Parenthood made more difficult

When we look around us we can see that the gap between the haves and have-nots is increasing in both city and country areas, and that the governments do not really take many efforts to bridge the incomes of the working people, white and blue colour.

Whilst the countries want to show off with their growing economy, always looking at their Gross Domestic Product as the measure of our society’s well-being we can not neglect to see how our human capital erodes.

Child 1

Have we come to live in a wolrd upside down for the Child? (Photo credit: Tony Trần)

As our GDP has risen, child poverty, income inequality, child abuse and neglect, teen suicide, unemployment, wages, health insurance and food provision, access to affordable housing and homelessness have all grown worse.
The government puts the attention on the workforce and the press looks at the idols of the sport and entertainment world, both pushing to aim to gain as much money as possible and to spend enough at all the gadgets the world is providing. The illusion is created that we are doing well for our children and the society, by working as hard as possible, even when not always paid accordingly. But those who can give the most material wealth to their children are considered the best parents. Material advantage has become the prime goal of our society.

On ‘Stepping toes‘ we look at the typecasting and role of the parents in the upbringing of the children. In the present economical bad climate both parents need to go at work to receive an income that shall be able to cover the costs of living. At the same time that they themselves do find lesser time to be busy with the children social policies, the media, the internet and societal norms make the already challenging job of parenthood more difficult.

Across Europe, women may outperform men academically and enter the workforce in similar numbers, but occupy less than 15 percent of board positions and still often are paid less than their male counterparts.

There is irrefutable evidence on the economic contribution that women can make, from the familial and community level, to research showing that companies get a diversity dividend, to the World Economic Forum’s own global data on the correlations between gender and competitiveness, released this month. By some estimates, gender parity in employment could raise the GDP of countries such as the United Arab Emirates by 12 percent, Japan by 9 percent and the United States by 5 percent. While many institutions are constantly pointing to these potential collective gains, progress remains dismally slow.

writes Saadia Zahidi, Special to CNN in When gender inequality is good economics.

Considering the country’s joint taxation regime and expensive childcare, it makes economic sense for a Swiss woman to choose to leave work for the relatively short period of early motherhood even if she would have preferred to work. At first it may look nice to have such a time off for bringing up or fostering the baby. But over time, the Swiss mother may struggle to find a rewarding job that matches her expectations of salary and seniority, after the hiatus in early motherhood.

In Norway, where we can find a “daddy quota” allocating fathers 12 weeks of non-transferable paternity leave, creating knock-on effects for the division of labour at home and at work, we do not see such a difference between the wages of men and women, and can find one of the parents taking time to take care off the children. In the Scandinavian countries many more parents take care there is always one of them to pick up the children from school or to be present for the children when they have no school.

With the right incentives, we should be able to make gender equality the new rational choice. We should also find ways to have a nice division of male and female workers in one field and should take care that children have as many male educators as female teachers. At the moment having nearly only female teachers this gives a very unbalanced education for our children.

On religious level the many women working outside the house and the men not taking time to be with the children, but considering that women may not give a religious teaching outside the school, makes it that many children do not receive any fundamental religious training than the basics at school.

On “Stepping toes” we make a plea for bringing back the woman closer to the family, but by letting to have her make the free choice also to work professionally, enjoying it at an equal level with men.

We bring ‘Parent Power’ in the picture and try to make it clear that both men and women should divide their roles between each other trying to bring in enough money to survive, but also spending enough time for the household. Many parents have forgotten that the unpaid career of parenthood is more important for the health of our nation’s economy than paid jobs.

Dr. Jack Westman reveals the power parents have to create America’s productive citizens, in the new book, Parent Power: The Key to America’s Prosperity.

In the country which always shouts from the rooftops it is so Christian we can find that one-third of children and youth in the United States are failing in some aspect of their lives. The United States of America is at the top of the list of developed nations in child abuse and neglect and the bottom in educational achievement.

Five children die every day from abuse in the United States. Three million referrals are made to child protective services every year.

At some point in their lives, half of all children born in the United States will have lived in one-parent homes, mostly without fathers. More than half of them will live in poverty for a time and will continue the cycle of family disadvantage.

