is upset (not to mention how difficult and annoying it is for the mother to try and pick up the pieces). So there are reasons why the woman doesn't want to allow him access. (I'm not talking about unpaid maintenance as that is not a valid reason, however unfair it is.) And nobody in the media ever mentions all the absent fathers who just don't bother to see their children. There seems to be no shame in that? Why are there no statistics available about single parents and access visits to represent a true picture of the situation?

I think marriage is important. BTW, I wasn't married when I had my child so I suppose I am a hypocrite. I did believe at the time that I was in a stable relationship (I was engaged and the pregnancy was planned by both of us) but maybe I was fooling myself. Things change and that can happen in a marriage too. I would never judge anyone, especially not a young girl who got pregnant before she even really knew who she was. It's just that I still believe marriage is the ideal environment for children, if possible. And there is still a social stigma (in some people's eyes), definitely not helped by the media, to being a single parent. It may be not as bad as it used to be but it's still there. How does this affect the children, if their teacher is secretly prejudiced for example?

Statistics show that parents try harder to keep their family together if they are married, which in theory should be best for the children too. Married people (particularly men) try harder not to divorce because of the financial implications but there is some evidence to suggest that people who marry are more committed from the beginning than those who just live together. Who knows – it seems like a chicken and egg situation? What sort of an example is it to children if they see their parents (or one of their parents) just give up on their marriage because a few things went wrong?

Having said this, I agree that some relationships just aren't working, or there is violence or emotional abuse, and it is better for all concerned to split up. The problem is that breaking up a family is complicated and difficult financially and emotionally and the fall-out can cause a lot of damage and bitterness, making it hard to do the best for the children. I wish I had had better judgement and not got involved with the wrong person. His actions didn't match what he was saying but I chose to listen to him. It wasn't even all his fault. I should have been more responsible. The signs were there that we were not right for each other but I chose to ignore them because I thought things would get better. I do feel guilty for dd's sake but it's history now and I just have to do my best.

To get back to the point of this thread, I can see why a political party might want to support marriage as an institution via the tax system. I don't know whether DC is going about it the right way but it does seem at the moment that married couples with a low household income are unfairly disadvantaged by the current tax credit system. But I don't know whether this takes into account that single parent families mean that the parents live in separate houses (or flats, 'dwellings') so, what with council tax, high utility bills, insurance, high rents or mortgage, the cost of living for a single parent family, plus the absent parent at a separate address, is bound to be higher than for a married couple who only have one household to run. Isn't it for this reason that single parent families are entitled (in the system, not necessarily morally) to the benefits and/or tax credits that they are? Obviously it would be cheaper for the government/taxpayer if we all lived together, more people in fewer houses, but that is not the way that modern life and families are going.

The Conservatives are banging on about marriage at the moment. To repeat myself, I do think we would have a better society and more children would be better off if there was less family breakup. As a single parent myself, I am convinced that we can do a good job but it is hard on your own. There are couples, in abusive relationships, who are better off apart, and it is better for the children too, but I think you can't deny that family break-up can be very difficult for children, especially when they have a good relationship with the other parent. But is £20 a week going to make any difference?

If one of the reasons people don't get married is that they don't want the financial commitment, why doesn't the government take that disincentive away? I think this is something that has been talked about recently. There are some interesting statistics (sorry I haven't got a source to link to) from countries (Australia is one, I think?) where unmarried couples have the same rights as married ones, i.e. if the couple breaks-up, their finances are considered joint, as for a married couple. The effect this is having is that the rate of couples who marry is going up, because there is no longer a disincentive to marry (for men mainly, who tend to be the higher wage-earners) so they might as well go the whole hog and get married. Perhaps this would make some men (and some women) act more responsibly in their relationships because it would be harder to just walk away? And fewer women would be taken in by men who aren't really committed to being a father and/or who think that abortion is a form of contraception? Maybe not, I don't know. Despite what the media seems to think, there are so many different circumstances that can all lead to single parenthood. And I suppose sometimes it is for the best.

Child maintenance should be taken at source by HM Customs & Excise, leaving the CSA (or whatever name it is using) to pursue the difficult cases such as those who refuse to pay and are self-employed, etc.. Men who dispute they are the father can have a DNA test as per the current system.

End of rant. This is jumbled, badly structured, repetitive, contradictory, not very cogent. No wonder he left me – opinionated, hypocritical, long-winded, boring feminist!

chikenmother Sat 14-Jul-07 23:43:13

I am astonished skyatnight!!! You almost wrote a book!!!

And what about the fathers who refuse to pay anything to their children but demand seeing them as if it was nothing wrong?? And a legal ssystem that does nothing to force them pay (because they do not declare their money, do not pay taxes, do not officialy work ?) Shouldn´t them be arrested for neglecting children???

skyatnight Sun 15-Jul-07 00:33:33

Hi chikenmother. Yeah - I've rarely got anyone to listen to me in real life so I got a bit carried away there!

