Grace loves to write commentaries on psycho-cultural and sociocultural dynamics in their myriad forms.
Affluent vs Poor Parenting Practices
Affluent parents of solidly middle, upper middle, & upper socioeconomic classes put a lot of thought and planning regarding having children. They realize that one should become parents only if they are emotionally, mentally, psychologically, and socioeconomically prepared to do so. They also believe that for children to thrive intellectually and psychologically, the latter are to have the best possible opportunities possible. Aligned with this philosophy, affluent parents have children that they can raise effectively without enlisting the aid of the oldest/older children in the family.
However, poor parents of lower, working, and lower middle socioeconomic classes do not practice sound thinking and planning when it comes to having children. They believe that if people thought and planned before having children, no child would be born. They believe that it is unnecessary for parents to be prepared emotionally, mentally, psychologically, and socioeconomically before having children. They view this is totally convoluted logic. They strongly believe that somehow or someday, everything will work out. They contend that children will get used to anything. In congruence to this mindset, poor parents, on average, have larger families. It is quite commonplace for poor household to have oldest/older children raise, even parent their siblings. Parentified children are very common in poor families.
Different Parental Practices Among the Affluent & Poor
Mindset of the Poor Regarding Parenthood
Poor parents of lower, working, and lower middle socioeconomic backgrounds are not future thinkers. They believe in the immediate. They are of the school of satisfying and succumbing to their immediate desires and wants, without ramifications of their and most of all, their children's future. Poor parents exist in the survival mode. People who exist in the survival mode are only concerned with the immediate and present. The future is viewed as fantastical, even out of reach for poor parents.
People in the survival mode live at a primitive consciousness. They view the world as a precarious place to be. They also possess a consciousness which is passive, if not fatalistic. They see themselves as subject to fate. They see themselves as the little person with little or no significance in their lives. They also have very limited life options due to their dire socioeconomic predicament. As a result of such a limited, passive outlook, poor people seize whatever pleasure they can, not thinking about the future consequences of their actions. They also seek immediate gratification as an excuse from their harsh, struggling world. In relation to this philosophy, they let their emotions and instincts guide them instead of their logic. Poor parents typically have children without thinking how they can adequately provide for their children; however, how to provide for their children is their last concern or consideration.
A Mindset of Limitations & Seizing Pleasure as an ....ESCAPE
How Lower Levels of Education Influences Parenting Practices of the Poor
Poor parents are oftentimes have attained lower education than their more affluent counterparts. Such lower levels of education influence the outlook of these parents which extend to their attitude towards family planning, parenting, and children. Since they tend to be less educated, they have diametrically opposite beliefs regarding parenting, their approach to children and childrearing attitudes.
As a result of lower educational levels, poor parents are not as knowledgeable of family planning and birth control methods as their more affluent, better educated counterparts. This lack of knowledge and unfamiliarity with family planning and birth control methods lead to poor parents having either unplanned children and/or more children than they can adequately afford to care for. Since unplanned children and/or larger families are common in poor families, such children exacerbate their families' socioeconomic status, pushing them further down the lower socioeconomic scale.
This lack of knowledge and unfamiliarity with family planning and birth control causes many poor parents to approach having children with utter resignation. They do not view having children as a joyous, welcoming experience like their affluent counterparts do. They see their children as mouths to feed and bodies to take care of, no more no less. To some, having children is an obligation which should not be avoided as preordained. They contend that they do not have to want, even love their children but as long as such children are born, they will be taken care of. There are a few who see children as old age insurance. They figure that by having children, they will be looked after and taken care of in their old age.
LOWER Educational Levels of Poor Parents
Inverse Parent-Child Roles in Poor Families
In affluent families, the role of parent and child is normative. Parents are the anchors who assume the dominant role regarding their children. Children in affluent families assume the more passive role. Parents support their children and do not expect nor demand that the latter assume adult roles and responsibilities. Children are free to explore and enjoy their childhood, knowing that their parents are taking care of their needs. The role of parent and child in affluent families are strictly demarcated with each knowing his/her familial role.
