I read our National Single Parenting Examiner's article on the new Lifetime show about deadbeat dads with great interest. My own daughters' father is a deadbeat. He can't seem to hold down a job or residence long enough to be caught by the system, and he's a drug addict. I once wrote that slave labor is probably the only solution, but national public humiliation is also good. I'm not surprised by the backlash of the show, citing concerns for the children. I'm more concerned, however, of what those children actually lose by not getting the financial support they are owed. The purpose of the financial support isn't mere folly. It's not about making a parent take responsibility for their actions. It's not about divorced parents trying to work together. It's the cold, hard fact that raising children costs cold, hard cash. Without the money, children suffer. Without the money, many children (and their parent that actually raises them) go without health insurance and regular check-ups. Without the money, children lose out on opportunities for a better education if they can't afford to live in the right neighborhood or pay for private school or pay for tutoring. Without the money, some single parents have to work more than one job and spend less time with their children... But even beyond the actual, tangible real benefits that children gain when they receive the child support they are owed, there is also something to be said for children seeing their parent (and in this TV show, a man) standing up and fighting for them. My children know that what makes me angry about not getting the child support is what I cannot give them by not having it. They know that I think they are worth the best of anything and everything. I don't hold out hope that I'll ever receive the child support that my children are due...Still, my children will know that I tried. My children will know that I fought for what was rightfully theirs. And I, for one, will be tuning into this new show, and hoping to see at least some children get what they deserve.Read the full column here.
NPO publishes blog articles to inform and to stimulate conversation about issues of importance to NPO's mission. All blog articles express the opinions of the authors as individuals and do not necessarily reflect the views of National Parents Organization, its Board of Directors, or its executives.
Examiner Columnist Backs Lifetime, Calls Our Campaign Against 'Deadbeat Dads' TV Show 'Backlash'
"I once wrote that slave labor [for deadbeats] is probably the only solution, but national public humiliation is also good." Examiner columnist April McCaffery backs up Lifetime against our Campaign Against Lifetime TV's New Reality Show Deadbeat Dads in her new column Standing up to deadbeat dads is standing up for your children (4/28/09). McCaffery's ex-husband is a drug addict and a "deadbeat [who] can't seem to hold down a job or residence long enough to be caught by the system." McCaffery writes: