The Single Parent Story


Abigail Cayetano, Staff Writer

From 1968 to 2017 the percentage of unmarried parents has increased from 7% to 25%. As of 2017 25% are cohabiting, 12% solo dads, and 53% solo moms. The numbers are gradually increasing over time yet few elaborate on how the children are effected, long and short term growing up in these homes. While there have been many studies on children growing up in single-parent homes and how it affects them into adulthood, there are less studies of children who have both parents present but those parents are unable to successfully co-parent and put aside their own issues for the benefit of their offspring.

Lacey Gilmore, a 32 year old who grew up in a household with both parents who stayed together but weren’t a functional parental unit, described her upbringing as tension-filled.

“It felt like a game of chicken,” Gilmore said. “My parents often spent months without speaking to one another. Even though I had never heard them fight, the slamming of doors and pointed silence spoke volumes.”

A majority close to all of the kids who are found in situations like these would agree that it is in fact better to have been raised by one parent than for the parents to try and work things out simply because of the fact that it may cause an awkward, uncomfortable and quite dysfunctional household.

“I feel like it made me not trust men and I feel like it made me more mature more early,” Rachell Uribe, senior, said.

Separated families like these have an effect on how the child or children are when they grow up. The environment in which they were raised in can affect how they look at life and at others, potentially affecting their adult life, work-life, and relationships.

“I read passive-aggressive signals even if they aren’t there,” Gilmore said. 

Having grown up in a household is dysfunctional and somewhat separated can have an effect on, not only the person’s outlook on life, but their mental health in their life outside of that environment. The effect of witnessing passive aggressiveness growing up it can introduce anxiety and a lack of confidence when it comes to healthy relationships. Different people have different triggers when it comes to anxiety. This effects how this person acts in public and act with others. 

“It’s hard to have a relationship with the other members of the family because of the way the parents feel about each other and family members,” one person who wished to remain anonymous said. 

When parents get into a situation like this other family members begin to be effected as well as the child. Sometimes the family members get along, but other times it feels like having to choose sides. Family issues like these can drive kids to be depressed and end up thinking badly of both sides, destroying the family even more.

“Honestly I wonder what life would be like if my parents had stayed together,” anonymous person said.