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Child support usage

I know a single dad with two kids. He has sole custody of them (mom lost all rights due to abuse) and was awarded $400/month in child support. He is on disability with poor health and is mentally a little slow. The family struggles to get by and only does so with the aid of public assistance (I'm not bashing people who are on PA, this is just a fact here). When the child support checks come in each week, the money is given to the kids to spend as they wish. When the kids needed coats for the winter, the family went to a local church to get them - the same with a bed for the daughter and camping supplies for a field trip. The dad is a really nice guy, but the kids are both really getting a "give it to me now" attitude about things. Since he will call and ask for help (his daughter is in my girl scout troop) and advice I don't feel that it would be out of line to talk with him about the issue, but I'm not sure how to approach it. I think the child support should be used to get the kids what they need and not just handed over to them.


Asked by scout_mom at 2:41 PM on Dec. 8, 2010 in General Parenting

Level 41 (125,190 Credits)
This question is closed.
Answers (5)
  • Allowance is a good idea. The money is for NEEDS first and THEN savings and then WANTS.... IF he wants to help them grow up to be responsible adults he needs to STOP THIS NOW!!!!! Money doesn't come so easy... they can have an allowance AND maybe earn extra by doing extra stuff (if he wants to) then he needs to put the rest AWAY and use it for NEEDS (food/shelter/utilities etc.). Honestly if he's been sueeking by with none of it. I'd advice him to put 1/4 - 1/2 in a saving account for the girls for college/emergencies etc.

    He needs to start teaching them fiscal and personal responsiblity NOW NOW NOW. Tell him they WILL pitch a fit, but that an allowance is a PRIVELEDGE not a NEED and that he MUST stick to his guns.

    Poor man, this is gonna be REALLY hard. G.L.

    Answer by MamiJaAyla at 8:05 PM on Dec. 8, 2010

  • Bring up the topic of allowance. You could even complain that one of your children is having trouble budgeting his or her allowance. The man may have nevr even thought about the idea. let him ask you questions about what you pay for and what your kids take care of out of their allowance. Anything to open up the fact that normal kids don't blow through $100 a week.

    Answer by LoveMyDog at 2:58 PM on Dec. 8, 2010

  • I agree with you. A child does NOT know what they "need" vs what they "want" a lot of times. Its the adult's responsibility to use the money for things the child needs to live...clothes, food, school items, & yes, even to help pay housing costs (since the child has to live some where). Unless you have other sources of income that cover everything your child needs then child support is for supporting the child not for handing over so they can waste it.

    Answer by lisa89j at 2:43 PM on Dec. 8, 2010

  • It is wrong, but not really any of your business. I would keep my mouth shut, just my opinion.

    Answer by Anonymous at 2:43 PM on Dec. 8, 2010

  • Normally, I would agree that it's not my business, but this man has come to me countless times looking for parenting advice. He has not been in the kids lives much until now (they are 10 and 14) and really is at a loss. I would like a tactful way to approach this.

    Comment by scout_mom (original poster) at 2:53 PM on Dec. 8, 2010

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