Black People : Mothers abandoning their children: An increasing trend in the black community!

Discussion in 'Black People Open Forum' started by panafrica, Jul 8, 2005.

  1. panafrica

    panafrica Well-Known Member MEMBER

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2002
    Messages:
    10,227
    Likes Received:
    191
    Location:
    The Diaspora
    Ratings:
    +194
    Hello Family:

    I would like to touch on a very sensitive subject, but one I feel is of great importance. For those who have been reading me for some time, most will probably know that I work with children (mostly teens, but I have worked with elementary school children as well). Five years ago I was in an child study team (I began my career in education working for a CST) meeting for a young man who was having behavioral problems. This young man's legal guardian was his great-grandmother. During the meeting the great-grandmother mentioned that she was "tired" of taking care of all these children. In her own words, "It was getting to be too much, and she'd like to rest". Her daughter left the children she had, for this woman to raise. Her granddaughters (and sons) did the same when they had children. The great grandmother in this case was relatively young (62 years old, if memory serves correct), and her great grandson was 11. I could see this young man having a child in 5-7 years, and also leaving that child for their great-great grandmother to raise. Hopefully that wouldn't happen, but it very well could. This was clearly a pattern established within this family.

    Around the same time I worked for a child study team, I also taught black history for an after school program. I'll never forget one particular lesson, and one particular little girl. I was teaching about the seperation of families during slavery, since I was working with elementary school children, I intended to give a sanitized version. However I did want to give the kids a sense of how horrible it was to be separated from ones parents, so I asked them to imagine how they would feel if they were separated from their mother (I purposefully excluded their father, because I knew many of them didn't have a father in the home). When I asked that question, one girl looked at me and said, "I don't live with my mother". Undaunted I asked, well how would you feel if you were separated from your grandparents? This little girl again looked at me and said, "I don't live with my grandparents either". At this point I stated, "well being separated from ones parents and grandparents is very hard for most people", then moved on with my lesson. I didn't probe further into this girl's situation, she could have been an orphan. I honestly do not know in this particular case. However, I do know that I've met/seen a considerable number of children who don't have their mothers involved in their upbringing, and the reason is not because the mother has passed on.

    When one thinks of child abandonment, the father is immediately thought of. Not for a good reason, because typically when a child is abandoned, it is usually by the father. However there has been an increasing number of mothers in the black community who also are not raising their children. A considerable number of children in our community are being raised by their grandparents, by their aunts, or by other relatives (while in many cases the mother is running the streets or on drugs). As I've have worked with older children, and visited homes (talked to guardians). I have personally seen a large number of black youth who don't have their mothers in their life. I've visited grandmothers...aunts...uncles...cousins, and in many of these cases the mother is no where to be seen. Many of these homes have several families (cousins) living with their grandmother. Needless to say, in the overwhelmingly majority of these cases, the children has "issues"! On another thread started by Destee (Eminem disrespecting his mother), I mentioned this same pattern, and got agreement from young brother Deepvoice...who has noticed this being an issue with his generation. His generation happens to be the same generation I'm talking about.

    I find this (mothers leaving their children for grandparents and distant relatives) to be an alarming trend if continued. The breakdown of the traditional family in the black community has already been identified as a major corrolation with increased violence & destructive behavior in today's youth. When we have young men and women being abandoned (not orphaned) by both their mother and father...there is a serious problem. As much as most of us love our grandparents (Big Momma, Pop-Pop, whatever you call them), they do not substitute for our parents. Indeed I wonder if abandonment of children is a final reaction in the breakdown of the traditional black family: First the father leaves, then the mother leaves? This trend needs to be explored, examined, then eliminated. Again I'm not saying this happens in most cases. However it is happening, and it is increasing! I would like my attention to be brought to this before it spins out of control (like the absentee father).
     
  2. Isaiah

    Isaiah Well-Known Member MEMBER

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2004
    Messages:
    3,210
    Likes Received:
    62
    Ratings:
    +62
    Brother Pan Africa, one of the most profround posts I've read in the year since I've been here... Yes, beloved, I've noticed this phenomena, too, though having lived a couple a years, I bear witness to it as something of an increase to an old issue.

