Two weeks ago I handed my son his first debit card for his own bank account. Since he’s 15 years old, I figured it was time for him to control his own money. For the past couple of years he’s received a minimal allowance, which he’s never complained about. Most kids would scoff at $20 a week, but not him. Every time I handed him a $20, you’d think he’d just received $100.
But what he didn’t know was that technically he was earning $40 a week for the errands he’s required to do. For the last several years the extra $20 he wasn’t getting was going directly into his account.
Two recent stories captured headlines and broke hearts across the nation. A 7-month-old baby was abandoned in a New York subway station and another baby died, allegedly suffocated by his mother at just 11 months old. Though the stories had different endings, both are tragedies, and in each case, the babies were being brought up by young mothers who were in over their heads and – in acts of apparent desperation – made choices that will haunt them the rest of their lives.
My point isn’t to condone the alleged actions of these two women. But it is to raise a question: If we as a society accept that there are people who become parents every day who aren’t ready for parenthood, why don’t we provide more options to help keep their children healthy and safe?