Child maintenanceWriting this I could not come up with a catchy title that would help me express what I truly want to say. I am going to be as transparent as I can without jabbing, so bear with me.  Every time I hear those words together child “support” I cringe.  The thought that financing a child is in any way “support” bothers my spirit.  Okay, so financially it may be support but I wish I could change the word support because I think that once people hear it they feel as though that’s enough I’ve fulfilled my child support obligation by mailing in the court ordered amount, I’m done.  Who’s to say that what you give financially is the only support that child needs or deserves.  Allow me to explain further…..

First, it takes more than finances to truly support a child. Children need to be nurtured, loved, cuddled, disciplined, encouraged, taught, the list goes on and on, in order to truly be supported.  Why is it that this one factor “money” is so heavily weighed upon when it comes to talking about supporting a child?  Why does one parent get to throw money at the situation as support and neglect all other responsibilities?  (Note:  if this does not apply to you, then skip this part, but since this is reality for some, I’m speaking on it.)  The system appears to review your finances and determines that this is the role this person should play.  They are told to pay an amount per month, and that’s it, they’ve supported the child and should feel good and accomplished, BS!  Our support system is so racked with issues; I can’t even begin to cover them all.  True child support would be the two people who created the child coming together to say we take responsibility for this life we created and will equally support this being, mentally, physically, financially, spiritually, and so forth and so on.  In a perfect world these individuals would work it out together.  In a not so perfect word, the individuals would work with a third-party to assist in their situation.  BOOM- support!  Everything the child would need given equally by the parents and the only reason the third-party is present is to keep the peace if the situation gets rocky.  But we live in a messy destitute child support land, where parents run from responsibility, the system fails, and families are distraught and discouraged.

We create a child, we can’t be in a relationship, but still we have this beautiful person what next? Are you only obligated to financially support or should other support be mandated as well?  Who should go to doctor appointments, school conferences, games, and ect.  Who is responsible for this support?  Where are parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins, where’s both families?  I know I personally would appreciate this type of support.  Don’t get me wrong, money pays its role, but come on; it truly takes a village to raise a child.  The parents must put their feelings to the side and focus on being supportive to the child becoming the best person they can be.  This my friends would be the perfect child support to me.

In order to fix the system it’s going to take a lot more parents going above and beyond to ensure their child’s future is bright. You may think you’re doing enough, do more.  For those who have a partner that has children from another relationship, hold them accountable to do more and hold yourself accountable as well.  I personally want to offer my children the world, doing just enough is not going to get them where they need to be.  We as a society have failed the village children and it’s up to us to make things right.  Put your feelings to the side, compromises will have to be made, pride broken, to make sure the next generation has more than enough opportunities to fulfill their dreams.   That they too will be great parents and an even greater village.  We have to stop being politically correct and call parents we know are not holding their end of the bargain when it comes to their children to the carpet and demand that they do better.  Stop making excuses, “his baby mama crazy” “her boyfriend taking care of the kids”, start encouraging healing in this process.  For the greater good of our children and our community.

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