Everyone including the court system has their own definition of what it means to support your child. I personally think people struggle with this because of how they define support. Dressing your kid up all cute & doing the basics like sending them to school & providing food or a roof over their head is only the beginning of truly supporting your child. Being a parent is very tough.
We have no idea the kind of character or personality we are bringing into this world until they arrive. As time goes on you must pay close attention to what their behavior tells you about their personality. You have to learn your children but it takes time just like it would when you choose to be in a relationship.
You're not going to figure out who the person you brought into your life is without taking the time to discover who they are. Also people change & so do kids, so who they are today wil not be who they will be tomorrow, if they desire to grow. Giving support & always being supportive is work no matter how selfless you are.
You are putting yourself after somebody else to uplift them on a daily basis with the hope that they show you some respect, love & appreciation or just turn out to be great kids. I see a lot of parents making mistakes when it comes to supporting their child.
Supporting your child financially is a given. How else are they going to eat? Where are they going to sleep? Where can they get the best education? How much is their medical, dental & life insurance going to cost? What about daycare, babysitting & childcare services? How much are their extracurricular activities going to cost? Forget about keeping up with how fast they grow out of their clothing & shoes.
And don't let them make friends that are with them all the time cause you'll have another child to spend on & care for. The tab that comes with having a child or children is no joke but that is just the beginning.
Child support means paying for their needs but it also means quality time, encouragement & unconditional love. Some parents need to ask themselves are they giving their children enough of their time? Are they into their children?
Unfortunately some parents just don't know the best ways to parent their child or just don't care enough. You can get tips & advice but every family & child is different so there really is no rule book. I've heard single parents say "At least you have a man around to help you", "At least you are married" or "At least the mother or father is in the child's life." That doesn't mean squat!! Do you know how many people who live with their children & do nothing or very little?
Do you know when both parents are not hands on that there is usually one very responsible parent pushing the other parent to step up to the plate? Who has the time or energy to remind or teach another adult how to be a supportive & loving parent??? NOBODY!!!
This parenting gig is for life so it don't & won't stop. Every single day you have to grind for your children & put yourself last so imagine the stress on the parent who is breaking their neck to care for their child or children but they receive no financial, emotional or physical support. Children need "all hands on deck!"
Both the mother & the father must be hands on parents otherwise the burden will become too much for one parent to bare. Also it is selfish & unfair. How lazy & disconnected emotionally can people be from their children. Ummm..... *VERY*
I've heard every excuse & it sounds like people who choose to give up. I will only share a little bit of the nonsense I've heard with what I call the "LAME BLAME GAME". No it's not the classless ignorant baby momma's fault because you knew all along that she likes to take it to the head, shop, get her hair & nails "did", sleep all day & party all night but as long as she has your money to buy Red Lobster for the kids & her boyfriends then it's all good.
Also why wouldn't she do what she feels like when you keep sleeping with her? I would be confused & use you too because clearly you're getting something out of the poor choices you keep making! *NONSENSE*
The same goes for the guy a.k.a. the boyfriend that has your kids calling him "Uncle", living with you or moving in just because he's with you all the time anyway. Bad move!! Let him marry you & your kids to ease your load as well as prove he is focused on being a family, not just your man.
What about your children? Cooking meals with the food you bought, taking your garbage out or walking your kids to the park once in a while is not being supportive. Children & families need so much more than that. You need to be clear if the people you allow into your children's lives are there for the highs & the lows, because it is not easy. The truth is most people do not have strong & positive parenting skills because it is work! Everyday will not be peaches & cream. You will struggle!
Parents who pay child support & spend time with their children deserve respect, not praise for doing what they are supposed to do but respect for not dropping the ball. Unfortunately a lot of them have to deal with a bitter ex. It's not about you, it's about your children! When people stay bitter they are not punishing their ex more than they are punishing their children & themselves.
Both parents & the additional parents (girlfriends, boyfriends, the fiancé or "Uncle") all need to pitch in . Every person that is emotionally invested into the mother or the father must now do their part & be emotionally invested in the children too. Children suffer from loneliness & low self-esteem when their needs are not met. When we neglect them financially by not paying child support it only makes a bad situation worse.
We neglect them emotionally by not spending time with them. We neglect them physically by not running around for or with them when it comes to putting them in sports, dance classes, going to museums, etc.... No kid I know likes to sit on the couch & if they do we as parents are responsible for keeping them active. Parks are free!!
We can't keep dropping the ball & making excuses about it. We can't be in love one minute then get mad, break up & argue over child support or who is doing more for the child. You already know what kind of parent a person is going to be by learning their character. Are they selfish or are they giving? Do they put others first, especially children or is life all about their needs & making time for themselves first? Kids pay attention to everything! They don't listen to what adults say as much as they respect what they see adults do in their lives.
Both parents have to pay up, show up & be a constant source of motivation & inspiration in their kid's lives. Their first hero or heroine should be the two people responsible for bringing them into this world.