Post # 1
This article was on the front page of the NY Times this morning,
Obviously statistics are just statistics and they don’t define anyone’s life (my folks split up when I was in first grade and I like to think I turned out OK), but some of the numbers on the impact on children of marriage/two parents are pretty interesting.
Post # 3
My parents, who both have masters degrees, were married for almost 20 years. Me & my sisters all have college degrees, but my parents did divorce. I guess the fact my dad is gay had something to do with it…either way, we all turned out great. I agree with you,op stas are just stats.
Post # 4
It is a lot harder to get by on a single income. It’s sad when single parents don’t get any support from their children’s other parent. 🙁
Post # 5
I came from a single parent household. My mom achieved a lot as a single parent (she had two Master degrees), mainly because she had a lot of help from my grandparents, aunts, and great grandfather (e.g. lending her money, baby sitting, emotional support) . My mom also worked very hard (I can remember sitting with her during her grad school classes at 6 and 7 years old and her staying up all night to write papers). She also only had one child, which in my opinion was the smartest decision.
I think it all has to do with the support system the person has and how much drive they have.
I came out fine, I have a Master’s degree and I am a good person. I am very proud that I had such a strong woman for a mother.
Post # 6
@karenlinebarger: Were you and your sisters mostly raised by the time your parents divorced?
Post # 7
Blahhh. I’m in a similar situation as ms. Schairer. This article made me a little upset. Like it was telling me that my kid is already set up to fail.
Post # 8
@aicila: You’re totally right — it’s the familial and economic support there. Men/partners aren’t magic, but a second income and a second pair of hands helping out on day-to-day work means a lot to quality of life and to the ability to improve that quality of life. Not to mention that the types of jobs that are out there now for people who haven’t finished college or a trade degree make it harder to move up and out of hourly wage/service type positions, which tend to be insecure, vulnerable to restructuring and have less generous benefits or none at all. People make individual choices (having children out of wedlock, divorcing with kids, not finishing college), but they don’t make those choices under circumstances that they choose (so the same choices don’t have the same consequences for everyone — Bristol Palin, anyone?)
Congratulations to your mom for her hard work and her success. I’m glad she was able to transcend her struggles and raise a great daughter. 🙂
Post # 9
This article reflects something I see every day in my community. The people from affluent backgrounds go to college, graduate and marry each other, then have children. The people from less educated backgrounds get pregnant and don’t get married. The two groups almost segregate themselves.
There’s something almost Darwinian about it – the people with better decision-making skills, impulse-control and so forth choose to mate with each other and breed even stronger college-attending super babies (OK sliiiight exaggeration). The people who aren’t the fittest are therefore left with a pool of potential mates who only have similar weak areas and their offspring pay the price in terms of opportunity.
The question is as a society how do we break the cycle?? It’s possible to raise great kids as a single parent but it’s a lot harder and often requires a lot more “help” from taxpayers. It’s a huge cost to society and yet the help we DO give is often not enough. I don’t think it’s a sex education issue. The teen pregnancy rate has been falling for a long time thank goodness. These are adults who are choosing to have these babies. How do we teach them to make better sexual choices?
This line struck me about the single mom profiled in the piece, talking about her relationship with the father of her children: They agreed that marriage should wait until they could afford a big reception and a long gown. On the one hand a shot gun wedding is not good, and the relationship ultimately failed so in her case maybe gettng married wouldn’t make a difference.
But putting off marriage in order to be able to afford a big party is something else. I know everyone should be able to have the wedding they want but when you have kids you have to calculate differently. I think this attitude is an example of the poor critical thinking that afflicts this segment of the population. You can’t make good choices about your life if you have no critical thinking skills and can’t prioritize. Is it something we can change in our education system? In our media/culture?
Post # 10
I find it a little odd that the article is focused on married vs non-married people and not dual vs. single parent families. It is American and not Canadian though.
Here, there are many common-law couples with children (especially in Quebec).
The biggest issues I see are:
Is the family above the poverty line.
Is a parent raising a child on their own.
Does the famiily have enough support.
Marriage doesn’t come up in the important issues when it comes to ‘classes’ to me.
Post # 11
That was a heavy article. I wish I could show it to my high school students.
Post # 12
Parents were not well off financially. Divorced when I was in high school. I was at a slight disadvantage, sure.
Post # 13
@Magdalena: Re: your last paragraph – I am shocked by how some of my co-wokers who have children and live paycheck to paycheck spend their money. They’re even married, so they have two incomes, but they live in pretty rough areas (I don’t know if that makes a difference). They complain about how much (insert basic need like rent or food) costs, but will get a designer bag, video games, etc. I don’t know. I was raised to be frugal. I really have no idea where some people’s financial priorities come from.
Post # 14
@Magdalena: You know the part about not geting married until they were able to afford it would have impressed me a bit more had they not gone on to have THREE children while living with their parents and not having a steady income. I count myself lucky that I didn’t have any accidental pregnancies because it could have happened when I was younger, for sure. Let me tell you though, if I did become pregnant I certainly would have taken EVERY precaution not to become pregnant again. It blows my mind that it can happen THREE times. Unless they planned it… I don’t know. I feel bad for the single mom in the story but on the other hand I feel like the situation could have been avoided had she focused on making better choices while younger.
Post # 16
- Wedding: September 2012 - Schloss Heiligenberg/ Spearfish Canyon Lodge
I found it interesting that the article made no mention of the effects that the availability of birth control (in particular pills) has. I am sure data on usage by age, race, and economic background could easily be connected to the studies mentioned. Proper knowledge and use of birth control among the middle class is certainly another reason why they don’t get pregnant as frequently before marriage.