In the LA Times Op-Ed article, Orange Is the New Black actress Diane Guerrero penned this week,she makes the following statement:
"When my brother was deported, his daughter was just a toddler. She still had her mother, but in a single-parent household, she faced a lot of challenges. My niece made the wrong friends and bad choices. Today, she is serving time in jail, living the reality that I act out on-screen. I don't believe her life would have turned out this way if her father and my parents had been here to guide and support her."
Her comment seems to me to be a direct hit at single moms and our ability to raise responsible, law abiding children. As if children raised in a single-parent household have lesser opportunity and ability to succeed than those in a "traditional" family unit.
I had to take a few breaths before shouting my opinion from the rooftops. I have three daughters that I have given my life to as a proud single mom. They live well, are loved deeply and have every advantage the kids next door, where a dad is present in the home, have. They have rules, consequences and have the same behavioral expectations as they did when my ex-husband lived here.
At no time have I ever felt that because my children are being raised by a single mom that they will have fewer advantages than kids who had a two parent home. Though Ms. Guerrero's comments tend to go with the popular thought process that kids raised in single-parent homes have more issues than those who are not, I think the reality is that single moms spend more time worrying about their kids and "getting it right" than those who have an active partner in the home to focus on too.
I am all about quality parenting when it comes to my kids. I strongly disagree that simply because a child is raised in a single parent household, they will make poor decisions. In fact, I would say I am much more patient with my kids now, much more focused on them and their behavior and much more in tuned to their day to day activities. Thus being able to more accurately guide them to making better choices in their lives.
What Ms. Guerrero went through as a teen is unimaginable. I know the pain of losing a family all in one day. I have lost an entire family too and even I can not imagine the struggle she went through. But her comment on single-parent households is out of line and short sighted. Economics, extended family availability and more have to be considered in the equation. Society should not be slamming the hard-working, well-meaning single mom just because we can.