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Working With ParentsChapter 3 Perry C. Hanavan
Family (origins) • It is worth noting that the word family originally meant a band of slaves. Even after the word came to apply to people affiliated by blood and marriage, for many centuries the notion of family referred to authority relations rather than love ones. • Stephanie Coontz, The Way We Never Were, pp. 43-44
More Definitions • Preparations for the 1980 White House Conference on the Family collapsed when representatives of the political left insisted that the word "families" should be used instead of "family" to acknowledge the vast diversity of American family types. • Webster's Dictionary offers twenty-two definitions. • The Census Bureau defines a family as "two or more persons related by birth, marriage or adoption who reside in the same household“ --a definition selected by only 22 percent of a random sample of 1,200 adults in a 1990 survey conducted by Massachusetts Mutual Insurance Company.
What Constitutes a Family? • Is family ultimately based on blood--hence an adopted son is a lesser son, and a stepfamily is a lesser family? • In 1993, a Florida teenager who had, upon her birth, been sent home with the wrong family, did not want to go to her biological parents when the mistake had been uncovered. • In the legal case that resulted, her lawyer began with the question "What constitutes a family?" and claimed that "[biology] alone--without more--does not constitute or sustain a family."
Family • The family is the most stable component of any society. • If there is a bond among its members…the family unit will survive. • As the provider for and “socializer” of children, the family has no match.
Family • Essence of family remains stable…despite changing world • Family members need permanent relationship with consistency, understanding and support
Family • The typical family – two parents and children – is NOT the average family in the U.S.
Consequences of Family Life • Between 1973 and 1981, Yankelovich found that about three-fourths of Americans interviewed claiming that family life was their most important value. • Studies of the various life spheres Americans report as being sources of a "great deal of satisfaction" consistently show family life being the most important. • Married individuals are healthier than their never-married, divorced, and widowed counterparts, according to the CDC report "Marital Status and Health: United States, 1999-2002." Marriage increases life-expectancy by as much as five years.
Consequences of Family Life • James Goodwin and his associates (Journal of the American Medical Association 258:3125-3130) found in their analyses of 25,000 cases listed in the New Mexico Tumor Registry, which tracks all malignancies in the state, a higher percentage of married people survive cancer at nearly every age • In Lewis Terman's famous longitudinal study of gifted California children (n=1,521), begun in 1921 with follow-ups every 5 or 10 years, it was found that those whose parents divorced faced a 33 percent greater risk of an earlier death (average age at death=76 years) than those whose parents remained married until the children reached age 21 (average age at death=80). According to Dr. Howard Friedman, who did the analyses, there was no such mortality effect for children whose parents had died (cited in Daniel Goleman. 1995. "75 Years Later, Study Is Still Tracking Geniuses." New York Times [March 7]).
What Teachers Need to Know • There is no “typical” family • Value families and their unique characteristics (culture, differences, etc.) • Empathize with families • Recognize their may be factors preventing parents from demonstrating good parenting skills (work, divorce, remarriage, stepfamilies, teen parents, poverty, violence, abuse, neglect, substance abuse, educational level, single parents, death of family members, moving, homelessness, illness, change of employment, etc.
Population Count U.S.292,653,625World 6,350,175,1422/23/04 at 2:22:50 PM EST Latest U.S. population count Latest World population count
Race • White. A person having origins in any of the original peoples of Europe, the Middle East, or North Africa. It includes people who indicate their race as "White" or report entries such as Irish, German, Italian, Lebanese, Near Easterner, Arab, or Polish. • Black or African American. A person having origins in any of the Black racial groups of Africa. It includes people who indicate their race as "Black, African Am., or Negro," or provide written entries such as African American, Afro American, Kenyan, Nigerian, or Haitian. • American Indian and Alaska Native. A person having origins in any of the original peoples of North and South America (including Central America) and who maintain tribal affiliation or community attachment. • Asian. A person having origins in any of the original peoples of the Far East, Southeast Asia, or the Indian subcontinent including, for example, Cambodia, China, India, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Pakistan, the Philippine Islands, Thailand, and Vietnam. It includes "Asian Indian," "Chinese," "Filipino," "Korean," "Japanese," "Vietnamese," and "Other Asian." • Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander. A person having origins in any of the original peoples of Hawaii, Guam, Samoa, or other Pacific Islands. It includes people who indicate their race as "Native Hawaiian," "Guamanian or Chamorro," "Samoan," and "Other Pacific Islander." • Some other race. Includes all other responses not included in the "White", "Black or African American", "American Indian and Alaska Native", "Asian" and "Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander" race categories described above. Respondents providing write-in entries such as multiracial, mixed, interracial, Wesort, or a Hispanic/Latino group (for example, Mexican, Puerto Rican, or Cuban) in the "Some other race" category are included here. • Two or more races. People may have chosen to provide two or more races either by checking two or more race response check boxes, by providing multiple write-in responses, or by some combination of check boxes and write-in responses.
