Single Moms and Missed Layups

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About Jim Jividen

Jim Jividen (@JimJividen) is a lawyer, a professionally produced playwright, a game show winner, and the owner of a 2009 Honda Accord on which he diligently makes payments. He can distinguish among dozens of different suplex variants and may be occasionally read at his two non-revenue producing blogs, Basically Gherkins and What if Steamboat Beat Hogan? Jim’s been a college instructor since the top of 2004 and is currently working in the mist as a Course Mentor for Western Governors University.


  1. John Schtoll says:

    And while this guy might be nuts, there is a TON of data that shows that children who grow up without a father do much worse than those that don’t.

  2. I don’t let too many things on the internet get to me, but this is a hot button topic for me. I’ve seen Bill Simmons allude to LeBron’s single mom upbringing as a reason for his occasional weakness of character (more in his personal life and in the media than on the court). It’s offensive to those of us who had a strong, single mom raise us. Yes, it’s a disadvantage in a lot of ways. Sure, there might be some data (as the last commenter mentions) to suggested that we “do much worse” (whatever that means) than those with a father figure in their lives. But LeBron is an adult, as are any number of men who were raised this way. At some point it stops mattering if you grew up without a dad. At some point it might even become an advantage, because most of the time the best lessons come from mistakes, even if they’re not your mistakes but someone else’s.

    • There isn’t just SOME data though, there is LOTS and LOTS of data from a lot of different sources that shows that it is an extreme disadvantage. And I think John is referring “do much worse’ as worse in just about every category i.e. educational attainment, prison time, drug use, teen pregnancy.

      • On LeBron specifically, it’s insane to suggest that any shortcomings he has–whether it’s having a bad game or announcing The Decision–are directly correlated to his being brought up by a single mom.

        On the “data,” no one’s doubting it exists. But it’s POSSIBLE to survive a tough childhood and be successful. Unless you’re in every single parent home to see what sort of life that kid had growing up, you can’t really point to data alone and say, “Oh…no wonder he’s so screwed up.”

        This reminds me a lot of Dave Chappelle’s comments on being called crazy. “It’s dismissive,” he said. The same goes for writing someone off because they’re from a single mother home.

  3. John Anderson says:

    I was raised by a single mom (widowed) and know my life would have been a lot different (and happier) if my dad hadn’t died. Not only financially, but also in philosophy. My mother is afraid of her own shadow. My mother always taught me to never expect things to work out. She figured I could never be disappointed. It also caused me not to strive. She taught me to be humble, which research sows doesn’t help men in interviews (or apparently relationships).

    My father in the other hand always believed to strive for the top. He left for another country to earn his PH D because of that he was for a time one of the top linguists of his time. Some books based on or incorporating his work were donated to Philippine Normal College when he died. My oldest brother told me that he asked dad what bread and honey tasted like. My father took him to the store and brought bread and honey so my brother could experience what it tasted like.

    On the other hand, my mother taught me to be kind and helpful. She always fed people who came to her door when they were hungry. She told me the story of a man walking across a bridge with a friend and accidentally loses his shoe in the river. He then tosses his other shoe in the river. His companion asks why he did that. He said I can’t use one shoe and maybe the person who finds them can use them.

    I think when you have a single parent, mom or dad, there is a perspective lost. I think it could be mitigated by having positive role models not of the parents gender. I think sometimes people lose the fact that boys need mothers and girls need fathers.

  4. These studies are all irrelevant because they apply to normal people. Lebron James is not normal. He is a god.

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