In this day and age, the notion of a “traditional family” isn’t the norm anymore. A man and a woman in a nuclear family is becoming less standard according to experts, and “norms” are changing each and every day. People are getting divorced and remarried, single parents, adopting, same sex marriages, etc. This week, Kids in the House interviewed experts on non-traditional families to learn the benefits of this type of family unit.
What makes up these “non-traditional families?” Parenting expert, Wendy Walsh, says they include “older women who have their own resources, single women, cohabiting women, gay families, bisexual families, we are seeing blended families, divorced families.”
Experts say that some issues can arise from these family structures. Different family dynamics can lead to different stresses that are unique to each and every situation.
“You have to be aware enough to respect the fact that there are priorities that are shifting around in your household. You have to be mature enough to know ‘it won’t be this way forever’,” says Survivor Host and EP, Jeff Probst.
Part of the difficulty in joining a blended family is gaining the trust of the children and making a transition after joining a family under unusual circumstances.
“Adopted children have had a first experience, and maybe several experiences, of broken relationships, from that first mother (their birth mother) and maybe in orphanages, maybe in foster homes,” says Beth Hall, the director of PACT – An Adoption Alliance.
“Whatever it is, they need to know, as every child needs to know, but the especially need to know we are in their corner and nothing could break our connection to them. We have their back no matter what,” Hall continues.
Beth also sheds light on transracial adoptions, which can come with their own set of obstacles centered around race.
“We haven’t been taught by our culture how to talk about race very often, so we have to learn to talk about it, to name it, to recognize it, to become our childrens’ ally,” says Hall.
In same-sex marriages, there may be an odd phase in defining parenting roles and titles in the family. Chris Rice, who is the father of two along with his husband, says this is a blessing.
“And so it is different,” says Rice, “But it is great because I think that I get to be both a father and a mother to my children… I think being a same-sex parent by nature means you have to be a very well-rounded parent.”
No matter who makes up your family, experts agree that what is most important is creating a loving and caring environment for your child to be raised in. All families deserve the chance to be happy and raise their children as they see fit.
For more expert information on non-traditional families, visit www.kidsinthehouse.com
About Kids in the House
Kids in the House is the world’s largest parenting video library with over 9,000 videos from 500 experts including physicians, psychologists, researchers, educators, best-selling authors, and other celebrated cultural voices. The website hosts short-form video content that features parenting professionals from all areas sharing their tips for all parenting styles.
Kids in the House is a place where parents have the opportunity to hear and share different perspectives. Where there are questions, Kids In The House has the solutions from inquiries into pregnancy to getting into college. The library aims to help parents and caregivers better help their children through education, inspiration, and entertainment. The videos are indexed and searchable by topic in the following categories: All Parents, Pregnancy, Adoption, Baby, Toddler, Preschool, Elementary, Teen, and Special Needs.
Leana Greene, founder and CEO of Kids in the House, is a parenting trends expert and one of the top female entrepreneurs in the United States. She aims for the website to be the most comprehensive parenting resource available – one that respects the fact that there is no one-size-fits-all solution.
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