In Family Centered Parenting we have been mindful not to place a set definition of what constitutes a family. Despite the implication on the part of parents listening that we are not talking only about a traditional family defined as children living with their biological mother and father, our message is that whatever way a family defines itself as a family is our definition of family.
This is especially true given some startling data that we share. There is ample evidence that the so called traditional family is now the exception. Almost 7 out of 10 of American youth are living in non-traditional families with 3 out of 10 living with a single parent and another 3 out of 10 are living in step or blended families. We discuss what these numbers mean for the well being of children. Some startling information is revealed. For example, a recent study indicated that children of divorced parents are seven times more likely to suffer from depression in adult life than people of similar age and background whose parents have not divorced. Furthermore, 75% of children/adolescents in chemical dependency hospitals are from single-parent families and more than one half of all youths incarcerated for criminal acts lived in one-parent families when they were children.
We offer specific suggestions and advice so that children growing up in single parent households or blended families are not doomed. However, it does mean that parents in the non-traditional situations have to account for the higher degree of risk placed upon the children. The crucial words are Plan, Plan, Plan. Being mindful of the risks and making sure through family meetings, effective communication and paying close attention to your kids emotional state can help non-traditional families not only survive but potentially thrive.
We close our show with our segment “There’s Got To Be a Better Way” – where we relate personal parenting stories and how what we learned can be the solution for you.
Listen to our radio show – Growing Great Families – on WebTalkRadio.net