    In other words, it is not new for African grand parents to take care of "abandoned" children, but it has increased, particularly in the 1980's with the drug epidemic in our communities.. It was formerly a problem connected with economics, where grand parents often kept a child while the parent got themselves together economically, and then assumed parental responsibilty once that goal had been achieved... This happened in my own family on at least one occassion...

    However, in the 1980's, the drugs completely debilitated some sisters, and incarceration debilitated even more... Some sisters were the girlfriends of drug dealers, and got caught out there, as we say... Some innocently made deals with the devil, and "muled" and "donkeyed" drugs to pay off some bills, and got banged on possession charges... Even as we speak, African women are the fastest rising in-mate population in the prisons, because they are profiled just like African men are profiled... The stats on stops at airports of African women is staggering compared even to African men... So African women going to prison has set up some different paradigms for child-rearing in our communities in the last quarter century, and our children are NOT the beneficiaries...

    Again, and this is why your post is so profound, Pan Africa, I would caution us to NOT think of this as a new phenomenon... Our Grand Parents have ALWayS had to deal with this issue, because we have AlwAYS had major MONEY PROBLEMS in this country... And African people - and this is controversial statement Im about to make - don't have major hang ups about making love, and having babies as Europeans do... We CHRISTIAN FRONT like we frown on free love, but that is NOT the way we behave(smile!) A LOT of grand parents would nod in agreement at that statement, because they've seen the results of that attitude - stereotypical as it sounds, it is culturally true...It was culturally true when we stepped off the slave ships...

    As a result of our "free lovin'", children who made babies out of the bonds of matrimony were shipped around, and placed here and there to hide the family's Christian shame, or to move the little girl away from that bad-assed boy who knocked her up, and on the other end was gramma and auntie, or some other elder family member... The ABANDONMENT issue, however, is a new phenomena in some sense, because our old family structure has been nearly decimated... The safety net and support system we had back in the day, the one that compensated for our cultural freedoms with sex, has been weakened by our drug issues and our economic issues... The stress and strain of BOTH of these issues has been overwhelming, and that is where our grand parents have begun to run for cover...

    A couple of things though... Firstly, please folks, don't be upset by my seeming stereotypical statements about our sex lives(smile!) It is very African, and very human, I might add, to love to love some love-making... That Calvinist, hung-up European made it a bad thing just like a lot of things we do, and he wishes he could do... That's why he does porno, and writes books about effin like a porn star(hackin' away!) So check yourself befoe taking issue with my statements about our sexuality...

    Lastly, I am strangely optimistic about our family situations... I think that African people are coming into a new sense and understanding of family again... We men are re-learning what our roles must be in those families if we are to survive as a people... Sistes are deciding to make some new choices about who they are going to have children with, and a lot of brothers are responding favorably to that... It is borne out by brothers at this discussion board... It will take some generations to see the fruit of that change, but I think we'll get there even if not in my lifetime or yours...

    Peace!
    Isaiah
     
  3. karmashines

    karmashines Banned MEMBER

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2005
    Messages:
    2,578
    Likes Received:
    19
    Ratings:
    +19
    Traditional Africans seem(ed) to be more responsible with their sexuality, at least in terms of taking care of the kids. Men who took multiple wives were still obligated to financially and emotionally support both the wife and the child. Women are also expected to take care of the kids. Sex is only a problem if you can't deal with the consequences of possibly creating a new life, or you get an STD.
     
  4. HODEE

    HODEE Well-Known Member MEMBER

    Country:
    United States
    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2003
    Messages:
    4,912
    Likes Received:
    613
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    (RF) Technician
    Location:
    ( Alonewolf ) California.. by way of the LOU
    Ratings:
    +795
    Grandparents taking care of their children’s kids. To help them save some money on baby sitting while they work and because of the love they have for their own kids and their grandchildren was an innocent first beginning. Those abandonment’s you see now are real!

    All reasons shared so far by those who replied do have an effect. Drugs, lack of skills of parenting. But the alternative some young parents fail to see is that grandparents know the break up would be worse because the child protection agencies are waiting in the wings to take and say they are fulfilling some grand job duty by taking those kids and then placing them into a system of adoption, loneliness and confusion. Call it the last hope and defense. But the job the grandparents are doing is very valuable and they know it.

