making choices that are often painful

@winterose (39918)
Canada
February 18, 2008 1:49pm CST
I lived in the ghetto growing up, and my situation was such that my son also lived in the ghetto with me once I had him. I couldn't afford housing elsewhere, I was divorced and a single parent. My Girlfriend Claudia also grew up in the ghetto but vowed no matter how her adult life would be she would never raise her children there; even if it meant they had to eat peanut butter sandwhiches and kraft dinner every night for dinner in order to pay her rent. She didn't want her children getting influenced by some of the undesirables out there. I raised my son in the ghetto, he is not a criminal, he does not belong to gangs, and if I had to live my life over again, I believe I would make the same choice. We ate more than peanut butter and kraft dinner for dinner and I gave him lots of things I couldn't if I couldn't afford the rent. I taught him values and that is the best thing any parent can give her child. Would you raise your children in the ghetto if you had to? If yes, why, If no why not
4 people like this
10 responses
@kalav56 (11502)
• India
19 Feb 08
It is great that you have taught values to your son despite the adversity in your circumstances. This will pay in the end and as long as the mother is able to devote all her attention to the child and see that he does not get into undesirable company that is all that really matters. We have to make certain tough choices but obviously you have done the best of a bad jobAccording to me, one is fortunate not to be faced with such a choice. IF such a choice is forced on you the best course of action would only be to devote your all to the child by giving him good books to read and instilling values that would stand by him for the rest of his life.This will definitely bring him out of the environment that was thrust on him.
3 people like this
@stephcjh (32327)
• United States
18 Feb 08
I know that sounds like a rough life but you have to what you have to do sometimes. I lived in low income apartments when I first had my daughter. I worked and took care of my step-dad also, but my rent was fairly cheap. I did get assistance back then because I did not make enough money to pay the bills and to feed her and pay for childcare. I couldn't afford to buy her extra stuff, like toys and such but I was fortunate enough that my mom could buy her some extra things back then.
3 people like this
@GardenGerty (101839)
• United States
18 Feb 08
I would raise my kids where I could to have a good life. We do not have a ghetto in town, but some low end trailers and apartments. Your kids are who you raise them to be. I made choices that meant we had less money, but we certainly had more time. I was a stay home mom while they grew up, or I had school based jobs. I think all mothers can enrich their children's lives even in poor neighborhoods. Yes, values and compassion, and understanding are very important.
@shannon76 (1234)
• United States
18 Feb 08
No, I don't think I would. I myself did not grow up in the ghetto, but being the stupid teenager that I was, I hung around with the kids from the ghetto. I dated a bunch of guys from the ghetto. My parents were by no means upper class (we were comfortable middle class family) so I didn't get my food with a silver spoon. But it's weird, I was in envy of all of my friends that lived in the ghetto. Of course now, I don't. And I hope that most of them moved on to bigger and better things. But unfortunatly, some of them did not. I think that just because you live in the ghetto, that doesn't make you automatically doomed to be a criminal. I do believe that it depends on the parenting, the support and the education that the child receives that will form them into who they wil become.
3 people like this
• India
19 Feb 08
Two contrasting cases yet the mother in both are so evident! Thank your lucky stars that you are in Canada and can afford peanut butter…there are many (including in my country India) for whom a slice of bread and a watered vegetable curry is equivalent to a meal per day. Peanuts are luxury to us. But coming to the discussion…no I would not raise my child in a ghetto and would do my all to get him out of there. Your story reminds me of a novel in my language Bengali where the protagonist is an educated lady from a respectable family, who marries a revolutionary and poverty forces her to stay and bring up her child in a ghetto. While she is not comfortable with the idea, she has no other choices…her child goes to the neighbourhood school in a slum and mixes with all undesirable characters. Its only her ‘values’ and the gene of his parents that keep the boy on the straight track. But like your friend, I would not take chances, I would not leave it to genes & values. Since I said that many of us can’t afford peanut butter, I would instead have settled for boiled rice and potatoes strived to get out of that place no matter what. If everything goes OK its all good but if my son had gone haywire inside that ghetto, if he had got sucked into the underworld, I could not have forgiven myself for not trying hard enough to give him a better environment in his growing years.
2 people like this
@winterose (39918)
• Canada
19 Feb 08
peanut butter here is cheaper than a meal, most poor people do not eat meat either and lots can't afford fruits and vegetables either
1 person likes this
@sid556 (31005)
• United States
19 Feb 08
Yes. You have to raise your children to have strong ethics and morals. It is more of a challenge in a place such as the ghetto with so many bad influences but it is not impossible. I raised my girls in low income housing project that is also over-run with bad kids and people. thing is that there are also some very good and hardworking people here just as there are in the ghetto. people that strive to make the best of their situation. and for the record....there are many bad influences in more fluent neighborhoods as well.
2 people like this
• United States
19 Feb 08
I wouldn't want to raise my child in the ghetto but if I had to I guess I would just deal with it and do the best that I could and teach the child values also.All you can do is the best you know how to do and hope everything turns out alright.
• United States
19 Feb 08
The values you teach your child are very important. You can teach them these no matter where you live. Look at some of the kids that have done crimes and these are kids that have well to do parents and live in the so called right part of time. I would not hesitate to raise my child in the ghetto. A person can not always choose where they live but they can choose to raise their child in the right way. I would make sure they had the right values and that would help him in life. No matter where I raised them.
2 people like this
• Canada
23 Feb 08
I would do exactly what you did. We were raised in a very wealthy neighbourhood yet my sister was still influenced by questionable people (not sure where they came from and it doesn't matter, just that they were a bad influence!!!), and you said you raised you son in the ghetto and he turned out FINE!! I think it's all in the values of the person, not in where they were raised.
1 person likes this
@Daniel_7 (91)
• Czech Republic
19 Feb 08
If I would really be in a situation where it would be almost the only choice then I think I would do that and I would try to influence my child so that he or she wouldn't behave in a bad way like some other children living in that ghetto. But if I had a choice to go somewhere else then I would prefer this instead. But it's easy to talk about it now and not that easy when somebody is in that situation.
1 person likes this