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Thread: No-Parent Families: How did we get here?

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    No-Parent Families: How did we get here?

    When I was a kid, there was only one breadwinner in the family: the Daddy. We weren't loaded, but we were pretty well off: grand house, grand food, grand xmas & bday pressies, grand holidays at xmas & summer. And it wasn't family money, it was earned: the Daddy went self-employed and built his business up.

    These days we're told we're living in one of the most successful, dynamic, profitable, etc. economies in the world. My question is this: If we're living in one of the most successful, dynamic and profitable economies in the world, how come it takes two breadwinners to bring up kids to the same standard it took one before? (If that.)

    And is this really progress? Kids brought up by nannies and au pairs and childminders? That's not to say these people are doing a bad job, in many cases they probably do a better job than the parents, but is it any wonder kids are less respectful, and many are frightened to discipline them?

    adam
    Last edited by dahamsta; 04/04/2006 at 4:06 PM.

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    I suppose the mammies didn't work outside the home as that was the norm at the time whereas now the norm is to work outside the home.

    Women tend to have a career before starting a family so i suppose difficult to give that up too.

    People make choices in their lives too - where to live, what size, house, public or private school, number of holidays... The money has to come from somewhere...
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    when we where small my ma stayed at home , once we started school she got a job but finished at 3 to collect us from school , when my parents got there first house they had nothing 1 bed , a box to sit on and a orange crate as a table .

    now adays people want the big house fully furnished 2 cars etc and run up huge debts getting it all in one go then they have to work to pay the bills , even though the cost of childcare often exceeds the wages of one parent .

    ive some friends that work as nanny's often the parents come home at 8 or 9 at night spend 30 mins playing with the kids ( fillin gthem with sweets and getting them all worked up ) then hand back the kids to the nanny to try and get these hyper active sugar packed kids to bed .

    i dont know why people choose to work as soon as i have kids thats it im a house husband , then it will be feet up watching Dr. Phil and drinking cups of tea all day .and moaning about how much work house work is !

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    Director dahamsta's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pete
    I suppose the mammies didn't work outside the home as that was the norm at the time whereas now the norm is to work outside the home.

    Women tend to have a career before starting a family so i suppose difficult to give that up too.
    You're missing the point pete. Put the woman's choices thing out of your mind (on in another thread, since it's a valid discussion), it has nothing to do with the question I'm asking: How come it takes two breadwinners to bring up kids to the same standard it took one before?

    Or, to put it another way: Parents were able to bring up a family on one wage in the Seventies. This is impossible or very, very difficult now. What changed, and are we better off this way?

    People make choices in their lives too - where to live, what size, house, public or private school, number of holidays... The money has to come from somewhere...
    This is why I covered this in the OP -- I was brought up with a pretty good standard of living, not a whole lot more expensive than my kid gets.
    Last edited by dahamsta; 04/04/2006 at 4:25 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dahamsta
    If we're living in one of the most successful, dynamic and profitable economies in the world, how come it takes two breadwinners to bring up kids to the same standard it took one before?
    What do ya mean to the same standards as before?
    At a guess, i'd say most families now are far more comfortable than most families were whenever you were a child.

    If by bringing up a child to a good standard you mean he/she knows the value of money, is respectful and all that malarchy then you're probably right.
    But the reason kids aren't those things nowadays is because as anto says, both mam and dad are out pushing hard for that second off-roader, and unnecessary extension etc.
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    Standard & Cost of Living has increased.

    I don't think all mothers (i could be PC & say fathers but thats only few percent) who work need to do so. I don't know how many need to work to get the income in.

    Society has changed so its expected that women have a career outside the home? It also has to be acknowledged that lots of jobs these days so in the past women couldn't find jobs outside the home...
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    The cost and standard of living has changed, not to mention the choice's that people have now, compared to when I was growing up. Are we better off? That's difficult to answer and I'm sure there are alot of different opinions out there. The old adage of the more you make the more you spend comes to mind. I don't have any kids, so I can't really offer an opinion as to how they are brought up today and if it's any better or worse.
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    Quote Originally Posted by dahamsta
    You're missing the point pete. Put the woman's choices thing out of your mind (on in another thread, since it's a valid discussion), it has nothing to do with the question I'm asking: How come it takes two breadwinners to bring up kids to the same standard it took one before?
    Because we're now far more materialistic and always want the most modern stuff. So we're spending more on crap that, if we stopped and thought about it, we could really do without. How many families have two cars (one if not both a stupidly expensive and pointless jeep) now and replace one every other year? We didn't own a brand-new car at home until 1997 (when I was 17) - made do with a second-hand Morris Ital for 11 years. Saves a few bob! People now want to buy all the latest films on video - then they throw them all in the bin to buy them on DVD, and so on. If you're spending more money, you have to work harder to earn it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dahamsta
    How come it takes two breadwinners to bring up kids to the same standard it took one before?
    We could row about what standards of upbringing means but for the sake of this financial argument I'm going to call it the cost of upbringing. The answer is that children are being brought up much more expensively. Myself and my 4 siblings was raised in a 2 bed house and we had an old banger of a car on one and a half salaries (my mother worked part time as a nurse). That was a normal middle class upbringing then but now the same standard would be considered almost living in poverty.

