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Is anybody else angry about Cameron blaming single parents for the riots?

(69 Posts)
Twylah Tue 16-Aug-11 12:30:40

As a single parent I am very upset and angry about Cameron blaming single parents for the riots.

I am taking it personally (although I wasn't involved) because he is vilifying and undermining the great work that many single parents do. Bad parenting can happen in 1-parent families but it also happens when there are two parents. It has also been proved that children's health can be affected in a negative way if the parents are constantly arguing. A child's emotional intelligence can also be undermined if the relationships within the family are negative.

It seems to me that the Tories have been waiting for a chance to vilify us. Many single parents, like myself, do paid work as well as voluntary work in their community.

At the moment I feel marginalized and I don't feel that I belong to Cameron's Utopia of 2 parent families where life is beautiful.

As someone who was brought up by a single parent, who did remarry, I can honestly say that my childhood traumas began when my stepfather joined our family. He sexually and physically abused me and other members of my family.

In my opinion 2-parent families are not always a good thing but as a single parent I would welcome sharing familial responsibilities as it can make life easier. However, this only works when the relationships within the family are positive. None of this is considered in the discussions around living in a 2-parent family.

I also think that structural issues such as the rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer should be considered. I am not saying that being poor means that you should cause damage but I am well aware of some of the frustrations that people are feeling at the moment. (I am definitely now one of them!)

There is a saying that people will either talk or torch. Many people have been on the peaceful protests and have signed petitions but life still seems to be getting harder for the majority of people. Only people earning over £100,000 seem to be OK.

Who will be looking in to this? It is too easy to blame single parents who are vulnerable in many ways.

LDNmummy Tue 16-Aug-11 13:20:23

As the child of a single parent family, I am furious.

Single parent families feared for our own members the same as everyone else yet we are somehow the culprits hmm

Cocoflower Tue 16-Aug-11 13:23:57

I agree with you.

There does some to be a ridiculous notion that any parent (mainly father but also mother) is better than no parent.

As you say, I would think I child is better off with one loving parent than two, one of whom abuses and tramatisues the child and possibly the other parent in front of that child.

My bottom line is anyway, that whilst their may be factors influencing people to act badly it is their freewill as to wether they choose to act out on it or not; buck stops with who ultimately commited the crime- not the parent, MP, teacher, community, society etc...

CogitoErgoSometimes Tue 16-Aug-11 13:59:56

I'm a single parent and I'm not angry with the remarks. Ask anyone at grass roots level such as the youth workers that work with young offenders and they'll all make the comment at some point that kids are less likely to go off the rails when they've got both parents present in their lives, being positive role models and keeping them in line. No-one's arguing for parents who are a bad influence, I don't think, any more than they're saying that one parent is automatically a bad thing.

In a broader sense, when the question is debated 'what makes a young person more likely to enter a life of crime?' I think we have to have the courage to be frank, even if the truth is unpleasant. There has been too much tip-toeing on eggshells for fear of offending each other.

niceguy2 Tue 16-Aug-11 16:22:50

Despite being a bit of a Tory myself I do actually think the current leadership don't understand single parents at all.

Perhaps like me when I was much younger, I thought single parents were caused by selfish adults who couldn't put their kids first or compromise. That was until one day I found myself a single dad raising two young kids.

Sometimes I wonder if you can describe what it's like to someone who's never been in that situation themselves. Currently I have a friend who is moaning how she's "practically a single parent" because her husband works shifts so has to sometimes work nights or weekends so she has to sometimes go to family/school events alone. So far I've resisted the temptation to scream "It's nothing bloody like being a single parent!!!" to her.

In that context I can understand why some millionaires who have solid marriages don't understand.

But to be honest you will get stereotypes everywhere. The working class are up in arms about people blaming them for the riots. Young people are pissed off at being tarred with the same brush. The list goes on. You just have to take it all with a pinch of salt. Life's too short.

dreamingofsun Wed 17-Aug-11 15:50:12

twylah - but you have just given 2 examples of disadvantages of being the child of a single parent - that you suffered abuse from a step-parent and that you are poorer.

Cameron says that many single parents do a good job, but that statistics show children predominantly do worse with just 1 parent. It also seems logical that someone with 2 adults dealing with a child every day is going to get more attention than just 1.

my poor niece has just been dragged out of her school where she was doing GCSE's and moved to a town 8 miles away to live with her mother's new partner where she doesn't know anyone. i feel so sorry for her

rabbitstew Wed 17-Aug-11 18:41:50

Two good parents are always going to be better than one good parent, even if two bad parents are worse than one good parent. Two parents going their separate ways is always going to harm the children emotionally, even if sticking together in a toxic relationship is just as harmful or worse (ie a poor relationship between your parents is always harmful, whether long distance or close up). Basically, whilst single parents can be and often are fantastic, loving parents who bring up well adjusted, happy and productive children who are capable of forming long lasting relationships themselves, they are starting from a disadvantage from which they have to work very hard to make up. There are many other things in life that can potentially disadvantage children, of course there are, but having only one parent (and, as a statistically likely result, to be financially less well off than you otherwise would have been), is a pretty obvious disadvantage. I don't see how anyone could argue that only having one parent caring for you is a good thing - only that it is frequently better than a not very good alternative.

splatapus Wed 17-Aug-11 18:53:47

I agree.