This is not the case in poor families. In poor families, the role of parent and child are oftentimes reverse. Children in poor families assume adult roles and responsibilities, oftentimes very early in life. Poor parents are in survival mode which means that they cannot adequately provide for their children's needs. Such parents also expect their children to be adults as soon as they are able. Poor socioeconomic environments are no place for children to be children in the normative sense. There is a consistent, constant struggle to retain a rudimentary standard of living. In poor environments, children are expected to be independent early in their lives as their parents have more pressing concerns. It is not unusual for children in poor families to raise, teach, and do for themselves and/or each other. Many poor parents are not involved in their children's lives, they leave that to the children themselves. They are of the school that children should do for themselves for that is how they learn.
Children Usually are the ADULTS in Poor Families
Children Expected to Work in Poor Families
In poor families, children always worked to pull their familial weight. In fact, in such families, it is an unspoken rule that children worked as soon as they are able to do so. It is expected that they work in order to ease the socioeconomic burdens of their parents. The socioeconomic situation of poor children in lower, working, and lower middle class households are from dire to barely middling at best. For average poor parents, their children are needed to contribute socioeconomically to the household if they are to stay afloat.
Work to poor children is not the same as it is for more affluent children of solidly middle, upper middle, and upper class households. The latter work in order to explore or to find their particular interests. They may even view work as a way to become more independent of their parents. For poor children, work is more of an imperative. It is choiceless. They have no choice but to work. They have to work in order to support their families. Work for poor children is not the fun venture as it is for affluent children. In many cases if they do not work, their parents would not have the essentials, the necessities.
You MUST Work..............
Selfishness of Poor Parents Regarding Their Children
In affluent families, parents sacrifice for their children in order to ensure that their children have the best opportunities possible. They also want their children to have the same, even better opportunities than they have. They work, save, and invest smart as to leave a socioeconomic legacy to their children in order for the latter to have a comfortable life. In poor families, children are expected to sacrifice for their parents. It is quite natural for poor parents to have their children support them. In the estimation of poor parents, children are seen as socioeconomic future assets to make their socioeconomic lives easier and for socioeconomic insurance in their old age.
The idea of family and children are different for affluent and poor parents. Affluent parents have a more altruistic, loving attitude towards their children. To them, children are to be taken care of, educated, and to be encouraged to use their utmost human potentials and talents. They also encourage their children to express their uniqueness and individuality. They see families as avenues for children to express their individuality. Poor parents have a more selfish, harsh attitude towards their children. To them, children are oftentimes viewed as barely tolerable at best and intolerable, insufferable burdens at worst. They view their children as socioeconomic assets, working as soon as they can in order to supplement family income. They do not see their children as individuals with their own unique talents and potentials for the most. To them, the family is a unit and children are seen as that unit instead of individuals.
As poor parents view their children as extra mouths to feed, they believe that their children can at least be socioeconomically viable to ease their burden. It is not uncommon for poor children to sublimate their individual goals, wants, and desires for their families and particularly their parents. Since poor parents are socioeconomically strapped, the more children in the family who work, the better and easier it is for them for supporting a family on a meager income can be quite daunting, even immobilizing. They even view education, especially higher education, as totally unnecessary as they need socioeconomic leverage now. As a result of such parental attitudes, it is quite commonplace for poor children to discontinue their education in order to make their parents' lives easier. There are a few parents who take their children out of school for this purpose. In poor families, parents' socioeconomic ease oftentimes takes precedence over their children's educational and socioeconomic welfare and future.
I Gave Birth to You, You OWE Me.....
Poor parents believe that their children exist for them. They contend that their children are not individuals but are part of the family unit. As part of the family unit, such children are expected to be viable and contributing members to their families. Such parents assert that the more people which include children work in the family, the easier their socioeconomic burden will be.
However, such children working comes at a very high price. They often forego their educational and socioeconomic futures, being relegated to dead end jobs continuing their parents' socioeconomic legacy because their parents were irresponsible enough to have children without giving forethought as to how having children impact upon them and their families' current and future socioeconomic status.
