What Type of Non-Traditional Famlies Have You Worked for?

Children Raised in Non-Traditional Families Can Be Secure and Well-Adjusted

It is big news that marriage equality is now legal in New York. Yesterday we asked if nannies would work for LGBT parents. Today we share great advice to consider when working with children raised by same sex parents.

We tend to define non-traditional families as any family that isn’t a married nuclear family including one father and one mother. Non-traditional families include: same sex parents, co-habitating families, single parent families, blended families of divorce, commuter families, and foster families. In America, the non-traditional family is becoming the norm.

Below Jan Hare, Oh.D., of Oregon State University explains that children raised in non-traditional families can be secure and well-adjusted.

Here was some of her advice:

Have the parents tell you how they want you to define their family to their children. Speak to the children as the parents direct you to. One of the best definitions of family is: A family is a group of people who love and take care of each other.

Consider your own attitudes. Sometimes caregivers unknowingly convey a negative sense of the family to children. For example, single-parent families are sometimes viewed as broken families. It is important to emphasize that they may not be broken nor need fixing. Love and caring for each other make a family strong and whole.

Talk about the many different ways people can be a family. Children can better understand your meaning if you use examples of people they know. For instance, you might say: “Jenni’s parents don’t live together anymore. Jenni lives with her mother and her mother’s partner, Scott.”

Encourage children to ask questions. In order for children to understand what might be a complicated family situation, they need to feel comfortable asking whatever questions may be on their minds.

Recognize potential societal barriers. A complicated situation may develop when adults of the same sex join together. Gay men and lesbians often experience prejudice. As a result, children can be fearful about disclosing information about their family.

Patience and understanding often go a long way toward creating acceptance. Many children who are allowed to control what their peers know about the family eventually gain the confidence to acknowledge the adults’ relationship and cope well with responses from others. Peers who sense the child’s own comfort often accept the family situation. Let children control the information they want to give. If a new stepfather is about to join a single-parent family, allow children to tell their friends about the marriage.

Have you ever worked for a non-traditional family? If so, what type of non-traditional family have you worked for?

Comments

  1. I work for a military family in which both parents are frequently away from home. My job is also one that is non-traditional from a typical nanny job. For example, the father was sent to the west coast in March and will be there until September. The mother is now gone six days a week until the end of August. This leaves me as the singular guardian for the rest of the summer.

  2. I have worked in a blended family, with step children. Then I have worked for divorcing parents, a few single dads (one straight, one gay), and a few where the mom had died. Some military in that mix too. For me a thing to be aware of was that sometimes children wanting typical and normal so to be aware of jealousy and resentment of their "traditional family" friends. It's not that they are mad at other people, just feel it's unfair. A nanny in these positions should educate herself on Children of ___________ parents (websites) to learn how this can impact life day to day.

  3. I currently am a nanny to two dads with twins. The twins are the happiest babies, they are so loved by their dads and their amazing extended family.. They are very hands on and nurturing parents and the babies are so lucky to be in a family where they are so loved and cherished..

  4. I have worked for a single mother who never married. I worked for a mother of divorce, then she remarried. I interviewed for teo father parents but didnt get the job.

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