Seems that there is more than enough guilt to go around these days but single parents get an extra helping. I’ve read study after study that says because my daughter is growing up in a single parent home she is at risk. Statistics show that children of divorce are more likely to drop out of high school, get pregnant before they are 18 or be “idle” after high school.
A large majority of Hailey’s friends are from single parent homes. Most of them are not pregnant, some of them are, or already have children. Some of her friends from intact families had babies in high school.
My daughter has finished high school and does not have a baby, my niece, however, had her son in her senior year but still finished school and plans to further her education. My grandparents were married until the day they died, yet my mother, their only child, had me at 17.
Statistics can be scary and as single parents, I think, we need to be aware of what the risks are and do everything we can to combat them. This does not mean that our married friends can fall down on the job just because they have an intact family.
Teenagers are notorious for making mistakes, its part of the learning process. Children of single parents probably have more free time than children of intact families, more time to find some sort of mischief, but that’s not always the case.
I really get tired of the blanket statements that tell me because I got divorced my daughter will not achieve. In some cases, I think it gives kids an out. No one expects them to achieve so when life gets hard, they give up.
We need to stop telling any child they can’t succeed. As a society we need to support each other, no matter what our family looks like. It’s hard enough raising children but once we start listening to everything “they” say, the job seems impossible.
My daughter is a child of divorce but that doesn’t mean she hasn’t been surrounded by people who love her and do everything they can to help her succeed. I can’t help but think that the love we give our children is the most important thing, it is what grounds them and gives them room to grow.