    Pan what you brought to light was that they are up in age and tired of all the issues that come from their own children. How their children abandoned their own. By going to jail, hanging out, looking for love in all the wrong places. The ripple effect. All feeling the abandonment. The grandchildren begin acting out and creating more strain on someone like a grandparent. This becomes more than providing clothes and food. But now the grandparents must run and support those children in school, and from the justice system that feeds on arresting them just for living and loitering.

    The parents abandoned for all kinds of reasons, but the financial burden gets bigger when it falls on the limited income a grandparents or someone retired lives on. You said the grandmother said. She is tired. I see that picture well. And that statement you pointed out is so true.

    Like a dead beat dad we must hold a dead beat mother to the same standard. Let’s not forget either that some family structures are so twisted that the grandparent ( some mothers feel that woman isn’t good enough for her son ) ( some mothers feel that man isn’t good enough for her daughter ) didn’t like the woman their son married. So they interfere. ( This is what I think. Some want the good life. So the good life is with some one that has money, not with someone you must struggle with, build with. So interference takes its hold in many ways. )

    When the woman abandoned the kids to the father. He moves back at home with his mother. He took the kids. ( The cycle has already hit his parent’s home... that is why the father isn’t there ) Once the fact sets in again. It is hard to sacrifice your own desires and make sure the kids eat even if none is left for you. ( this is never the case just not as much as you would like or need, but a little weight lose will only make you look better anyway ) was hard on him, like he leans on his own parents. He abandoned the children the same way his wife did, and left the burden on his mother or the grandparents to perform. They take care of that grown man. He has no ambition so he doesn’t feel or care that more mouths are now eating away at his mothers and fathers limited income.

    Then he becomes absent after a while claiming he is going to get a place and come get his kids and what he has really done is found a new found freedom to date and run the streets himself.


    So now you see both mother and father of those children abandoning their responsibilities. The grandparents don’t they possess our last vestiges of culture and practice learned from our ancestors of village love.

    Some family value is left in those born from 1929 to 1970. These are those who will not and understand that the agencies... wolves are waiting to further break up abandoned children and further displace them into a system of abuse. The grandparents can’t apply for assistance; the question of where are the parents. This is the sticking line that protects the agencies from distributing your tax dollars you paid into the system back to those your children. Only if proof that both parents were deceased would that excuse be shattered.

    Isn’t a lost in a drug induced, crime ridden life equaling to death? It should be.

    But that is not acceptable. The thinking is grown ups should be responsible for the harm they cause, what they do and get into. The hypocrisy of that is the views those we elect, those we are asked to trust. Those we are told will provide in government, those we invest in by paying their salaries, supporting their system. Don’t you see those adults in another fashion not being responsible? They aren’t being responsible to help those in need. No one ask for help that doesn’t feel they need it. Now once established that your need is real, then give the help. Or close the facility.

    Declaring all of your business. What did you make last year? What about his year? What about now... I make nothing. Do you have some brothers and sisters you can turn to? Let me see your bank account? ( Maybe that nest egg isn’t bound for this, it is for something else like college or my own retirement, I am here asking for these kids ) Without the tax dollars I pay you wouldn’t exist.

    I have the mind to pull that support from under your coffee drinking water cooler posterior.

    See the system is set up for the poor in a fashion that says you must use up all you have to get what we have or else we can’t help you.

    For the rich is it set up like this “You have so much can I offer you more?” The more you have the more you can get, for us the less you have the less you can get.

    Frustration is not a stranger in the black community. He knocks door to door and has many friends. If he does get in, treat him to a meal and ask him to spend the night somewhere else. For if he sleeps just one night in your home he establishes a camp, and doesn’t sleep at night, He enters every room of your home and contaminates your home.

    Compounded issues are what we have. The system and the illness shows where you al see it, but the root cause was planted and planned. To break it one must step back in an individual fashion, look at what is needed. If you have a patch of ground in your back yard. Grow some food. Let the children learn to cultivate the soil, because like we came from it came from us. We are land based, like the Native Americans of this land and to become strong we must return to that dirt. Cultivate that dirt and see character, pride, accomplishments and success, from that other forms of success grows. If you see something. Do something. Accomplish something. Those same accomplishments and success can be related and carried into other things. It is like seeing your favorite athlete and immolating them. Having a role model doesn’t mean they have to be some one you know personally, they do not have to be some one making millions but just some one that takes pride, in how they dress, clean, perform their job and walk.

