National Single Parent Day

Alex Gerardo, Staff Writer

Before children turn 18, more than half of the nation’s children will grow up with single
or divorced parents. On March 21, people across America will be observing National Single
Parent Day by taking the time to appreciate the hard work of their parents, but also to observe the
long term impact of their parents’ separation.

One OHS student who will remain anonymous, spoke up about her life growing up with
separated parents. “Both my parents worked, [so] I had to watch my brothers,” she said.
“I learned to be independent at a young age. Me and my brothers were also really close,
because we moved a lot between parents and states almost every year.”

According to Divorce Affects Young Children Differently than Adolescents, psychologist
Carl Pickhardt explains, “…divorce tends to intensify the child’s dependence and it tends to
accelerate the adolescent’s independence; it often elicits a more regressive response in the child
and a more aggressive response in the adolescent.”

“I felt my parents didn’t really like me and [I] felt abandoned. I was a really angry child
and never wanted any help.”

In Divorce and Children, Sarah-marie Hopf quotes,“Good parenting and extra-familial
protective factors such as peer relationships, schools, and support from nonparental adults
including mentors and neighbors also contribute to children’s resilience and effective coping.”

Without these factors supporting her and her siblings, living with each parent made it
difficult to sustain friendships, and even relationships with each other.

However, despite the harsh circumstances, she still thanks her parents for giving their
best efforts for her and her siblings.

“I appreciate that they gave me the best life they could.” she says.

“They apologized to me for all the mistakes they’ve made with me and my siblings and it
taught me that even though it may take a lot of time, everyone has the potential to change and
learn from their mistakes.”

“I remember my dad when he first came to one of my orchestra concerts. I had been
taking orchestra for three years and he was never able to go [to a concert] because he was busy
with work every day.”

“I was planning to quit because of some personal reasons, and [I] told him that this was
going to be my last concert. I wasn’t expecting him to go, I was just updating him so he wouldn’t
have to worry about picking me up after that.”

“About halfway through the concert my dad showed up late and awkwardly stood in the
back, since we didn’t have any open seats. [He] filmed the whole show and cheered me on.”
In reality, many families go through divorce or separation for one reason or another,
however, as seen here, it does not mean that children are doomed to fail or that they are less
likely to succeed in the future. Living in single parent situations can allow room for development
and change, despite the odds against them.