    The fact as I see it is that famamies are being raised to a more expensive standard these days. Wheather that's a better standard is for a seperate debate.

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    Director dahamsta's Avatar
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    [Off-topic stuff moved here.]

    Perhaps I had it better than most, but I'm not sure. I went to Douglas Comm, which is hardly Eton, and I'm pretty sure that the average lifestyle of my peers and their families can't have been that far off mine.

    It's a complex issue and I guess it's hard to judge (or define) my point, but on the issues that have been covered - higher cost of living, etc - do we have any figures (or better, graphs)? Are we really spending more? Or are we actually earning less, relatively speaking?

    adam

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    Quote Originally Posted by dahamsta
    It's a complex issue and I guess it's hard to judge (or define) my point, but on the issues that have been covered - higher cost of living, etc - do we have any figures (or better, graphs)? Are we really spending more? Or are we actually earning less, relatively speaking?
    adam
    I don't know about Ireland, but here in the US, based on experience in my line of work, I can tell you a lot of folks are living well beyond their means. It has been way too easy for people to obtain credit and to borrow money.That is steadily changing as the number of defaults continue to rise on mortgages and credit cards. Stricter lending guidelines are forthcoming here, and not a moment too soon. To answer one of your questions, people are spending more, at least here, money that they don't own.
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    People have probably gotten more materialistic e.g. when I was a kid we never had the latest replica soccer jersey, ipod,s cell phones, dvds, flat screen tvs etc. I was just happy with my old football, hurley stick and sloither. And all of my friends were the same. I remember in national school when one of my friends came in one day with a digital watch, we had never seen one before and we all thought it was great.

    But once you start buying stuff to keep up with the neighbors you wont stop. Expensive holidays to continental Europe, buying the latest car and moving to a more expensive neighbourhood are all the norm nowadays.

    I talk about this sometimes with my Dad who grew up in the 40s and 50s when they had even less than we had in the 70's and 80's. He says it is still better now, life was too hard back then despite the issues that face people today.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Metrostars
    People have probably gotten more materialistic e.g. when I was a kid we never had the latest replica soccer jersey, ipod,s cell phones, dvds, flat screen tvs etc. I was just happy with my old football, hurley stick and sloither. And all of my friends were the same. I remember in national school when one of my friends came in one day with a digital watch, we had never seen one before and we all thought it was great.
    I think thats it in a nutshell. I was brought up on 1 waged household & fairly comfortable lifestyle such as i remember. Theres are so many items that we buy now that didn't even exist 20 years ago - Digital TV, Broadband, Computers, Eating out was far less common, holidays would more often than not be domestic, Ipods, Mobile Phones etc... Interest rates were much higher but houses were a fraction of the cost...

    I wonder are there CSO figures showing what pecentage of incomes are spent on different items now as opposed to 20 years ago...?
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    I think metrostars and strangeirish have it between them there. Things are a lot differant now from when I was brought up as a kid. I remember being absolutely gobsmacked when my father bought myself and my brothers a second hand Commodore 64 back in the 80s, I thought it was the business, and continued to do so for about 4 years until we got a Sega Megadrive. Today if I had a kid and bought him, lets say a second-hand PlayStation 2 I'm pretty sure that first off he wouldn't be ecstatic about getting a second hand present of a computer thats been on the market for a few years (as the C64 was when I first got mine), and secondly, would almost instantly want the PS2 updated to a PS3 as soon as it was released.

    Thats not to say thats the kids fault, because most adults I know are constantly hankering after a better lifestyle, and overspend to do so. Hence when the credit bills mount up the second parent has to join the workforce to help pay off last year's holiday and to save towards the new 36" flat screen TV. Its just heightened consumerism. The advertising agencies marketed this dream Celtic Tiger world, where we all should be jetting off on holidays at least once a year, and where we are all entitled to the latest DVD player/TV/whatever, and the Irish nation bought it hook, line and sinker, as did most first world countries. We're just witnessing capitalism in it's finest hour my friends

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    Things were ****e when I was growing up. little work, struggling to make ends meet, dad being made redundant, mother having to go out and work, etc,etc.
    I had to emigrate after coming out of college, etc, etc.
    When I look at Ireland and Cork now all I can think of are the positives. You can find work if you want to, loads of cultural outlets, a buzzing city (probably too much!!), loads of tower cranes in the skyline, nice new buildings everywhere, lots of things to do. Cork winning everything sporting wise, etc, etc. It's a fxxking brilliant place to live and work now! The drabness and dreariness of Ireland of the 80's is finally gone.

    If people want to stay at home and look after the kids then generally speaking they can if they choose to cut down on their lifestyle choices. Generally though it's the middle classes who are the ones who want the career, the kids, etc. It is this section of society that are the ones leaving the kids with childminders. If they want to do this then leave then off. Don't know if it neccessarily means that children are being neglected or if they were better reared in the past.

