Today's Families: Who Are We and Why Does It Matter?
First 200 words:
Today's families are more diverse than ever, and early childhood programs may be the first place a child or family will share who they are with the wider world.This puts early educators in a unique position to engage our growing diversity in ways that positively impact young children's sense of self and sense of belonging. In this article, we aim to briefly describe the rapidly shifting and expanding diversity of modern families, and at the same time, look beyond labels to appreciate the often unexpected and unique strengths, challenges, experiences, and perspectives of individual children and families.
We share insights from conversations we've had with several families about their own experiences, every one rich with joys, frustrations, and more. Their stories and perspectives illustrate the complexity of today's families. They compel us to go beyond helping children 'fit in' to instead strive for ways to learn about, incorporate, and leverage what is unique about each child and family, and to create a trusting, welcoming, and accepting community for parents, children, and teachers that will continue to evolve with each new child and family we meet.
A Word on Language
On a typical day at our house, two of my ...