Matthew McConaughey: ‘A two-parent home is usually a healthier home’

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Matthew McConaughey got his Oscar in 2014 for Dallas Buyer’s Club, which doesn’t seem like it was that long ago. While he’s made some questionable decisions since (Free State of Jones, The Dark Tower) he’s continued to pick meatier roles over the romcoms that launched his career. That could just be due to the fact that romcoms dried up for years (but not anymore), and it shows that McConaughey isn’t sitting on his laurels. McConaughey has White Boy Rick and Serenity coming out this year, both of which look like prestige films, and The Beach Bum coming out next year, which just looks fun. He’s getting Oscar buzz for White Boy Rick in particular, which tells the true story of a police informant who was wronged by the government. That’s out this week! I usually really enjoy reading and watching McConaughey interviews, but he made a statement about single parent households to THR which rubbed me the wrong way. He sounds like Dan Quayle here:

What does this movie have to say about families that are just struggling to get by?
It’s kind of a stark reminder that we see every day — that a two-parent home is usually a healthier home, that you can trace a lot of things back to [family dynamics]. Actually my wife and I work with after-school kids who come from a lot of single-parent homes, and a lot of the trouble that these children are getting into from lack of support back home is very scientific. It’s also, some of these people, like the character I play, they’re born into it. Their hearts are in the right place, but they don’t have the means to succeed, and it can be cyclical.

[From THR]

We haven’t heard anything like this from McConaughey before and it’s problematic. He plays a single dad to a teenager, so maybe he was focusing on his character and this very sad story. He should have answered the actual question and discussed poverty, not single parent households. He’s the one who brought up single parent households, not the interviewer. The real issue affecting the health of families, two-parent and one-parent families alike, is poverty, health care and access.

The story McConaughey is telling in White Boy Rick is based on the real story of Richard Wershe Jr, who was incarcerated up until last year. McConaughey plays his father, and in preparation for the role he visited Wershe Jr. in jail several times. Wershe Jr’s release is thought to be due to the renewed attention to his case from this movie.

Here’s McConaughey and his wife, Camila Alves, at TIFF for the premiere of White Boy Rick. Shes in a Romona Keveza gown and it’s too bridal-looking for me.
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107 Responses to “Matthew McConaughey: ‘A two-parent home is usually a healthier home’”

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  1. Slowsnow says:

    Camilla’s coat is not symmetrically buttoned and that is giving me hives.

    Alright alright, alright. Can we really pinpoint the single parenting as a cause of unhealthy (poor choice of words…) life? Aren’t there other factors? If a single parent is alone to escape violence, surely the bad stuff came from said violence and not single-parenting right? Aren’t we being a little one-neuronical here?

    • BabyJane says:

      Is that why the qualifier “usually” pervades? I think that’s to say “all things being equal, a two parent home is more ideal.” It would be hard to argue against that, I suppose. Anyone who says a two-parent home is ALWAYS better is worthy of your criticism, but that’s not what was said here.

    • Enormous Coat says:

      Or could he simply say that we need to create a culture where children have the best possible starts in life, and that begins with making sure their parents have access to the tools and resources they need to make healthy decisions. Bringing family structure into it ignites an argument that doesn’t get at root causes.

  2. Rapunzel says:

    Oh f*ck off, Matty. Your nonsense is exactly why women stay with abusive a**hole and cheating douchebags for the sake of their children. And it’s ridiculous.

    There are plenty of two-parent homes that are not as healthy as a single parent home. Many children feel much better when their parents split because they’re so unhappy together. It makes for much healthier atmosphere.

    • Kelly says:

      This. My parents weren’t in a physically abusive relationship, but they were very toxic for each other. They stayed together until I graduated (youngest) and then divorced because of bullshit like this. I would have been a lot happier growing up if they had divorced when I was young instead of having to hear their fights for years.

      • Eleonor says:

        Same here, only my parents are still together and they make each other life a living help.
        Once they were asking me for advice and I told they should have gotten divorce ages ago, and now it’s their business.

      • neocleo says:

        Same again. I prayed at the age of 11 for my parents to divorce (they had a 3 month trial separation). They stayed together for seven more years. Seven more years of listening to them fight and say terrible things to each other. No wonder I didn’t marry until I was 32 years old.

    • Jordana says:

      Thank you.

      As someone going through a divorce right now, from a toxic emotionally abusive marriage with a serial cheater, and 3 little kids in tow, Matty can shut his stupid mouth.

    • tealily says:

      Yeah, I was just coming here to say “well, that has a hell of a lot to do with who the two parents are.”