    I have absolutely no sentimental attachment to the Ireland of the past or anything from the Ireland of the past. In fact I like thousands of my generation got the hell out of the place as soon as we could. It was as Bob Geldof said a "bannana republic, septic isle, everywhere I go yeah, everywhere I see the black and blue uniforms police and priests". It was a dull repressive place with moral values that stunk, including those that women should stay at home looking after the kids.
    It would be interesting though to have some stats on how many parents have their kids with childminders full time. I'd say a lot less than people think and also for a only a few years until financial pressures ease as they grow older.
    It's a bit unfair to call them No Parent families though.
    Last edited by rebs23; 06/04/2006 at 4:09 PM.
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    I agree with Adam on this.My mother owns a creche which runs from 9am-12pm
    and most of the kids are picked up by childminders/nanny's. the Kids constantly say things like my childminder says I cant drink coke or my nanny says I hav eto eat all my lunch etc. they very rarely mention their parents. As a father who because of a relationship breakdown only see my daughter at weekends It makes me so angry that these people have the opportunity to see their children all as often as they like but whether through choice or financial circumstance Dont

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    The fact remains is that when equal pay for women was brought in in the 1970's, after we joined the EEC , married male salaries ...which previously had been sufficient to support a family, marked time until the women's salaries caught up. There's the rub and they have never progressed beyond that point. So the introduction of equal pay effectively reduced male salaries to the level of female ones in practical terms, meaning both parents having to work instead of one parent being able to support a household. While I don't advocate a return to olden times, providing married women(or mothers in partnerships) with a salary capable of supporting a household would at least have given husband's( partners who are fathers) the option of being full-time fathers.

    The lack of respect and appreciation for anything which is prevalent nowadays; the disposability which is endemic in society and I believe the lack of respect for things as basic as human life which is also seen in the level of assaults and murders in society nowadays are not positive aspects of modern life. Another thing which was better was the appreciation of the value of money and the idea that if you wanted something you would save up and buy it your self without having to go into debt , I think is lost concept today. There is also the need for instant gratification which also manifests itself in the levels of binge drinking and drug abuse prevalent these days too.
    I think at times our affluent society is far too close to being an effluent society too. And there is a lot more rubbish strewn around and pollution too while I think about it.

    There is a direct correlation between these aspects and the general lack of discipline seen in younger children nowadays which is tied in with the no parent families concept. I personally also would attribute some of this to the removal of corporal punishment in the classroom WITHOUT providing an adequate alternative form of discipline. The bathwater was thrown out in this instance but so too was the baby!

    That is my view on how we got here , and my attempt to answer the question posed at the beginning of this thread. I am not however nostaglic for the mass emigration and mass unemployment of the 1980's ( my youth).
    Last edited by CollegeTillIDie; 10/04/2006 at 8:48 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CollegeTillIDie
    But isn't the main point that these are the problems of a relatively successful society and economy. Isn't it far better that we have created a society and economy that provides equal pay and career oppurtunities for women, choices for people as to how they rear their children rather than just having one parent (or possibly two) stay at home all day in poverty because they have no other choice?
    The issues with children and lack of respect for elders, every generation says that about the one coming behind. As for violence, binge drinking etc. Again aren't these the problems of a society with wealth to spend on drink and drugs. Violence, drink abuse etc they tend to rise and fall over decades and centuries. Maybe we're just at the peak at the moment of another cycle (don't know just posing a question). Was Victorian Dublin any less violent or sober?
    I would just prefer the problems of the present day to the ones of the 80's and Ireland is a much better place now. Back then most of them had no choice about staying in the home. Much prefer a place where parents can have a choice.
    Last edited by dahamsta; 10/04/2006 at 11:55 AM.
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    As a single parent, i'm geting quite annoyed about some of the opinions on here! I work 2 jobs and go to college. I probably don't see my child enough for some of your liking but everything i' do is for him! I live at home at the moment but really want a house for the pair of us, where my son has his own space. About 80% of my income goes on childcare the rest I try to save after buying whatever in neccessary.

    Someone said that mothers choose to work - believe me I would love to spend my days runing around the park watching my son laugh and smile but that just isn't an option! people so often comlain about single mothers scrounging off the state to look ofter their children. SO whats the answer? Do I sit at home and get paid for doing nothing but spend quality time with my child?
    Or do I continue to do what I'm doing, working and studying to give my son all the things he wants and needs later in life?

    I'm just dying to hear the male opinion on this!

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    Babydol, unless I missed something I don't think single parent families were even being discussed. The point is in the past, one income would've sufficed (whether that was the man or woman is irrelevant). Now, 2 parent families have to through necessity or choice both work.

    The State should be doing everything in it's power to support you and your child while you study. Obviously you're highlighting another major failing of this Government - you'd be better off not trying to improve yourself under their policies. That's not the fault of men on here or in general, it's down to bad policy from the men and women in power, and the people who voted for them.
    If you attack me with stupidity, I'll be forced to defend myself with sarcasm.

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