Those who are always shouting that live should be protected, are also trying to take every effort against any limitation in the use of weapons. They who call those who want to have an abortion (for whatever reason) names and are prepared to stone them and kill the doctors who do such things, call onto the name of God, and are the first ones to shoot at an other and come into defence of weapons. by such weapons many innocent children are killed daily in the United States.

Parents who abuse and/or neglect a child who becomes a criminal or welfare dependent cost our economy $2.8 million. Without concerted action, every American taxpayer will continue to pay for the consequences.

Those parents who want to take time to spend with their children, not giving them to childcare and having the state (every working taxpayer) to pay are looked askance at. Instead of showing respect for those who want to take care that their children learn how to behave and create a social environment, the community deter such personal choice to stay at home at the family. The state also disheartens the housewife or houseman, because staying at home is considered lazy and not productive for the country.

Parent Power reveals compelling evidence that as America suffers from high unemployment and a soaring national debt one of the primary causes is being overlooked─the decline in thriving families that threatens national prosperity and security. Recognizing newborn babies’ right to competent parents and creating policies and resources to support that right are the first essential steps toward providing national security in an increasingly insecure world and retaining our global leadership.

Our society should show more interest to the parents, mother and father who want to take up their roles as the major educator of their own children. It would be better if our governments could see the positive social impact of engaged dads. Fathers who spend time with their kids and are more than distant breadwinners play a more important role in the well-being of our society than many think.

Kyle Pruett, one of North America’s leading experts on the role of fathers, has researched and written extensively about those positive social impacts of engaged dads. In his list of positive outcomes of what he calls “involved fathering” in the lives of kids we may find: less contact with the juvenile justice system; fewer teen pregnancies; greater empathy and moral sensitivity; higher grade completion and income.

Research shows that when fathers are involved with their kids, those children are less likely to use violence against women later in life. Their attitude to life and their sense of putting into perspective also makes kids stronger and not so easy to panic or to be afraid, making them less prone to depression.

Sadly, some areas of our society still have a long way to go in accepting involved fathering.

“Our institutions are not as father-friendly as our homes,” noted Pruett.

In Belgium for years the women where considered to stay at home to be a house-wife. With emancipation they found the way to the workforce on many terrains, but recently we start noticing that the role of house-wife is now considered a role not worthy of a woman nor a man. When a man chooses to be a houseman people at work come up with questions which show their disapproval. The questions stay-at home dads receive are often laced with scorn and disapproval, even from their own family. Their children often bring remarks from their little friends to the home, where the fathers do have to defend their choice. For that reason many man do not dare to be a full time ‘dad at home’.

In many countries there may still be told in hundreds of other little ways that raising kids is the mother’s job.

At restaurants and stores, it’s still common to find change tables in the women’s washroom, but none in the men’s. There are “mom and tot” groups that, as the label suggests, are for stay-at-home moms but not at-home dads. And marketing of children’s products is often targeted explicitly at mothers.

As soon as men say they stay at home to take care of the kids, people get strange ideas about that man. According many in our society the housewife role does not fit the man. A man and a woman should make themselves more useful to the community than ‘loosing’ their time at home with non-economical activities.

Child-carers are not paid much, so facilities are created that the parents can go out for work earning much much more, and “not losing their time with bothering what their children do”.  But they would not like to have the child-care nor the school to interfere with the upbringing of their child. Who then is going to give the children comportment? How can they learn not to have an anti-social behaviour? How can they learn Judeo-Christian values?

In case the fathers may not allocate some time to spend with their kids when others are at work, who is going to do it when the mothers may not do it either. And when mothers may not have the word about God and His Law, who is going to teach the children the Ways of God?

Both, the father and the mother should have to have the free choice to stay a certain time at home to take care of the children and to give them religious education and tell them how to behave and be part of a big family. When those kids can not feel nor see that family, how shall they get a family feeling?

The last few years too much attention is put on the financial growth and material luxury. It is time that parents understand that the spiritual well-being is far more important for the well-being of their whole family and for the future of the whole community, the better for the whole country.