    • Thaisajs says:

      Exactly. I may be a single mom raising my daughter alone, but I can guarantee you we live in a happier home than my sister, who’s raising her daughter in a household with a verbally abusive alcoholic. She won’t leave him because she thinks it would be bad for her daughter. UGH. Don’t get me started. So infuriating.

    • CoffeePot says:

      In complete agreement. I was raised in a 2 parent home that was decidedly unhealthy. If one parent is mentally ill, and the other parent just enables it…it is twice the crap that a kid with one defective parent puts up with. My childhood basically was fixated by my fathers mood swings, and my mother made every last one of his abusive tantrums ‘my fault’ somehow.

      When they divorced in my adulthood, I told them they were a decade too late to not be considered completely selfish.

    • GigiC says:

      Thank you sfm Rapunzel.

      I hate this two parent home shit. My sister chose to keep her last child and have it alone because her ex husband was a narcissistic douche bag who did nothing but undermine her and her children’s self esteem.

      On the other side, if it works for you then I’m glad.

      But there are other reasons why this statement is bs.

    • Self-Sabotage says:

      All of you are reading his comment entirely different than I am.

      He wasn’t saying stay in a abused relationship. He was saying that it is more of a struggle for the average 1 parent household than a 2 parent household and he is entirely correct.

      A loving, 2 parent household can offer more support, financially and emotionally than a 1 parent household. Having said that, if you are in a abusive relationship, it is probably better to split than stay in it.

      • Trashaddict says:

        I also think he was just talking mathematically about the financial and energy resources two people can bring. One person has finite energies and can only do so much between work, keeping a house, and raising children, even if they are financially OK. Some have the resilience to manage and thrive in those circumstances, some do not. Some have helpful extended family, some do not. Things like equal pay, a more understanding work (and school parent) environment, and childcare vouchers could go a long way to support single parent families.

    • Carrie says:

      He’s always been problematic. He’s just an actor with no authority or expertise qualified to speak or judge on this.

    • Brian Brown says:

      He did say ‘usually’. So…I mean if you think that’s the same as being definite and saying ‘all’ then there might be some issues with reading comprehension.

    • OldBeeyutch says:

      Our one mom (me) situation may not have time “to work with after school program kids who are sooooo underprivileged by comparison” and I’m no model who married mr bongo billionaire…but our family is Awesome- small and ALL!

  3. Cait says:

    Given that a number of single parent families that I know are single parent due to the death of one parent I think this is highly insensitive.
    Even disregarding the death of a parent this is obviously completely disrespectful to hard working single parents, but I just can’t help thinking of my recently bereaved friend and how this would be like a punch in the gut to her.
    Also I thought that was their wedding photo.

  4. RspbryChelly says:

    I like him but I disagree w his theory. I grew up in a 2 parent household but it wasn’t the healthiest dynamic…parents stayed together for the kids but didn’t like/were no longer in love & resented each other. Kids benefit best with parents who are happy, be it together or with other spouse’s, but never simply “for their sake.”

    • Alix says:

      He was making a generalization, not a universalization, folks. Try to recognize the difference.

      • waitwhat says:

        You’ve got single parents here who bust their butts and still deal with this attitude from other parents, teachers, doctors, etc. every day. Try to recognize their justified dismay at his comments.

      • BabyJane says:

        I agree with you, Alix, and most child psychologists and pediatricians agree with McCounagHAAAAY- all things being equal, a two parent home is idea. But that is ALL THINGS BEING EQUAL. No one is suggesting someone should stay with an abuser for the numbers.

      • Self-Sabotage says:

        Yes Alix and you too BabyJane. McConaughey was talking in generalities. 2 parent household is better than 1 parent household, usually.

      • RspbryChelly says:

        Im sorry, judging from our own experiences are we not allowed to disagree w this???

      • Brian Brown says:

        Y’all too much. He said USUALLY.

      • BabyJane says:

        RspbryChelly…
        Correct. Because that would be permitting anecdotes to supersede data. Data shows that, all other things being equal, a two parent home is more ideal than a one parent home. Your personal experience is a (very valid) anecdote, and, I would imagine, all things were NOT equal in your experience and therefor your anecdote does not even apply.

  5. Mariposa says:

    He didn’t have to go there, but, statistically, he is probably correct that overall kids from 2 parent homes do better educationally/financially etc. But this is only because those families usually have more money, more support, and are more stable (because you have a backup parent if anything goes wrong). It’s not really rocket science, and it doesn’t mean that plenty of kids from one-parent families don’t do perfectly well.

