Hard Life for Parents, Hard Life for Kids

art The Little OnesI wasn’t thinking of children when the tough-times reports first came out. I was shocked when President Bush said our economy could fail if we did not bolster the banks, and then-candidate Barack Obama agreed with him. ‘Things must be far worse than we know,’ I thought, but any effect this would have on children never crossed my mind.

Unemployment is twelve percent in our state, over fifty percent in the construction fields. When people began to lose their jobs and families, their homes, by the thousands, I began to think about the effects on children: Will their parents be able to find work again soon? Will they go hungry? How will they find a new place to live without a job, an income? Will they, God forbid, have to live in boxes by the river with their parents? It is raining hard here tonight. And their pets: When we lost our home due to my illness, I was blessed to find an apartment where we could keep our Akita-mix, Max, but many people have not been so lucky and some have abandoned their pets on the sides of roads. Shelter cages are full of dogs and cats.

Hard times are escalating and more and more apartments are filling up here. We hear so many children crying now, a lot . . . It is such a shock to move from what had been your home to a small apartment where people live above you and below you and all around you, with the sounds of every toilet flush or shower or family fight shared with neighbors.

Once when people gathered around a threatening black man and a Hispanic man with three young children still in his car, I called the police when he reached in and pulled out a bat; and when a woman took what looked like a small rifle out of the trunk of her car and aimed it at a group of teens who had been calling her Lesbian slurs. Her son is overweight, unlike most of the children here who are the opposite. Adults in the family formerly living across the hall from us often left their young-teen children home alone for days at a time, without enough food to last for the duration. These kids became really thin and had stopped going to school before they moved.

When life gets hard for parents, it gets really hard for their kids. Loss of work and loss of home equals lots of parental red-faced screaming, jerking kids by their arms, slapping them, spankings (or worse, as I have witnessed) and the subsequent crying and screaming of the children we can hear on our walks, or in the hallway, or through the walls.

What long-term effects will these hard times have on the children? Children are resilient, so I remain hopeful. Still, times are tough, and all the children of the world need our sincere, committed prayers to better survive these difficult times, whether they are due to disillusioned, distressed parents, poverty, war, or an earthquake or tsunami. Our prayers are needed and the Good Lord, who did not create the problems of the world (we did) is overjoyed to hear our requests for intervention, and to beam loving responses back to us and the planet. It takes only a moment to stop, take a deep breath, close our eyes and say or think, ‘Lord, I am praying for all the children of the world. Help us. Thank you. Amen.’

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8 thoughts on “Hard Life for Parents, Hard Life for Kids

  1. Yes, the children suffer and we must pray for them. Some of what is befalling this country may be due to having taken prayer out of our schools and having taken God out of much of America. Witchcraft, devil-worship and condoms are available in schools, but don’t you dare mention the name of JESUS or bring a bible to school! Yes, the children suffer and we must pray for them! One good thing that may come out of this for some people is that they go back to basics, to sound principles and family values. Yes, the children suffer and we must pray for them.
    love,
    anita

  2. What a sobering post Pam. Though poverty is a concern here too, as a nation we acknowledge that we have not encountered the same level of disintergration imposed by the GFC as the US has. You are in our thoughts and prayers.

    On a lighter note, pop over to my place to accept a Gorgeous Blogger award I would like to present you with. oxo Colleen

  3. I think that children know more than most adults, as they are closest to the source (along with our elders). How can we get more adults to listen to their children?

    • I don’t know, Sven. Change the way we do everything? Give love somehow to every child, along with health care and a good education? End corruption and greed so that people can just live and love? Find a way of governance that cares about the people? Years ago I kept seeing in my mind’s eye pictures of seniors in a book, with a paragraph or two written by each of them under their photos. Maybe we need to do that with young people: their pictures with their dreams and hopes and answers to our problems written underneath them. It would truly be beautiful and they so deserve the best that we can give them, every single one.

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