Are Non-Traditional Families Unfit for Children?

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Most of the time when a person thinks about a traditional family, a mother, a father, and at least one child is what comes to mind. However, the familiar structure of the traditional family has changed and does not necessarily show if it is the best dynamic for a child to be raised in afterall. A child’s emotions, behavior, academics, and socialization may be impacted depending on how he or she was raised. We may be able to see that a child raised by a single parent, raised by his or her grandparents, or even by same-sex parents could be better off than those raised in a traditional family based on the positives and negatives of each family dynamic. Emotional Impact. When raising a child, a parent or guardian must be mindful of their actions in regards to the child. According to Abidin, “stress that has a negative influence . . . may be especially detrimental to the child’s development . . .“ (qtd in Fagan 142). If a parent or guardian shows negativity towards a child during crucial development windows, the child may in turn be hindered emotionally. Research also suggests that “regardless of family type, adolescents whose parents described closer relationships with them reported better . . . adjustment” (Wainright 1886). In traditional families, the father spent less time interacting with his child, seeing this “interaction as not important” unlike the fathers of non-traditional families (Halme 115). If these traditional fathers did not see satisfaction in their involvement with their child, then who was the one investing in the child? Are the single fathers more involved in their child’s life? Halme reported that single parents, more specifically fathers, “enjoyed spending time with their child . . . shared childcare tasks . . .... ... middle of paper ... ...can F. Koerner. "The Effect of Family Communication Patterns on Adopted Adolescent Adjustment." Journal of Marriage and Family 70.3 (2008): 715-27. Academic Search Complete. Web. 24 Feb. 2014. Smith, Gregory C., and Patrick A. Palmieri. "Risk of Psychological Difficulties Among Children Raised by Custodial Grandparents." Psychiatric Services 58.10 (2007): 1303-310. PsycArticles (EBSCO). Web. 24 Feb. 2014. Wainright, Jennifer L., Stephen T. Russell, and Charlotte J. Patterson. "Psychosocial Adjustment, School Outcomes, and Romantic Relationships of Adolescents With Same-Sex Parents." Child Development 75.6 (2004): 1886-898. PsycARTICLES. Web. 24 Feb. 2014. Zimmerman, Irla L., and Maurine Bernstein. "Parental Work Patterns in Alternative Families: Influence on Child Development." American Journal of Orthopsychiatry 53.3 (1983): 418-25. PsycARTICLES. Web. 24 Feb. 2014.
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