    I wouldn’t have said it, because it comes off as smug. But, I don’t think he’s wrong.

    • Slowsnow says:

      If he’d said it the way you did, skipped the word “unhealthy”, fine, I would have been almost ok with it. But it was extremely unfortunate the way he phrased his view. (Which I am not sure is completely on par with yours either).

    • ByTheSea says:

      He said “usually,” so I don’t have a problem with it, either. What you said, Mariposa, summed it up perfectly. When you have more money in the household, more support, more eyes on the kid, etc., then yes, the kid is likely to do better overall. Are there exceptions? Of course. Are there circumstances beyond people’s control that can lead to a single parent household? That’s a given. But he’s not saying anything really offensive here.

      • jwoolman says:

        Probably kids benefit simply by having more adults strongly entangled in their lives. The two-parent thing is not the real factor. Having another adult family member in the same house especially or even just very close by and frequently present probably makes the difference. Multigenerational living has some advantages this way over the “nuclear family”.

        And of course not recognizing the role financial stress plays is rather blinkered.

    • LT says:

      He definitely could have phrased it better, but that being said, being a single parent is HARD (I am a single parent, as is my partner). We are fortunate to have economic resources and flexible careers, but even so, it’s just more difficult to raise kids without a partner slogging through it with you.

    • Snowflake says:

      Yeah, i kind of agree. Lot easier doing parenting with 2 people imo. Obvs not all are healthy though. Can be good or bad with single parents or married. Neither one is perfect

    • Millenial says:

      So, in some cases, he is correct. Studies have been done on things like stress and educational attainment and two-parent households do come out ahead, largely due to income and having more time. Obviously, though, a lot of people are better off with a single parent when the other parent is toxic. In a sense, yes, they will often be “worse off” by some measure, but they would have been worse off than worse off they already are if they had stayed with the toxic parent, which I think a lot of the studies fail to account for, if that makes any sense.

      He would have been better off to just leave this one alone. As we can see from this comment thread, it’s definitely going to stir up some feelings.

      • Esmom says:

        Yes. Clearly it’s a complex and nuanced issue and doesn’t lend itself to a quick answer. He really should have sidestepped it. As CB said, he could have simply focused on poverty and access to healthcare as major issues facing Americans today.

      • Original T.C. says:

        According to ‘Psychology Today’ those prior studies were flawed, poorly designed. They didn’t take into account other variables. This is no longer the belief amongst Psychologists and psychiatrist. Child experience more psychological harm in a 2-parent family where parents are always fightings and stay together *only* for the “good of the children”

        https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/contemplating-divorce/200911/divorce-doesnt-harm-children-parents-fighting-harms-child

      • KK2 says:

        Yes. Also, divorce doesn’t always end the fighting. If you divorce your toxic spouse and spend the rest of your kid’s childhood engaged in a nasty custody battle, sniping back and forth at each other, then the divorce didn’t solve much either, vis a vis the kids. It’s really about having parents who are stable and can model good relationships (even if not “perfect”). Two parent households are often better off because of better finances and better support network, but single parents can have fine finances and great support networks too. He probably should have left it alone. Its a way more complicated issue. And the point is just that everyone benefits from strong financial and social support networks, so we should invest in helping people attain that.

      • Self-Sabotage says:

        Original T.C.

        I wouldn’t say that is what the article you are linking too is saying.

        2 parent households that are of equalness to a 1 parent household will always be superior. The issue with studies is that the family of the 2 parent household has different variables than the 1 parent household so hard to make 100% comparison. Also mentioned if a household has abusive fighting, it maybe better for the child to split. But you know what, show me any household that doesn’t have some fighting. All parents fight. Some worse than others and some do it in private.

    • Mabs A'Mabbin says:

      Exactly Mariposa, he sounds smug af. He’s only on his parental pedestal spouting ‘scientific’ quantifiers because he’s a father and still married. When someone cheats, and divorce is around a Texas-sized bend in the dirt road, he’ll explain the scientific merits of a successful ‘dismount.’

      • waitwhat says:

        I’m finding some of the other posters here are smug af, too. Disappointing. I appreciate your sensibility, Mabs.

    • RunnerMomLawyer says:

      He’s been around long enough that he should know that if you are going to touch on a subject like single parenthood, you should have your exact message locked down. It’s not like he didn’t have time to prepare, he’s doing a pre-scheduled interview for a movie about a single parent. Maybe he should fire his publicist and hire Mariposa instead because she said it perfectly.