    As a child I saw things were wrong. I saw there were breaks in bounds and relationships that didn’t have to exist. What has to be practiced and known is if you can’t do anything to eliminate these things, you do have some control over not adding to the division.

    A Parent will love their child unconditionally, but there is a line not to cross. That line is neglected of responsibility. A child will be mad at their parent for no reason and the line has been crossed to far. For they should honor their mother and father unconditionally. This practice alone will solve many ills.

    Those born from 1929 to 1970 must be talked to, respected for their wisdom, knowledge must be poured forth, and we must hold meetings in church. We all gather there, it's our rock, our last hope of communicating in a fashion that can bring results. God would not be upset if in a loving way and manner, in his house true love was shown and blossomed. Use what we have to get what we want. Our church is our only hope of reaching the truth, the minds and sprits and consciences of what we must do. Think for a moment. They bomb the churches because there they know we can come up. From there we do gather money, for projects, no one is asking or suspecting and the money can and will be used as claimed because those attending look for the results and the results are reported to them.

    It’s in your neighborhood. Not mine. So you will benefit.

    I must do the same in mine to emulate that accomplishment I see you doing.

    See there is an answer.

    So long standing judgments. And this is what we do. Must be stopped. Never Judge. For then you must decide if they must be punished. :whip:
     
  5. panafrica

    panafrica Well-Known Member MEMBER

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2002
    Messages:
    10,227
    Likes Received:
    191
    Location:
    The Diaspora
    Ratings:
    +194
    You are right brother Isaiah this is not a new trend, and I shouldn't have stated that it is. However it is a trend that is increasing. It is interesting that you attributed grandparents caring for grandchildren in Africa. I know it is still customary for many African people to leave their children with their grandparents. However, the major difference is that the parents in these cases travel to work (often in a distance town or different country) and save money. Usually in these situations the parents send for their children when they are financially able. It is a huge difference between having your child cared for by the grandparent because you want to work, and having your child cared for by the grandparent because you want to run the streets. There are also cases, as you've said that the grandparents care for the grandchildren, while the children seek to right themselves. However, in too many cases the parents never do right themselves, and the children remain under grandma's care for the duration. More to come...I have to get back to class.
     
  6. panafrica

    panafrica Well-Known Member MEMBER

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2002
    Messages:
    10,227
    Likes Received:
    191
    Location:
    The Diaspora
    Ratings:
    +194
    Well said brother Hodee, thank you for your input.
     
  7. Deepvoice

    Deepvoice Well-Known Member MEMBER

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2005
    Messages:
    750
    Likes Received:
    4
    Ratings:
    +4
    SSI checks or disability checks have become the new welfare type of system of which I heard existed the reason I say this is because many women I've see fought with their mother over their own children because the of the SSI money that they were getting on the first of the month. Many of these grandparents don't give a [email protected] about their grandchildren and only care about the amount of the money they bring in on the 1st of the month. I've heard black females say they wouldn't keep a child they couldn't get a check for and leave the child on big mama's door step. My father's ex wife had a child(no relation to my father) that she convinced that he couldn't do little things such as tie his own shoes she even sent him to special education schools so that he would never learn anything that might one day show that he is mentally capable. Someone tell this black mothers their child is baby not a paycheck.
     
  8. Deepvoice

    Deepvoice Well-Known Member MEMBER

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2005
    Messages:
    750
    Likes Received:
    4
    Ratings:
    +4
    When I get out the hood I"m staying out and leaving all those with that type of mentality behind because this stuff infuriates the hell out of me man.
     
  9. karmashines

    karmashines Banned MEMBER

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2005
    Messages:
    2,578
    Likes Received:
    19
    Ratings:
    +19
    Ugh! I hate it when people do that! I know exactly what you're talking about because I have people in my family that are trying to get disability but don't have any problems.
     
  10. Deepvoice

    Deepvoice Well-Known Member MEMBER

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2005
    Messages:
    750
    Likes Received:
    4
    Ratings:
    +4
    Yeah Karma I"m thought it was my family, then I thought it was Chicago, but now I think it is a black people thing.
     
Loading...