Eight Reasons America is Losing the War on Poverty - Page 4
Published: June 21, 2011 at 11:22 am
Good character can enhance a child's sense of self-worth--it can give them dignity. If our schools, parents and government programs structured pride as a key motivational tool for the child to do better in school and at home and work, the child has a greater chance of living a better life.
7. Improve the language skills of impoverished children: Children in poverty often use slang and bad grammar, but this is the language of their culture. This is how they talk to each other at home and in the neighborhood. I didn’t learn the proper use of grammar until well into my twenties and even then, it took years to change my behavior from a poverty culture to a middle class culture?
Until I learned the language of the middle class, I was continuously rejected and isolated by members of the middle class. Teachers and government programs can teach impoverished children the differences in their language and that of the middle and upper classes. Once the child learns the language of the different classes, it will definitely improve their chances of living a successful life.
8. Poverty Victims Seek Immediate Gratification. Children whose memories are storehouses of deprivation, neglect and violence lack the ability to cope with the present, or to envision a future bright enough to justify postponing immediate gratification. Their only guide to behavior is what they learn at home and in their neighborhoods. A childhood that never gave them the chance to make consistent connections between cause and effect leaves them feeling powerless to influence the course of their lives—a sense of defeat that keeps them without hope and without goals—stuck at the very bottom of our society. It is a constant reminder that the odds are stacked against them. Immediate gratification is a reaction to the deprivations of poverty.
Dropping out of high school in order to earn enough money to purchase a car might seem short-sighted and foolish. But this behavior would not be abnormal in the poverty culture. I dropped out of high school in my senior year.
Poverty victims are accustomed to living on the fringes of society. Therefore making a sacrifice in order to achieve immediate gratification is not a behavior for which an impoverished child would feel guiltyContinued on the next page