    • Belle says:

      Thank you for stating this!!! There are always those people out there ready to point out the exception and most extreme cases to make something or everything problematic because even single detail was given. To me it was clear he meant if the home is happy, there is equality and love then yes two parent happy is way better than just one. Like it or not, kids can benefit tremendously from having two parents who are healthy in mind period. Although we all were better off with one healthy parent vs one who is toxic or both unhealthy… we all wish (the kids) that things could be different or still present in the event one parent did indeed pass away.

  6. Rhys says:

    Oh, his romcom days! I always wondered what happened to that blonde actress “fiancée” of his who had to throw him at JLo in “The wedding planner”?

    • Lozface says:

      She married Pete Sampras and didn’t do too many other big roles after the Wedding Planner. She was in Billy Madison too before that!

      • Rapunzel says:

        She was married to Sampras before the wedding planner. They ended up having a couple of kids later, which is why I think she hasn’t worked too much.

        She was also Jennifer love Hewitt’ sister in I know what you did last Summer.

    • Grant says:

      Bridgette Wilson-Sampras! In addition to all of her great roles already mentioned, she also played Sonya Blade in the original Mortal Kombat motion picture–after Cameron Diaz had to drop out because of an injury during filming.

  7. Arpeggi says:

    The issue is always, always poverty. One parent = one income and it makes finding a good place near a good school, getting proper health, dental, eye care or having enough for daycare/afterschool programs difficult (cuz with one income, you’ll have to be at work comes 3:30/4:00). The costs mght add up if the other parent is incarcerated…

    The answer to this problem isn’t having 2 parents, it’s often impossible/unhealthy to stay with the other parent; the answer is a proper social safety net. Redistribution of funds for education throughout cities and states so that the poor counties/hood get the money they need to have good schools, universal healthcare and drug and dental coverage, community centers, food redistribution (instead of having groceries throwing stuff to waste), etc. It’s annoying to see that no one wants to fix it.

    • HelloSunshine says:

      Thank you! Poverty is such a huge issue when it comes to single parent homes. And when a single parent is working two to three jobs to support their family, they have less time to build community around them that isn’t family to help with their kids. This CAN lead to kids getting involved in bad stuff, misbehaving, etc. but isn’t a guarantee of it. Using words like “unhealthy” when talking about single parent households isn’t helping at all. There are so many things that can cause a family to become a one parent household and his phrasing isn’t okay.

      • FhMom says:

        ‘Unhealthy’ is not a word that should be used to describe the number of parents in a household. The health of a family is so much more complex than that. But I doubt McConaughey was trying to be controversial.

      • HelloSunshine says:

        @FHmom yeah I don’t think he was trying to be controversial or offensive and I’m sure he understands that it’s a very complex situation. He was speaking generally and should’ve been more careful about his language choice but I don’t think he was trying to be harmful by saying this

    • Malificent says:

      Exactly! I’m a single parent with a graduate degree, my own home (very small house in a working class neighborhood), a comfortable white collar income and benefits, and a flexible and supportive work environment. (And it still tore a hole through my finances to get quality day-care for just one child. Because in the US we don’t believe in investing in the care of our next generations for the benefit of society as a whole.)

      Single parenting will always be harder than a successful co-parenting situation. But take away one or more of my advantages, and the effort to parent becomes exponentially more difficult. Matthew’s assessment is statistically accurate, but he should have come out and said that this is a subtle, nuanced issue because there are so many exceptions on both ends.

      Like my grandmother, who had a 4th grade education and raised 3 kids by herself during The Depression to escape domestic violence. Or, my cousin who had a baby at 16, but grew up fast and got solid support from our family — her daughter is now a wonderful young woman with a PhD. Or, the two-parent family a couple of houses down from us that sells drugs, leaves their toddler to wander the neighborhood without supervision, and has an older child who is constantly being suspended from school for violence and disrespectful behavior.

    • Dr Mrs The Monarch says:

      Thank you! I’m glad you mentioned this. The 1950s norm of a working dad and stay at home mom is not applicable to today. In most areas nowadays, households with young children can only really thrive in this economy with two or more sources of income or a lot of support from the grandparents. Single income families are a rarity.

    • Self-Sabotage says:

      Culture of the household is the most important factor. This includes the ethnicity (yes ethnicity), and family support (1 vs 2 parents). Poverty is a variable but not that big of a variable as culture/parents.

      And before anyone says “racist”, etc….there are tons of peer reviewed evidence, that is also duplicated by other researchers.

      Parental involvement has always been the #1 factor in student performance, academic and behavior. $$ is important but not as important as the parents.

  8. Jayna says:

    I think it goes without saying he means an intact healthy family, not a miserable marriage or abusive marriage. it is. That’s just not always possible.

