I was stupid. I admit it. But let my foolishness and naivety serve as an example the rest of us can learn from.

We all know you do not help out single moms (well…more so than you’re already forced to through taxation), but you never ever help out their kids. Allow me to explain.

I was brought up poor.  I didn’t have much in the way of toys growing up, and the biggest let down to me as a child, perhaps even to this day, was waiting Christmas after Christmas for just ONE toy I desperately wanted, only to rip open my “gifts” and see that my parents had used Christmas as another excuse to buy me the staples in life they were obligated to.

Clothes. Socks.
School supplies.
Etc.

So I meet a “fan” over teh interwebz who is a single mother. I’m not bigotted, just firm with single moms, and so I accept her friend request and we develop a friendly online relationship.  Over the months, however, I find out that her child doesn’t have much in the way of toys.  The father is not around and the mother is tight on money.  And so I harken back to those cold wintery days in the early 80’s where I desperately wanted a REAL toy, only to have my months’ worth of hope crushed.  Not wanting the kid to experience the same, I idiotically let my emotions get in the way of my brains and asked the single mom what the kid wanted for Christmas.

The kid wanted some kind of Barbie doll set.  Figuring this would make the young girl happy (and more than happy to oblige reinforcing beauty, femininity, and other female standards on a young girl) I said, “Give me your mailing address.”

Went to the Amazon, purchase said Barbie doll set, and mailed it to the young girl.  Thanks ensued, smiles were had, and dare I admit I almost felt like I did something selfless and Christmasy.  The kid got her gift and her Christmas would go down as a pleasant and memorable one.

Fastforward 2 months.

I’m on the facebook and I see this same single mom, desperate for money, woefully outgunned by the events that transpired before her, whose child was no more than a stranger’s purchase away from an unsatisfying Christmas, celebrate the purchase of a… (are you ready for it?)

60 inch screen TV.

Pictures and everything included, there it was, a 60 inch TV this presumably cash-strapped single mom had just bought.

Somewhat perturbed, I inquired, “Dude, what’s with the 60 inch screen TV purchase?  I thought you couldn’t even afford your child gifts for Christmas.”

And in true financially and mathematically ignorant American single mom form she said, “I’m purchasing it on a five year plan.  You gotta live life!”

Indeed.

The lesson from my stupidity is not one of not helping out children.  Nor is it that we shouldn’t feel some pity or sadness for the child-victims of single parent households.  But rather to realize those children are beyond our help because any form of assistance, aid, or charity must first go through the single parent.  In other words you can’t just go up to some kind on the street and give them money no matter how genuine and altruistic your intentions, as it would be pushing pedophilia.  Ergo, since the single parent (99.96% the times the mom) is the head of the household, any help intended towards the kid must first go through her.  And since by default and definition single parents have bad judgement, you can expect whatever charity you intend towards a child to be wasted or squandered at least partially.

The core of the issue is that the biggest problem children of single parent households face isn’t one of poverty or lack of toys.  It’s the fact they have the inferior parents they do.  And since it isn’t the kid that needs fixing, but rather the parents, there’s not much your altruism and charity can do to help out those kids no matter how much you pity them.

Read Next: Single Women Want Your Money