Academic journal article Human Architecture: Journal of the Sociology of Self-Knowledge

The Struggles and Predicaments of Low-Income Families and Children in Poverty

Academic journal article Human Architecture: Journal of the Sociology of Self-Knowledge

The Struggles and Predicaments of Low-Income Families and Children in Poverty

Article excerpt

Poverty can be considered a chain reaction often affecting generation after generation, a chain reaction that often interferes with health care, food consumption, resources, transportation, living arrangements, proper clothing, water supply, heat supply, electricity and phone service. Many families have needs that by far surpass the needs mentioned above. Many of us have no idea what it is to live in poverty.

We wake up each morning warm in our beds to our alarm clock blaring and the smell of breakfast wafting across the room; someone may even be in the shower, and all we can think about is not wanting to go to work, not wanting to clean off our cars after the snow has fallen and not wanting to choose from the ten pairs of shoes in our closets. We never stop to think about the family that may live next door, the family that does not have a car, that has no phone, that has one pair of shoes each, that has no heat, no electricity, no job to attend and has no idea when they will be able to take a shower again.

The simple fact is that there are many families in society today that deal with the above problems for years on end. They may have no idea where their next meal is coming from or how long they will have heat, water, and electricity before it is shut off again. Families living in this type of income bracket have to make due with the supplies that they are surrounded by. They have to strive to meet the needs of their families even when they have to give up their own food, clothing, and more.

There are also the silent, but needy, voices of poverty. The voices that have never known what it feels like to live comfortably. These silent voices belong to the children of poverty. The unheard voices of youth that often have never known anything different from what they've grown up around. Many will never know what it is like to live in one place their entire lives. They may scrounge each and everyday for change just so their parents can put food on the table.

Children come from many different family setups. It is not the job of society, school, or the work place to help change the family makeup, but it is the job of society, and the school teacher to work with the positive things the child comes to school with. Children come from single parent households, two parent households, guardian homes, etc. The many different ways families are made-up today allows teachers to learn about the differences and beliefs that every family has. Children are easily influenced by what their parents tell them or by how their parents act when they are around them. If a parent is unemployed and financially unstable the child may believe that this is how life is supposed to be when they grow up therefore they strive to complete the minimal amount of work necessary to get by. I think many of these children grow up to be just like their parents. This may be because they don't have the resources to attend college or the right directions to succeed. I know as a child I was greatly influenced by the hard working individuals that surrounded me. These people often instilled values in me that pushed me to work hard and to accomplish everything I could. This type of behavior also hindered my lifestyle because I often work myself to great exhaustion.

There is so much I want to learn about poverty and children living in poverty each and every day. It is hard for me to imagine not having a telephone, heat, electricity, etc., because these are things I've always had. I believe that before I can learn about the children living in poverty I need to first learn about the families of these children. I believe learning about families will help me to understand why some of these children have to suffer throughout their lives. I have tried writing about the experiences I have witnessed in my lifetime thus far as well as the factual information that I will further include from books, magazines, and movies we watched in class. …

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