Preceding articles:

on this site:

Gender equality and women’s rights in the post-2015 agenda

and my articles on Stepping toes:

European Parliament stands for human dignity

Connection between women and environmental sustainability

Poverty and conservative role patterns


Do find to read:

Dignified role for the woman

Women, conservative evangelicals and their counter-offensive

Women Delivering Development: Reproductive Health, Environment and the Post-2015 Agenda


  • Benefit cap ‘not achieving aims’ (
    just 10% of 747 households affected were known to have found jobs and nearly 50% got extra funds from the council to make up for money lost.
    Couples and lone parents will now not receive more than £500 a week, while a £350 limit applies to single people.
  • Parenthood is a… (
    Parenthood is a long journey which ends with adult children. I can only judge my success as a parent by the adults my children become.
  • It Takes a Village (
    Parenting, as I see it, is the art and skill of raising a child to adulthood, in which they arrive well-adjusted, healthy, with a strong sense of self and the ability to connect with others in a way which is meaningful for them.  Perhaps this is the mission statement of parenthood.
  • Motherhood!….Part 5 {Whither Womanhood} (
    In religion, parent-honor is almost a form of worship! Virtually every religion carves a special top-notch niche for fathers and mothers…….”
    As things stand, motherhood seems to be rated above womanhood or regarded as the defining factor and crown of womanhood!
    In not-so-liberal cultures, barrenness or, not bearing the ‘right gender’ of children is considered the fault of the woman and enough grounds for dissolving a marriage or desecrating it with impunity!
  • Prince William describes his joy at parenthood (
    As things stand, motherhood seems to be rated above womanhood or regarded as the defining factor and crown of womanhood!
    In not-so-liberal cultures, barrenness or, not bearing the ‘right gender’ of children is considered the fault of the woman and enough grounds for dissolving a marriage or desecrating it with impunity!
  • The Population Control Agenda Is Being Relentlessly Pushed In American Public Schools (
    Do you want your kids to be taught that the earth has too many people and that they should have no more than two children for the good of the planet?
    The population control agenda is being relentlessly pushed in high school textbooks, in classroom instruction and by outside organizations that are given constant access to our high school students.
    Today, Planned Parenthood is allowed to directly teach kids about sex, pregnancy and birth control in high schools all over America.  If you can believe it, Planned Parenthood actually has a clinic inside one Los Angeles high school.  And according to the official Planned Parenthood website, Planned Parenthood delivers close to 900 presentations to high school students in the Los Angeles area every single year…
  • Letters To A Natalist World: I Don’t Want Children Because I Don’t Want Children (
    A childfree person can’t say that they don’t want children without someone asking “why not?” and then proceeding to ask “what if that was not a factor?” You seem to, for reasons I can not even begin to imagine without a degree is psychology, desperately wish to imagine some alternate universe in which I am not exactly who and what I am, but am more like… you.Sure, childcare costs are expensive. It can be more than people pay in rent month to month. What a waste! But even if reliable and safe childcare cost me absolutely nothing, I still would not want children.
    It’s true that having children interferes with work. It hurts your career in the short and long term. As it should, in a fair world. What else can you expect to happen when you take time away from actually doing work? But even if there would be no impact on my career, I still would not want children.


  • When gender inequality is good economics (
    Saadia Zahidi heads the Women Leaders and Gender Parity Program at the World Economic Forum and is founder and co-author of the annual Global Gender Gap Report, released October 25. The views expressed are the writer’s own. Gender inequality is good economics. Yes, you read that correctly.

About Marcus Ampe

Retired dancer, choreographer, choreologist Founder of the Dance impresario office and archive: Danscontact-Dansarchief plus the Association for Bible scholars, the Lifestyle magazines "Stepping Toes" and "From Guestwriters" and creator of the site "Messiah for all". - Gepensioneerd danser, choreograaf, choreoloog. Stichter van Danscontact-Dansarchief plus van de Vereniging voor Bijbelvorsers, de Lifestyle magazines "Stepping Toes" en "From Guestwriters" en maker van de site "Messiah for all".
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