Children are famously egocentric, and thus believe that each family is just like their own and it’s odd if that’s not the case

Response 1

I grew up believing that other families were like my own, that there was one father and one mother in a family and then children and that’s what made up the family picture. My parents were married and I was the second of three children, so the family structure seemed to me to be a mother and father and kids. I do not have any gay or lesbian extended families or any single parent families in my extended family, so I was no introduced to differing family structures at an early age. I was raised in a well-off community of Caucasian people with high SES where there were few minorities. I think that the reason I didn’t understand about other family structures is because I was not exposed to them until Middle and High School (Derman-Sparks & Olsen Edwards, 2012). This contrinbuted to the family

Children are famously egocentric, and thus believe that each family is just like their own and it’s odd if that’s not the case (Derman-Sparks & Olsen Edwards, 2012). When children find out that another family has a different structure, they tend to be judgmental based on social biases that are created from their environment (Derman-Sparks & Olsen Edwards, 2012). Studies show that the family structure matters less than family functioning (Derman-Sparks & Olsen Edwards, 2012). Additionally, family structure was found not to influence academics in high school (Derman-Sparks & Olsen Edwards, 2012). Poverty and the quality of parenting (degree to which it is positive or negative parenting) has a much bigger role in the presentation of behaviors and pathology in children and adolescents (Cain & Combes-Orme, 2005),

I think that the kind of biases that I had as a kid and thinking that families were all “supposed” to be a woman, man and kids is a result of the environment that I was raised in. I think it’s always important to be aware of these early biases because I still think that they play a part in working with children and making sure we are not projecting our own beliefs onto them (Marsh, 1990). Children and adolescent may need help dealing with stigmatizations around homosexuality and diversity, and clinicians will do well to focus on increasing positivity in family relationships and developing resilience in children and adolescents around negative views of their family structure (Breshears, 2011). It’s important to teach children that love comes in many forms and it doesn’t just look one way – and that’s ok. Normalizing emotions and family systems can be extremely effective in reducing stress and anxiety in children and adolescents (Breshears, 2011).

References

Breshears, D. (2011). Understanding communication between lesbian parents and their children regarding outsider discourse about family identity. Journal of GLBT Family Studies, 7, 264–284

Cain, D. S., & Combs-Orme, T. (2005). Family structure effects on parenting stress and practices in the African American family. Journal of Sociology and Social Welfare, 33(2), 19–40.

Derman-Sparks, L., & Olsen Edwards, J. (2010). Anti-bias education for young children and ourselves. Washington, DC: National Association for the Education of Young Children.

Marsh, H. W. (1990). Two-parent, stepparent, and single-parent families: Changes in achievement, attitudes, and behaviors during the last two years of high school. Journal of Educational Psychology, 82(2), 327–340

Response 2

Explain how personal experience influences assumptions one might have about family configurations.

Personal experience influences assumptions that someone may have about family configurations. A family configuration can be described as the arrangement and structure of a family and what it is consisted of. According to Widmer (n.d.), the configuration of a family is the structures of mutually oriented and dependent people.

For the first five years of my life, I was raised in a two parent household, until things didn’t work out for my family. During that time, I didn’t fully understand the reasoning for the separation, but I did know that something was wrong. Every other weekend, my brother and I would spend time with our father and over the summers. Growing up in a household with one parent was sometimes complicating, but my mother has always done the best she could. My family consists of a mixture of married, single, divorced, and widowed family members. My father has since remarried, therefore, I was able to experience what it was like to live in a home with a father and a step-mother. Being exposed to others in my family who were under different structures than myself, has made me aware that everyone is not raised the same. As Derman-Sparks & Olsen Edwards (2012) stated, the importance is within the functioning of the family, rather than the structure of the family. There are also a few of my family members who are homosexual, but I was taught to never judge a person based on their sexual preference. Those family members have successfully raised children on their own in a same sex relationship home without any problems.

There have always been controversies, whether if single parenting or having the same parents under one roof effects the well-being of a child. It has been said that children who are raised in a married home tend to be better than those raised in a single parent home (Musick & Meier, 2010). I believe that statement is false. I have a few associates who were all raised in a married home, compared to myself who was raised by my mother, which in return I have succeeded further than them. I also believe some people who are raised in a single parent home are easily motivated to want and do better, since apparently growing up with two parents is often associated with a host of poor outcomes of the child (Musick & Meier, 2010).

Explain how such assumptions might impact interactions professionals have with children and adolescents.

The assumption can also have an impact on the interactions of professionals between children and adults. The problem isn’t with the same-sex parents in the home, it is the discrimination that is negatively affecting the children (Knight, Stephenson, Delatycki, Jones, Little, Patton, Sawyer, Skinner, Telfer, Wake, North, Oberklaid, 2017). Research studies reveal that children who are raised in same-sex homes surprisingly do just as well emotionally, socially, and educationally, compared to those being raised by heterosexual parents (Knight et al., 2017). The family processes, which includes the equality of parenting, parental wellbeing, and the quality of/and satisfaction within family relationships tend to be more meaningful to a child’s wellbeing, which results in a more positive development of the child (Knight et al., 2017). Same-sex parent homes have always been criticized and looked down on by many people. Same-sex families are also easily exposed to discrimination and social stigma. The differences in same-sex raised children and heterosexual raised children were caused by the amount of the greater social acceptance of same-sex relationships (Knight et al., 2017).

References:

Knight, K., Stephenson, S., West, S., Delatycki, M., Jones, C., Little, M., Patton, G., Sawyer, S., Skinner, S., Telfer, M., Wake, M., North, K., Oberklaid, F. (2017). The kids are OK: it is discrimination, not same-sex parents, that harms children. Retrieved from https://www.mja.com.au/system/files/issues/207_09/10.5694mja17.00943.pdf

Musick, K., & Meier, A. (2010). Are both parents always better than one? Parental conflict and young adult well-being. Social science research, 39(5), 814–830. doi:10.1016/j.ssresearch.2010.03.002

Derman-Sparks, L., & Olsen Edwards, J. (2010). Anti-bias education for young children and ourselves. Washington, DC: National Association for the Education of Young Children.

Widmer, E. (n.d.). Family and personal configurations. Retrieved from http://www.edwidmer.org/page-researcha