Parenting takes more then just buying your kids gifts on Christmas and birthdays, and calling them several times a week. While money is also needed to pay for their cost of living. Child support payments DO NOT make up for lack of parenting.
Parenting takes love, understanding, compassion, encouragement, mentoring, and TIME. A lot of time to get all of that done for them. Children aren’t some magical being that poofs into your life out of thin air and says, “You look like you need some chaos in your life. I’m moving in with you and calling you Dad\Mom”. They have no say in when they are made, born, or to whom they are raised. WE make them, WE choose to carry them to term and birth them, WE choose to raise them. Until they turn 18, 16 in some states, they can’t walk away from us and raise themselves. So we, as the responsible “adult” should owe up to our choices and actually do them in full. Not in part, or when it’s convenient for us to.
Children need us to teach them how to dress, tie their shoes, make a basic (non-stove using) meal\snack for themselves, go potty alone, bath themselves, pick up their room when they are done playing, change the TV themselves, put in a movie on their own, read\write, tell time, count, add, talk, basic social skills, etc. They should be independent by age 13. At which point they need us to teach them responsibility and accountability of their own actions, and finding their way in life. (and now too, how to cook stove using meals) So they can take all that we’ve taught them in their first 13 years of life and apply them in actual day to day life. So that when they are legally old enough to be accountable as adults, they actually can be productive ADULTS that can support themselves.
Too often in families in which the parents are no longer in a relationship together. The non-custodial parent thinks acknowledging the child’s existence is better then walking completely out of their lives like some worse parents do and never seeing or speaking to the child again. They do the bare minimal to be in their child’s life and think that entitles them to be called Dad or Mom. NO IT DOESN’T! If you constantly have excuses to not be at school functions, to not be at their rehearsal\practice\games\etc, to not help them with their homework, to not take your child for a day or a weekend, or even a freaking afternoon… You do not deserve to be called anything then by your birth name. If you are nothing more then a paycheck and a phone call then you should be greeted on the phone by your child as “John” not Daddy, or “Mary” not Mom.
A 5 minute phone call to say ‘hey how ya doing?’ a few times a week makes you nothing more then a family friend. Hell, there are likely to be actual family friends that do more then you if that’s all you do. Child support makes you nothing but a financial backer to the child’s life. It does not make you a parent. You are not teaching that child anything other then how to be an irresponsible slacker.
Step up your game boys and girls!!! Children do grow up to see you for the worthless person you are to them and resent\hate you for it.