Students’ struggles with only one parent


Photo contributed by Sophia Shook

Sophomore Sophia Shook (Left) is pictured when she was 5-years-old with her older sister Shelby Shook (Right) and their father (Middle). Shook’s father was on a return home from being active in the army.

Jaycee Fitzgerald, Reporter

For some of the most important and notable parts of her life, SHS sophomore Sophia Shook has had to go through them without her father. Shook’s father has been in the military since 1992 and is still in active service with the National Guard, so Shook’s mother is her primary caretaker.

“He has missed a lot of things,” Shook said. “He has missed Christmases, Thanksgivings, birthdays, all of that. It was really hard on all of us.”

Shook is not the only student at SHS with a parent absent from her life. Numerous students only have a single parent taking care of them. Many argue that this can affect a student in various ways, both positively and negatively.

One other student with an experience similar, yet very different, to Shook’s is sophomore Stephanie Correa. Correa has been living with just her mother and siblings for the past six years.

The main similarity between Shook and Correa, is how much they miss their fathers. They both feel missing their fathers hits them harder around the holidays when a family is supposed to be whole.

“Our household is usually always happy, but there are times when it’s still hard,” Correa said. “I get sad mostly around the holidays.”

Besides missing their fathers, Correa and Shook have many other difficulties with having only one parent looking after them. Correa feels that the most difficult part of living with only her mother is how much stress it puts on her.

SHS social worker Jorie Depalma feels that this can be the case at times. Being the only parent taking care of a child can be hard for many reasons. The parent has to provide their basic needs, take them to extracurriculars, and be there to support them all on their own.

“(Being a single parent) can definitely affect the parent too,” Depalma said. “It can put more stress on them and they will have less of a support system for that.”

According to Shook, how stressed her mom can get is a concern of hers too. Shook says her mother being left to take care of them on her own has been a lot of work. Now that she and her sister are both older, it isn’t as hard. Shook says they do as much as they can to ease the stress on their mom.

“At first it was a lot for her,but now we are used to it and we can take care of ourselves,” Shook said.

Correa says she and her siblings do the same for their mother by taking on more responsibilities. She says this makes them more supportive of one another.

She feels that this has also made her family closer than ever. According to Correa, she feels that sticking together has brought them closer because it made them realize that they need one another to get by.