When we rush to do something for the children, there’s a long history of implementing changes that do not help children. Running out to block teens from using social media might also cut them off from the only source of support they have, especially kids who do not have support at home from their parents. Creating age verification requirements threatens our privacy and creates unlimited risks for identity theft. Rushing to do something because a few studies show a possible mental health risk is dangerous.
Ben points out that the Child Tax Credit was expanded to assist poor families with pandemic-related economic hardships in 2021.
The rate of childhood poverty dropped to historic lows.
Then it went away. And, well, what else would you expect?
According to NPR, “…A year ago, child poverty hit a historic low of 5.2%. The latest figures [a year after the child tax credits expired] put it at 12.4%, the same as the overall poverty rate. The surge happened as record inflation was rising and a lot of pandemic relief was running out, but Census officials and other experts say a key was the child tax credit.”
The parents trying to navigate the maze of mental healthcare while also trying to work to help pay for the care that winds up not being covered and be there for their other children as well. It’s a lot. All of that stress isn’t good for anyone’s health, mental and physical. Imagine trying to support a child with getting mental healthcare while also needing your own care, or dealing with illnesses.
It’s a mess. I don’t envy parents who find themselves in this position. If you know any parents in this boat, maybe see what they need. Find some way to take a little stress off. Provide a meal or two, run some errands for them, etc. They need it more than they will probably ever admit.