  9. Enough Already says:

    Not if one parent plays the bongos.

  10. aenflex says:

    I don’t disagree with him. I think generally that multi-parent/carer households are better for children, and parents. That’s not a denigrating remark towards single parents. I was raised by a single mom and have a lot of respect for single parents. Single parents are, in some ways, unfortunately at a disadvantage parentally, even personally. They have no one with which to share the load, and that can be hard on everyone involved.

  11. Mia4s says:

    Countdown to his divorce!

    I’m only sort of kidding. It always seems when stars make sanctimonious comments like this it comes back to bite them before too long. Something about putting that out into the universe.

  12. Heather says:

    It’s somewhat confirmed in research: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2930824/ I never go to the Focus on Family or whatever ultra conservative group wants to do a super slanted “research” paper on it, but this one is a good read, if you’re into it (which I am).

    Two parent households (whether heterosexual or homosexual) often have benefits that a single parent household does not. This can include two incomes, less money spent on child care (but I’m sure MC spends plenty), shared decision making, and less stress in some areas. Is it proof positive that children of two parent households will ALWAYS do better than children of single parent households? Of course not. But statistically speaking there are advantages to two parent households that a single parent household does not have.

    • HK9 says:

      While I love it when people post links to support their comment, I read plenty of books from Focus on the Family. I was raised in a church that was crazy about them and I know you think it’s a “good read” but from someone who was raised on it~that’s gonna be a hard pass for me.

      • Heather says:

        Sigh, that study is NOT from Focus on Family or associated. That’s why I specifically chose it
        I like to read studies on a variety of subjects. I’m also a single parent. My son’s father is a true waste of oxygen and evidence of my stupider days. So it has been hard. I was raised in a content, stable two family home and I would have loved to raise my son in that environment.

    • Original T.C. says:

      Those studies are based on *healthy* relationships between parents. So yes in a situation where you have two people in a healthy relationship (married or just living together) it’s ideal for children. Young girls who end up pregnant without a supporting co-parent have a high chance of living below the poverty line.

      Obviously people don’t “chose” to be single parents with the exception of well to do single women who go to a sperm bank and have planned to raise their child alone.

      At risk children usually are in a single home because they other parent is a total bum, abusive, cheating, an addict etc.

  13. Dlflygurl says:

    Chyle bye I was raised by both parents and at 35 I’m STILL in therapy regularly discussing my childhood and daddy issues…if both parents are screwed up people you’re just doubly affecting your kid.im also a single mom of two because I left an abusive marriage.my ex husband has pretty much abandoned our kids and honestly I’m grateful…they’re happy, confident, and well adjusted I KNOW that wouldn’t be the case if they were watching daddy beat mommy up every other day.

    • Holly says:

      My experience as a single mom is the same; the best thing I did for my 4 daughters was get away from their dad. I hate it in that I was able to be a SAHM for 15 years and now I work 2 jobs, 7 days a week but they’re older and they also respect my hustle. Whenever I apologize for having to work so much my kids literally say “Secure that bag, ma” and they respect me sooo much more now. I’m healthy finally. Single parenting is hard, but not as hard as living in a toxic, angry environment. So really his comment is just out of touch from the reality of the badass single parents that are getting it all done for their kids. We exist.

      • enike says:

        I am proud of you, leaving after a toxic relationship

        sorry for the intrusive question, but, I can not understand how you got 4 children with that man? did he change suddenly after the fourth child?

      • Trashaddict says:

        The magazine articles and comments should be by you and not Goop or Matthew. Something tells me you could teach people a lot!

    • Self-Sabotage says:

      Dlflygurl,

      What you are saying is true but it doesn’t mean what McConaughey is saying isn’t true.

      Ideally, we should all raise children in a loving 2 parent household. If this can’t happen, then divorce because being in a abuse relationship will make it worse.

      My wifes family is all screwed up because of abusive father. They should have divorced but didn’t believe in it. Now they are all on medication and if they weren’t embarrassed, should be seeing a therapist. LOL

  14. Nikki says:

    Quick question: Camilla’s hair is glossy as can be. Does one get this from a keratin treatment, or..what does this? I love the shine!

    • Kitten says:

      Right? Her hair is incredible. She must do gloss treatments to enhance the shine…but she clearly has naturally healthy and beautiful hair.

