Diversity Trends In Families [CLOs: 1, 2, 3, 4]
While children spend a great deal of time in your care, their family and family life continues to be the most influential factor. Educators must be prepared to recognize, respect, and positively support each and every child in their care. Families come in all shapes and sizes. The traditional nuclear family (mom, dad, kids) is no longer the norm. The families of the children in your care may have very different structures, values, customs, beliefs, cultural behaviors, and lifestyles you may not be familiar with.
For example, some children may live with a single parent, a relative, a blended family, or a traditional family who have different values, customs, beliefs, cultural behaviors and lifestyles from your own. It is important to be a culturally competent early childhood professional and create an environment that is supportive of each and every child and family. As our classrooms and society continues to diversify, you must consider the actual situations of the children and families. This week’s discussion will increase your awareness of several different family structures that could be present in your classroom. You will use your knowledge and experience to describe how to best support these families. To prepare for this week’s discussion, please read the Knoph & Swick (2008) article, as well as Chapter 2 in the Gestwicki course text, focusing specifically on the families described beginning on Page 23. Additionally, please use at least two sources to support your response.
For this discussion, you are to write a response from the perspective of either a teacher, early childhood administrator, or other early childhood professional of your choosing. Please write on one role that best aligns with your career interests and goals. After you have read through the descriptions of families in your textbook, choose one family to be the focus of your discussion. Be sure to explicitly state which family you are focusing on by writing the child’s name in the subject line of your discussion post. Taking respect for diversity and cultural competence in early childhood education into consideration, address the following discussion prompts:
Provide a summary of the family structure and identify the types of diversity within their family.
Analyze what makes their situation challenging and discuss how this impacts their family.
Develop five strategies to best support the child in your care, including how you will support the family. Also, please incorporate specific action steps within these strategies. Action steps are what you will actually do in your role to support the child and their family. For example, one suggestion might be, “As the caregiver of Joshua Stein (Gestwicki, 2013, p. 24), I could suggest, or encourage the family to….”
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