The issues are much wider ones of the standard of care and education that these children and young people receive, not how many parents are providing it.

The constant branding of single parent families makes me so angry - it only serves to make our job even harder. I feel very much that we are being made scapegoats for a difficult generation. I am a single parent to four children and live in quite a deprived area. My children go to school outside the area, and my son has two friends in particular who live in big houses with both parents and would fit much more to Mr Cameron's 'dream' - yet both these boys (aged 11) swear, are ill mannered, violent, play 18 rated computer games etc - all things my son is not allowed, and yet we are the family that people look down on!

It is about respect, education and upbringing, not how many people live in your house.

LegoStuckinMyhoover Wed 17-Aug-11 21:11:31

me angry? about something the tories have said?! Ha! Of course, but I am now very used to the blame, it is nothing new at all. What I do not like at all, is the fact that their ignorant opinions are blasted out on the TV and all over the newspapers for my dear children to read and hear. One thing is for sure, this government have lost my children's vote, a good for years before they even legally can.

Imagine, if it were another single social strata they were blaming? Imagine if they said it was the fault of the children who had mums and dads living together...imagine the uproar!!

Mr.Cammeron, where are the figures that these rioters were majorititively from lone parent families?

Just make a quick mental note to make sure you don't vote for them anytime soon. And maybe remind them [tories] that actually, the economy needs to be their number one priority, not single mums or dads.

LegoStuckinMyhoover Wed 17-Aug-11 21:13:15

Oh, and giving Andy coulsen a 'second chance' of course wink.

crumpet Wed 17-Aug-11 21:13:30

Agree with Cogito. And am a single parent myself.

TheOriginalNutcracker Wed 17-Aug-11 21:14:02

I am angry but not surprised. Single parents get blamed for everything.

LegoStuckinMyhoover Wed 17-Aug-11 21:15:24

One more thing. as a single parent I never forget my manners and never forget to tip a waitress.

crumpet Wed 17-Aug-11 21:16:55

I've also lived in a couple of the areas where the rioting took place, and in those areas there are a lot of, for want of a better phrase, broken families.

LegoStuckinMyhoover Wed 17-Aug-11 21:18:48

That's interesting. I know lots of LP families around where I live too, but there was little rioting, if any.

LegoStuckinMyhoover Wed 17-Aug-11 21:20:26

And my children were not out rioting, and for want of a better phrase, they are from a 'broken family'.

aliceliddell Wed 17-Aug-11 21:25:54

<whispers> "Could it be to do with widespread inequality and consumerism?" <ducks and runs>

Haggisfish Wed 17-Aug-11 21:27:12

No. He is right, I'm afraid - yes, a lot of single parents (mainly mums) do a fantastic job at bringing up their children, but the children do often have a 'gap', if the dad is not present at all. I am a teacher seeing many hundreds of students a year, and am also a product of a 'broken home' - my parents divorced when I was 14 and my brother 12. It had a massive effect on both of us, as it does on every child (I believe).

All young males need a strong male role model, just as every female needs a strong female role model. young girls are more likely to get these at school, if needed.

I feel I haven't explained myself very well, but yes, I do believe he is right - it would be very interesting indeed to poll the rioters and see how many of them had a completely absent father.

LegoStuckinMyhoover Wed 17-Aug-11 21:29:30

Dunno aliceliddelll, one thing is for sure though. when the teachers went on strike, single parents were quoted by the tories as being 'hard working' and kinda good in July. But now in August, they are being blammed for the riots. which one is it? are we good or the devils spawn?

LegoStuckinMyhoover Wed 17-Aug-11 21:31:33

well, why don't they print the numbers of rioters who come from LP families then? And then they can make a judgement. Along with, income, geographical residence etc etc etc etc.

rabbitstew Wed 17-Aug-11 21:41:32

Single parents are not blamed for everything. Poor single parents are blamed for everything. The Tories wouldn't direct moral opprobrium at single parents if the only people who could become single parents were those who could afford to finance that lifestyle without the help of the State.

LegoStuckinMyhoover Wed 17-Aug-11 21:43:38

Iain Duncan Smith blames them for everything.

TrompetteMilitaire Wed 17-Aug-11 21:45:49

Well said, CogitoErgoSometimes.

Lego, can you really not spell 'Cameron'?

LegoStuckinMyhoover Wed 17-Aug-11 21:46:12

They do not differentiate specifically between people on benefits and single parents in the news. They say [tories]...'broken homes' or 'scroungers'.

LegoStuckinMyhoover Wed 17-Aug-11 21:46:38

obviously not trumpet

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