Originally a reply to Elf M. Sternberg.
writing about poverty.
I was raised by poor parents, and poverty extended into adulthood for me. If I wanted to spend time with a parent, I had to help them with the work they were doing simply because there was no other time in their days.
I don't remember more than a dozen times that my brother and I played a board game with an adult. My father never played anything with us - he would come home from work, eat, sleep, and get up and do it again. My mother was a stay at home parent, but filled her days with growing, gathering, and preserving food; making and repairing clothes; housework; and a half hour per day of watching one soap opera.
On the bright side, Mom did talk to us as she worked, and my parents did provide us with good, open-ended toys, and lots of books. When we were very little, Mom would stop to read to us, but by the age of 5 I took over reading to my brother.
Today, what I see of poverty is even worse. Now, unless they live only on income assistance, all available parents are working full time - possibly at more than one job. Many need to spend a lot of time traveling to their work extending their days even more.
They simply don't have the kind of time and energy that it takes to actively play with and educate a child and they know it! I know that their children are lacking stimulation, but I think that the parents need to have levels of stress reduced before they'll have anything else to give.
Besides, being a poor adult really does suck.