  15. Julie Taylor says:

    I’ve heard recently that there are a few studies that point to the fact that it’s true, children raised in two parent homes do better in the long run. I apologise that I can’t point to the studies (I always seem to hear these things when I’m driving) because I think you really need to look at all of the factors involved in the study to know what is actually at play.
    Clearly a stable single home (like mine was growing up) is better than an abusive two parent home. I think the factors that cause the most impact are things like the amount of stress the single parent has, the amount of money the single parent has, how much shared responsibility is going on between the two parents (has one parent disappeared entirely or are they taking equal turns,) the emotional context of the parenting relationship, etc. So while what he says ‘may’ be statistically true, being a single parent household is not an inevitable doom for the child. There are just too many factors at play.

  16. CharliePenn says:

    I have two kids, they are a toddler and a small child. They are a lot of work. When my husband travels for work and is gone for several nights I always am reminded that single parents are AMAZING. It is the hardest thing, to not have that extra support, to not have someone to share the load with, to not have that time of day come when you can go be alone and gather your thoughts or get something done while your spouse has the kids. And don’t even get me started on income! I can’t imagine providing as a single parent.
    I would never denegrate single parents. He should have chosen his words much more carefully, or just left this subject alone. Because single parents are amazing and are inspiring and work their asses off.

  17. PlaidSheets says:

    I really love that coat she has on. It seems like a great cut despite the wonky way she has it buttoned.

  18. Jessica says:

    I agree with him because being a parent is a lot of emotional strain so it’s better to have some support…BUT you can come from a single parent home and turn out fine.

    • Desolee says:

      Or better than fine like Obama :)

      • Jessica says:

        Barack Obama was mostly raised by his grandparents and he lived with his mother and stepfather for years. He wasn’t really raised by a single mother. She was married for at least 2 years after he was born.

  19. Gaby says:

    I think he was careful enough to use the word “usually” there. Like many people posted above, it is somewhat true, because both parents at home *may* mean more support, more income, more time to spend with the kids, if the parents have a healthy relationship, children can benefit from that too when having their own relationship. It’s not like he is saying that single moms, single dads, divorced parents are bad, nor he is saying conservative propaganda like a house needs a mom and a dad, sh*t like that.

    • PlaidSheets says:

      I agree. In optimal conditions, it may work out best for the kids. But human relationships are messy and varied and wonderful and horrible, so there’s no guarantee the from either home just based on two parents vs one.

  20. SWP says:

    Yes Matthew thank you so much for clarifying! Also better: clean eating, organic food, zero waste lifestyle, exercise daily, no television, walking and riding bike everywhere, the list goes on.

    Sorry I’m punchy today, but seriously, Matthew. Get real. Life happens. Save the sanctimony for the mommy blogs.

  21. Desolee says:

    I remember a video where Ann coulter said this and got boos on a talk show. She was actually really rational (with evidence) and the boos were more of a knee jerk reaction, no one had any good counter points except “that’s rude it’s not our fault” the fact may be true but it’s offensive because, hello, most people do not choose this situation. Some may be pro life some professional women may make it happen becuase they want to do it alone or don’t want to wait for a perfect spouse but a lot hoped to be with the father and he’s the one that left or was abusive and had to be left. And studies like “alcohol is unhealthy” usually have a course of action but what are we to do here? Rush to find a stepdad? That seems much more unhealthy. Birth control education is good. I think one way to change it is start raising our sons without rape culture and instill more morality in them. Most people aren’t very If at all religious now (Im not either) so there is a moral education lack that we have to work to fill and not just assume secular schools will teach morals. By the way I am a single mother and very happy to be away from my abusive ex. One of the reasons that I stayed so long is that I didn’t want him to be alone with my kids, that’s neither here or there I guess. He is still “crazy” and selfish and not a normal moral adult who respects other people, so I still have fears but NOT living with him and just living with my kids has made me happier than any other life change ever. Even though we have less money and he doesn’t pay Cs obvs since he’s trash. And my children’s lives have also improved with my happiness.

  22. Jennifer says:

    I was a single mother for years because their dad was abusive, so it was healthier than having him in the home for sure. And he never paid child support for 7 years, so I struggled financially and had to put the kids in a crappy daycare and worked all the time, so still it wasn’t what I would call healthy. But a vast improvement. Now that I’m remarried to a stable, gentle, kind and respectful man, it highlights what a difference a healthy two parent home really does make. I have the energy to be a good parent, I have the means, I have the emotional support I need every day. Not every parent is a good parent, and being a single parent is better than living in a toxic environment, but a healthy two parent home is ideal. Do we live in an ideal world, though? Nope.