I agree that it is absolutely wrong that fathers do not pay child maintenance. As I said, I think the HMRC (Inland Revenue) should take maintenance at source from the employers of the fathers so that the CSA can spend its time more wisely dealing with the more difficult cases. It seems some men go out of their way to disguise their earnings and, in my opinion, that makes them the lowest of the low. It is pathetic and despicable that they care so little about their children and what is best for them. Instead, they would rather deprive them than do anything to help the situation because they are either just selfish and irresponsible or because they hate the mother so much and this hatred comes way and above the welfare of their children. I think the CSA should have detectives to spy on them and, if their lifestyle doesn't match the earnings they are declaring, it should become a criminal matter. I believe there is some provision in the rules at the moment for a mother to say something to the CSA if she suspects this is the case?

But I am not an expert on this because, although he treated me badly and never sees his child (which really upsets me), my xp does pay maintenance (although he did say at the time that he wouldn't so I spent the pregnancy worrying about it and he has threatened not to on occasions since).

I remember when I realised that the relationship was over, that I thought 'oh shit, I'm never going to be free of him' because when you have a child with someone, it's not like another failed relationship that you can just put behind you, plenty more fish in the sea. Your child looks like them, are they going to have contact, are you going to spend the next 18 years in strife with them, having them interfere in your life under the guise of seeing their child? Or are they just going to disappear, leaving you to pick up the pieces and manage on your own. Which is worse?

As I said, I do believe it is unfair that men don't pay maintenance but, unless they are abusive in another way, I do think they should still see their children - only because it is what is best for the children and that is the most important thing. However, if I was in the situation where the man didn't pay maintenance and still insisted on having contact with his children and sticking two fingers up at the mother, would I feel differently? I imagine I would (.) feel very angry and bitter and I do feel a lot of sympathy for women who have to deal with this. It is like adding insult to injury and then rubbing your nose in it.

I suppose there are some people who choose single parenthood but it can be so hard for those who just have it imposed on them. Not to mention the children who get stuck in the middle.

Wow. I thought my last post was a thread-killer. Maybe this one will be.

nappyaddict Sun 15-Jul-07 01:09:00

i don't think it should be better for either type of family. it should be equal for both. then they would be together for the right reasons.

skyatnight Sun 15-Jul-07 01:42:19

I understand what you are saying, nappy addict. DC's policy discriminates directly against single parents and so is divisive. I suppose some people who are not single parents, however, feel that the tax credit system discriminates indirectly in favour of single parents because single parent households tend to have low household income. (Plus, e.g. single parents can work 16 hours a week and get working tax credits whereas a married mother would have to work 30.) But surely it is right that we get extra help because of our circumstances to make sure our children are not deprived.

I am a bit hung up on marriage because my parents were happy together and I find it hard to accept that my family is not going to be the same, for my sake and for my dd.
I can't forgive myself for making a mistake but I'd better just get over it and get on with it.

The OP said that her kids are doing fine in her one-parent family. And it can't be healthy for kids seeing things on the news about single parent vs. married policies.

It would be best for all families to be treated the same by the benefit, tax and political system, by the media, by everyone, no discrimination, no prejudice, but is this going to happen? If DC got into government, could we sue him for this policy under the human rights act?

skyatnight Sun 15-Jul-07 01:52:46

I also agree totally BTW that people should marry, or just be together and not marry, for the right reasons, not for financial considerations, but, with some of the big divorce settlements in the news, I think some men (and maybe women) are put off getting married. The law, government policy, the contraceptive pill - all these things can and have had an impact on male/female relations and families and we don't live in an ideal world.

nappyaddict Sun 15-Jul-07 03:39:44

yes single parents should get extra help but on the basis of their income. single parents will most often have a lower income cos there is only one income. however if a married couple had the same income as a single parent, they should not get more or less they should both get the same amount of help.

i also think any child maintenance they get should be taken into consideration (not sure if it does or not)

HappyMummyOfOne Sun 15-Jul-07 11:41:22

I understand the OP re bad publicity re single parents but found it offensive re being a much better parent than people in a 2 parent family.

I think DC is trying to do some good but needs to word it better. Married couples used to get a tax reduction so its no different to that - albeit not sure if the £20 is in line with the old rate or more.

Tax credits are most definately favoured towards single parents, they can work less hours and still claim and any maintenance is not classed as "income" which means they can be far better off financially.

For those that disagree with the idea of a married couples tax allowance/ equivalent - then are you for making the tax credits equal whether married or single??

I dont think the £20 is aimed at being a financial incentive to get married or to stay together - its just a benefit for married couples.

DC beleives in a family unit and its not surprising he is looking at benefits to promote this, labour was all about being single so he's trying to re-address that and give people a choice.

mojosmum Sun 15-Jul-07 11:44:58

mummyofone - tax creds are no different i work the same hrs are my friend whos partner doesnt work & she only gets an extra £40 for partner than i get we get exactly the same otherwise

lisad123 Sun 15-Jul-07 11:49:10

I have to say i agree, that tax credits are aimed at low income families and this often includes single parent families, as they only have one income coming in.
However, i would be happy for the tax break. Both me and hubby work our arses off and get pretty much sod all from the goverment. I am in no way suggesting single families dont work as hard.
I also heard on the radio about them pushing mothers into going back to work when children start school, working part time and would exspect them to be back in fulltime work when the children go to secondery school. We'll soon have 11 year old latch key children again
I think generally they have very old fashioned middle classed views of the UK, he reminds of my grand dad


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