I wanted to know at least one virtue of Kelley's oldest son.
"His kindness. He's incredibly kind, but with boundaries. I'm kind as well, but I don't have boundaries. I'm kind until I'm done and then I am empty, I am pissed off and resentful."
Q: Are love and affection enough for a child who grows in a single parent home?
"No. I want to say yes because I was very affectionate and loving with my son, but no, love and affection are not enough when arriving just from one parent.
Every child is different. Some kids are happy if you take them to the mall and gave them $20 to play there. Some other kids will go to their room and you won’t hear from them until the dinner time comes. Other kids are kinetic. They make noise. They need to be seen for who they are, not for what they do, for how they look, or for their grades. Actually, the need of a child is to be seen."
Q: You have two children, one who grows up with a single parent and the other one who grows up with both parents. How do you recognize their need of love? Is there anything they do so you can see by their attitudes or actions?
"My older son, Richard becomes a drug addict when Dennis, my husband, the father of my second child rejected him. Dennis promised to Richard that he will adopt him when he'll become an adult and he never kept his promise."
Q: What's the difference between single dads to a single mom?
"I think our Society give more credit to a single father. He's the privileged one. In the 80s and 90s, a single dad was considered like the Jesus reincarnated. People were like 'oh my God is so amazing a man doing it all by himself.' I used to get so upset when I heard, 'He’s babysitting his kids'. Timeout people, he's not babysitting his kids he's being a dad.
Q: According to the statistics today single parenting is growing fast. Is this fact kind of disease, fashionable, or is just part of life?
"This question has so many layers, but I can tell you 38 years ago wasn't fashionable and wasn't a disease. It was a fact to be ashamed. It meant that single mom kid probably will join a gang and won’t finish the high school. Single moms were judged like, 'What kind of women is she who left herself to get pregnant and then keep the kid? She could abort it, adopt it or, as my stepfather used to say, keep her legs pressed together.'
So, back then single mom wasn’t part of life it was a fact to be avoided. Now families are more open to single parenting. I know a bunch of people who have babies and they aren’t married.
Raising a child from the time that people started walking on the earth is difficult. And what matters is, if the child have people who love him. Our children need to be loved, accepted and certainly not to be judged by their parents.
Q: What about the Sperm Donor? Is a sperm donor using a single motherhood by choice?
"That's like having your freedom and it happens for the merit of reason. I'm not against it, honestly, but from my perspective, kids don't want to be different from their classmates. They want to have the mom and the dad, the dog, and the car just like everybody else. They want to have everything that their friends have.
Basically, our kids and we all are guided by the society. You think being a single mom means, nobody will tell you what to do and how to do it but actually, the society will tell you all the time what and how to do it whether you are aware or not. Society tells you exactly every day what it thinks about you. And if you don't believe me, pay attention to that look of your kid who comes home and says, 'I want a dad.'
I worked hard to make sure my son wasn't going to be judged for what I did but he was. Your child can have the best education ever, can live in a wealthy home but you still need to get married, at least you still need to have a partner. Your child needs certain opposite-sex figure and if you can have someone who’s gonna commit to that for the first 18 years of your child's life then you go for it. But if you think that you are going to do it alone, good luck."
Q: What's the important component of our family's structure?
"Love, acceptance, and consistency. I really keep back and forward with this word. We should show to our children that we love them for what they are not for what we want them to be, not for how they look or smell. That feels tangible to me. People who had rough childhoods never felt their parents love."
Q: What about the Educational achievement of the child?
"The school for a child is a big deal. Who is sitting next to him, who is playing with him in the playground, or who is teasing him? It's important to pay attention to all these. But also important is understanding that maybe your child is not an Einstein or he won’t get A in everything. We should know our child, listening to him, seeing him consistently. We need to pay attention to our children.
I swear to God people lately pay more attention to a dog than to a kid. When the dog started limping on legs people pay attention saying, 'Oh God…What happened to Fifi?' But kids won’t show you their pain and especially teenagers. They hide they turbulence even if they get beaded up every day at schools or get shouted to their locker. They won't tell anybody at home because they already feel sheet from school and the parents aren't paying any attention to them.
Teenagers want to get away from their parents, want to go out to the world and be who they really are, whatever the hell that means I'm still learning who I am."
Q: According to the researchers Multilevel modelling, results say that high proportions of children from single-parent families perform very poorly in math and reading achievement tests in schools.
"There is some truth to that. I got pregnant while living in a two-parent, upper-middle-class home. The thing is, sometimes if you can’t get over your mistake you go through more mistakes. Look at my life, I'm an f****** miracle. Look where I came from but oops, I got pregnant. My son who grows up in difficulties didn't get married until he was 33 and he became a father on his 37th. My youngest son is 25 he is still single so I'm still okay we broke the cycle.
Both of my children were very good in school. Conclusion children mean Love, affection, acceptance, Attention, and consistency. This is the recipe to raise a good Human been for a good society.
Single-Parent means being both parents and that is 24 hours in 7 Day’s job without days off. Richard still calls me on Father's Day, telling me 'Thank you for being good Dad.'