  23. osito says:

    While we can find data to support the theory that underlies his perspective — *newsflash* caring adults are protective factors in a child’s life, so the more of them and the more closely tied to the child there are, the more resilient the child! — his dismissive and condescending tone when describing the youth he and his wife “work with” is really annoying to me. I’d really like to know why he feels entitled to discuss the personal lives of these kids — in what capacity is he working with them? How are he and Camila discovering the stories of these kids lives? What is their interaction with each client’s family unit as a whole? Because *how* can he possibly know that “the trouble these kids are getting into” is from a “lack of support”? I’m sure that idea would be/is shocking to the active, engaged, maybe-single parents who give up so much personal freedom to support youth who struggle behaviorally, emotionally, and/or intellectually, and who will struggle despite love, attention, and support because *people struggle*.

    I have a vague idea of Matt+wife’s level of involvement, and if it’s anything like what I’ve seen from volunteers in my social support-ish job, they are exactly why I hate utilizing volunteers in my programs. They’re given sob-story tours of programs, usually to get their money, and then they feel like experts in “what youth/poor people/pick an underserved population” need. Sometimes they want to interact more directly with the program client base, and *that* gives them enough info with the same confirmation bias they already had to form these hugely negative opinions and stereotypes that only damage my client community in the long run.

    Want to come in and perform the emotionally and physically exhausting work I and my staff do — working with clients, earning the their trust, getting to know their families, and finding ways to plug some of the holes of the fraying social safety net — every day for *very* low pay? You have my respect. Want to show up for your scheduled volunteer shift once a month for a couple of months, ask my clients really invasive questions, and then start clucking about how these kids don’t have enough care and support at home? I have *no* time for it. None.

  24. jessamine says:

    He wasn’t shaming single parents or advocating for dysfunctional two-parent homes. Parenting/caregiving/housekeeping is definitely easier when there are multiple engaged adults in a home married or otherwise. True fact. It’s just simple logistics not a condemnation of single-householding… I don’t know many single parents (single by choice and for good reason) who wouldn’t find life easier to navigate if there was someone else around to love and guide their kids and contribute to the household.

    Honestly, a lot of two-parent families I know wouldn’t mind some extra help.

  25. Veronica S. says:

    Not quite. Financial status is actually the best indicator of whether or not a family is secure and relatively healthy. It has nothing to do with the single parent family unit – it’s the fact that single parents don’t have the dual income available, and many single parents aren’t getting the level of child support adequate to their needs. Plenty of kids grow up just fine in single parent households. The issue is resource availability, and America provides very little support for families.

    • BorderMollie says:

      This is exactly how I’ve understood it-financial resources are the equalizer. The answer is a better social safety net and community support for single parents, not vague generalizations that are at least oversimplifying, if not outright shaming.

  26. Eribra says:

    I have children 18 years apart. The first was raised by me alone, the second by 2 parents. While i made enough money to support myself and the 1st, I worked a lot of hours to do so. I can tell you it’s easier with 2 parents although I also was older and calmer with the second which totally makes a difference. I can also say that while they both tested high, only the second gets good grades which I attributed to time I was able to put in. The oldest is kind and so emotionally mature. I always feel guilty about what he might have been if I could have given him a2 parent upbringing though.

  27. SJhere says:

    Matt, shut up. The day I consider the opinion of this naked bongo playing tool will be never.
    Smug, pretentious actor. Takes himself too seriously.

  28. NotSoSocialButterfly says:

    Wow. He really stepped in it here.

  29. Victoria Crawford says:

    He’s not WRONG, but … I’m a single mom and it’s almost impossible to take good care of your kids at times when you are on your own. One thing or another (an illness, an elderly parent) can spin your delicate balance out of control at any moment, and when you are running on a delicate balance it’s really hard to rebalance after any disruption.

    So I agree with the facts behind his thought (I would love to have another good parent on hand, and two incomes!), but if he could just say something like, “Parenting is a really hard job (especially in our family-unfriendly society) and it is even harder for single parents,” then I wouldn’t feel picked on.

    Most single parents I know personally are divorced from awful people or are widowed. When people say stuff about single moms, it feels like piling on. Like our lives aren’t hard enough, right? Ann Coulter pisses me off because she has literally blamed the collapse of civilization on people like me, and I am pretty sure I am working a lot harder and making a lot more investments (at a much higher personal cost) in our society’s future than she is.

    I mean, if every damn thing rests on the shoulders of single mothers, then maybe as a society we should make their lives a little less impossible — Wage parity? Maternity leave? Paid time off when our kids are sick? Equitable health care where we control our own reproductive systems? Anyone?

