First I should probably mention that I understand parenting is an ongoing battle. I know that I will get a lot of "how would you know, you're not a parent" backlash--even if no one says that. Let me tell you that while I don't have children I do parent. Daily. Other peoples children. The parents I know in my personal life are rarely like the parents I'm listing. The system is a mess, we all know that--those using it for services, those providing services, those dividing services up, etc. And it will never be a perfect system--there will always be some fool who has to go and ruin it for those who deserve it. Although there are always exceptions for reasons children come into care, I feel most commonly it starts with one of (or a combination of) three parenting groups:
1) The "never had parents" or "my parents did it and I turned out alright" parent: Fairly self explanatory. Either they had parents who taught them ineffective ways to parent (ie violence, screaming, degrading, etc) or they never learned appropriate parenting because they didn't have parents around/parented themselves/moved out early/got pregnant young.
2) The "i'm too busy being friends to parent" parent: This type of parent often bribes their children to do what they need, often resulting in a kid with respect issues/little work ethic/etc. I get it, teenagers can be mouth--they are competing with their friends that have tons of cool things.. teach your child the value of the things they're requesting. REWARD good behavior, not bad behavior. It's called partial reinforcement. It's like the kid at the checkout who throws a fit for a candy bar. You know he doesn't deserve that candy bar. 9 out of the 10 times you've refused the candy bar--but the tenth time your sisters friend/pastor/guy in uniform who's cute is looking at your child on the floor flailing, and you give in. Your child will always remember that one time. This works when you let them "out of a punishment" too. Your child will learn to respect your authority. I promise. If you're consistent, anyway.
3) The "dependent on the system don't know how to stop" parent: This parent had some sort of life event where they started using services ... or maybe they came from a family who used services. They become dependent on the system to provide for their medical, housing, food, child support, etc. They have no way out of this sort of cycle. These are the parents who rarely bring activities/snacks/etc to a visit, anticipating that service providers will in fact plan activities for them. These parents often have a hard time having a conversation with their youth (during a supervised visit for example) because they rarely communicated effectively before the incident, let alone now.
I don't know whether I'll ever have my own kids--I think life has already blessed me with touching the lives of children daily, but even more it has blessed me with allowing them to touch my life. They teach me daily about myself, about life, about resilience, about truthfully loving someone no matter what. I am blessed with awesome parents in my personal life, with awesome kids. They take time to really know their child. The best thing you can give your child is knowledge, open communication, and the reassurance that you love them--even during the tough times.
Thanks for letting me rant <3