The loss of a parent and being left with a single parent is one of the most overwhelming situations to be faced with as a teenager. It challenges the family unit and changes an entire lifestyle. 

The number of children living in a single parent home in the United States has climbed to over 20 million, doubling since 1960. Since then, we have more knowledge of how living with a single parent can have a negative effect on a child’s mentality, as it did mine.

Hi, I’m Jessica Iasimone and since I was fourteen years old I have lived in a singleparent household with my father and younger brother after my mother passed away from a two-year battle with pancreatic cancer. 

Living a relatively normal life can change in an instant. I was hit with the loss of my mother four months into my freshman year of high school. While I started my first year eager and determined, this was a major obstacle that greatly impacted my life and would take time to recover from. 

My mother passing away and making the transition to living only with my father and brother led me to experience some of the darkest days of my life.

As it did with myself, having a single parent will lead to more overwhelming circumstances in a child’s life. These may include emotional distress and more trouble functioning in school and with family roles. 

Children in a single parent household tend to feel a greater sense of responsibility. With more responsibility there often times comes more stress. In my own life I felt a greater sense of independence as well as taking on more adult matters and responsibilities than many others around me. I had to balance raising my younger brother, helping out around the house, staying on top of schoolwork and participating in activities and assisting my father in running the family business. 

The lack of an emotional attachment to a parent may lead the child to develop feelings of insecurity. My mother was and always will be my hero, best friend and the person to look up to. To not have her here to have that special mother and daughter bond with has been difficult. However, it has also helped me establish a greater relationship with my father. 

Having a single parent working to support two children and be a part of their lives has been a challenge and required many adjustments. However, I feel closer to my father because the times we spend together make us appreciate each other even more and realize the importance of family. 

I found it to be most helpful to talk to others, whether that be family or friends, instead of keeping all the thoughts and emotions trapped inside my head. I had remained closed off for a while until I realized that I needed to make a change in order to bring myself back to a more positive mental state. 

Whatever the situation may be, making the change to living with a single parent can be hard and it can be helpful to discuss how you feel with people you feel most comfortable reaching out to. I realized all the people that truly cared about me and would be there for me to help no matter what. 

Everyone’s situation and reasoning for experiencing life with a single parent is different. I found that although the tragedy that occurred in my life has taken a huge part of me away, I managed to get back on my feet. It has made me grow into the person I have become today. I am now even more grateful for everything I have and the people in my life. As I transition into college and approach five years without my mother, I have strengthened the relationships with the important people in my life and have realized who truly matters.