    • Cate says:

      Yes, I think more focus on how hard it is for single parents and less on how “healthy” two parents are would have been more empathetic and sounded less condescending. I am married and have a young kid. Once or twice a year my husband and I have a really bad fight and I wonder “would it be easier without him?” And the answer is pretty much always NO, it would not. Single parenting sounds incredibly overwhelming and expensive.

      I also think most people who wind up as single parents don’t go into parenting with that as their goal. Sure there are a few women out there who decide to have babies on their own, but that’s rare. And honestly, I think if there *were* more support for parents/families, we might wind up with fewer children in single parent families!

    • waitwhat says:

      Perfect. From one single mom to another, I agree wholeheartedly.

  30. Aerohead21 says:

    That comment, singled out, is a serious misconception of single parent homes. A kid will be more traumatized and have more problems being in a two parent, abusive home. If he added more context and said a two parent home where the parents love, respect each other, and model healthy relationships…then yeah I can see that with more context. But this way? Sorry no.

  31. Happy21 says:

    I’m going to allow his comment simply because I don’t think he knows any different. He has only ever had children with his wife who he remains still married and living with. I do believe kids can be just as screwed up with both parents together. Matt really doesn’t know the other side. He may work with after school kids from single parent homes but that hardly is proven to be why these kids may have issues or problems.

  32. Electric Tuba says:

    Oh man. Oh man. I believe you’ve done stepped in a big pile of mess you Texas T Rex son of a gun. Ooof! Not cool man

  33. paddingtonjr says:

    So he believes that 2-parent homes are best, but he says nothing about those parents being married. He and Camilla had two children out of wedlock and only married when she was pregnant with their third child because “they were finally ready to make the commitment.”

  34. Jess says:

    Maybe he’s just bitter about the fact that his parents got divorced and then remarried and then divorced again and then remarried again.

  35. Lala11_7 says:

    You know what…at the age of 51 and at the age where I’ve seen… A HELL OF A LOT…I will take this to my grave regarding parenting….

    When it comes to children…it doesn’t matter if you have one-parent…two or a village…if that child isn’t receiving constant positive care/attention and reinforcement from their care givers…it doesn’t make a difference how many parents are in the household…

    It’s ALL of the things that you can NOT buy for children that gives them the strongest planks in which to build a stable platform where they can flourish…

    I remember one of my friends who had gone through a lot…her and children…even stints being homeless…yet her children were joys…and I asked them once… “Do you miss having a home?” And the oldest girl said…”Nah…Home is wherever my Mama is…”

    May we ALL feel that way…about somebody at least ONCE in our lives!!!!

  36. Jenna says:

    I was raised by a single mom and agree with what he says – USUALLY, two parent families (be they two moms, two dads, a mom and dad, a step mom and dad, etc.) are better for the kids. Single parents are often overworked, overstressed, and overwhelmed. Grateful for all my single mom did, but sure am glad I have a coparent.

  37. Helen says:

    I don’t think Matthew meant stay together if the relationship is abusive and/or toxic. Some commentators seem to think that is what he meant.

    I like that he has an Airstream RV, took it to the Grand Canyon and stayed in the RV park with the rest of humanity. One of the other campers told his wife that her husband looked like Matthew McConaghey. LOL. Smile.

  38. L says:

    Yeah, not in my experience Mr. McCaunaughey. But sure, a two parent home would be ideal I guess.

  39. D says:

    What the Phuck ever he’s dog whistling his cheating lines! Loved the guy but cancelled . I give them 2 yearsvtops hea on his way out

  40. Spargel says:

    Sounds like someone is convincing himself he needs to stay in a loveless marriage for the sake of the kids. (Not that he’s right–kids are better off in a happy SP home than a “nuclearfam” home fraught with tension.)

  41. Justmeagain says:

    I am a single mom. I get what he is saying. Financially if I had a partner to help with things it would be better. Emotionally if I had someone to lean on during tough times it would be better. Having a responsible father or father figure for my daughter would definitely be better. I am not going to deny they advantages that having a 2 parent home would bring my child. And I am not going to cancel someone who said things how he did. He said USUALLY, which means he recognizes there are exceptions to what he is saying. He was also talking mostly about financially and opportunities. I have missed things I would have loved to see because it was work to pay bills or see a program. It sucks and if I had a partner I would have more than likely felt I could skip a few hours of work. There were events and other things my daughter would have liked to do that she couldn’t because I couldn’t afford them. You cannot deny that having a 2 parent home is ideal if they parents can have a stable relationship. Unfortunately in my case that wasn’t an option because her dad is a deadbeat who would rather go to the bar and cheat than be a parent but I won’t say I don’t see where Matthew M was coming from.