© 2016 Grace Marguerite Williams
valerie on September 25, 2017:
you're welcome! i enjoyed reading your hub and it's filled with very intelligent insights. My english writing isn't that great, though so excuses if it's hard to understand.
Grace Marguerite Williams (author) from the Greatest City In The World-New York City, New York on September 25, 2017:
To Valerie, thank you for your response, it is greatly appreciated. Please feel free to stop by anytime, thank you.
valerie on September 25, 2017:
wow i enjoyed this article. great insights.
it's true, that many poor think this way, and it's sad because i dont think they realize it. they dont know how to get out of the rut or cycle of poverty. That in itself is very sad. I just saw on the CNN news in Germany of the poverty there, and food banks. It's a great article on those who can't get out of the cylce and are ashamed, deeply ashamed of it, but they are in an economic crisis and situation where they cannot get out of. Many different situations,
Treathyl FOX from Austin, Texas on May 30, 2016:
I could be wrong. A Jewish person can correct me if I've misunderstood. But I'm pretty sure according to their religious doctrine, kids were expected to honor and cherish their elderly parents and take care of them if need be, whether they were poor or rich. It's also a part of the Christian faith. Not sure if this a custom or practice for others, but it should be, since most of us have or had parents who took care of us. So I guess my question is: If it's not "common" for children to care for parents who need caring for, then WHY? You never have to ask a dutiful child who loves his or her parents a question like this.
Grace Marguerite Williams (author) from the Greatest City In The World-New York City, New York on May 28, 2016:
It is evil indeed. Children are not here to live for people but to develop & live out their utmost human potential & talents. Many parents from lower, working, & lower middle class households fail to see this. Also, parents of large/very large families have this same attitude.
You're right. Many are poor in America because of negative, even stupid choices they made during their formative years. The poor are different from you and me. There is a definitive pathology in the poor classes that DOESN'T exist in other classes.
H C Palting from East Coast on May 28, 2016:
I am shocked by the thinking of many, who will actually come out and ask who is going to take care of you when you're old if you don't have children or they say it's the job of their children to take care of them and things along these lines. I have had several women here in AMERICA say they had children to have someone to take care of them.
Frequently the women who are poor are working themselves to death in multiple low wage jobs because they don't have a husband pulling his share of the weight, they have little if any education, etc. While I feel badly for their financial situations, it too often comes about as a result of a lack of planning and the choice to create and have children before they are financially & otherwise prepared. They have not made education or learning a trade a priority, etc. to care for themselves, let alone a child/family. None of the ones in the group I speak of have ever been married before creating and having children. Most in the group I speak of have been on some type of government assistance since they were the young age of 18.
I must make it clear that I do not think that a majority of poor feel this way, however, I've noticed a surprising number do. I find it sad because this thinking is a burden on children to ill effect. I know people who are the victims of this type of parenting and the very moment they graduated from high school they were forced, threatened with beatings, cursed at even if they did not immediately find a job and pay money to their family. All they while they were told that this is what family does for family. How detrimental, twisted, and flat-out wrong is that?
Grace Marguerite Williams (author) from the Greatest City In The World-New York City, New York on May 28, 2016:
Thank you for commenting. I know poor parents who have children as old age insurance. My late mother, a registered nurse, dealt with patients who had their children support them resulting in their children quitting school, foregoing their education. I also studied the lower socioeconomic classes in detail in my college sociology classes. Poor children work to supplement their family's income, oftentimes starting to work in childhood. I am talking about the United States.
G. Diane Nelson Trotter from Fontana on May 28, 2016:
This sounds like stereotyping. My dad, with an 8th grade education, worked a full time job and did maintenance, house refurbishment and everything possible to care for our family and provide us opportunities for higher education. We were poor. His mantra, "Get yourself a good education so you won't have to put up with a man mistreating you."
I don't know if there has been some scientific poll or not. I know many people, especially in today's society, who irresponsibly had kids. I don't know anyone personally who had kids so they would have care when they get old.