Parenting Styles • First, parenting style is meant to describe normal variations in parenting. In other words, the parenting style typology Baumrind developed should not be understood to include deviant parenting, such as might be observed in abusive or neglectful homes. • Second, Baumrind assumes that normal parenting revolves around issues of control. Although parents may differ in how they try to control or socialize their children and the extent to which they do so, it is assumed that the primary role of all parents is to influence, teach, and control their children.
Parenting Styles Parenting style captures two important elements of parenting: • Parental responsiveness (also referred to as parental warmth or supportiveness) refers to "the extent to which parents intentionally foster individuality, self-regulation, and self-assertion by being attuned, supportive, and acquiescent to children’s special needs and demands. • Parental demandingness (also referred to as behavioral control) refers to "the claims parents make on children to become integrated into the family whole, by their maturity demands, supervision, disciplinary efforts and willingness to confront the child who disobeys"
Parent Styles • Indulgent parents (also referred to as "permissive" or "nondirective") "are more responsive than they are demanding. They are nontraditional and lenient, do not require mature behavior, allow considerable self-regulation, and avoid confrontation". Indulgent parents may be further divided into two types: democratic parents, who, though lenient, are more conscientious, engaged, and committed to the child, and nondirective parents. • Children and adolescents from indulgent homes (high in responsiveness, low in demandingness) are more likely to be involved in problem behavior and perform less well in school, but they have higher self-esteem, better social skills, and lower levels of depression.
Parenting Styles • Authoritarian parents are highly demanding and directive, but not responsive. "They are obedience- and status-oriented, and expect their orders to be obeyed without explanation". These parents provide well-ordered and structured environments with clearly stated rules. Authoritarian parents can be divided into two types: nonauthoritarian-directive, who are directive, but not intrusive or autocratic in their use of power, and authoritarian-directive, who are highly intrusive. • Children and adolescents from authoritarian families (high in demandingness, but low in responsiveness) tend to perform moderately well in school and be uninvolved in problem behavior, but they have poorer social skills, lower self-esteem, and higher levels of depression.
Parenting Styles • Authoritative parents are both demanding and responsive. "They monitor and impart clear standards for their children’s conduct. They are assertive, but not intrusive and restrictive. Their disciplinary methods are supportive, rather than punitive. They want their children to be assertive as well as socially responsible, and self-regulated as well as cooperative“. • Children and adolescents whose parents are authoritative rate themselves and are rated by objective measures as more socially and instrumentally competent than those whose parents are nonauthoritative
Parenting Styles • Uninvolved parents are low in both responsiveness and demandingness. In extreme cases, this parenting style might encompass both rejecting–neglecting and neglectful parents, although most parents of this type fall within the normal range. • Children and adolescents whose parents are uninvolved perform most poorly in all domains.
International Year of the Family UN Resolution 54/124 The objectives of the tenth anniversary of the Year (2004) would be to: • (a) Increase awareness of family issues among Governments as well as in the private sector; • (b) Strengthen the capacity of national institutions to formulate, implement and monitor policies in respect of families; • (c) Stimulate efforts to respond to problems affecting, and affected by, the situation of families; • (d) Undertake at all levels reviews and assessments of the situation and needs of families, identifying specific issues and problems; • (e) Enhance the effectiveness of local, national and regional efforts to carry out specific programmes concerning families, generate new activities and strengthen existing ones; • (f) Improve collaboration among national and international non-governmental organizations in support of families.
Quote “A hundred years from now it will not matter what my bank account was, the sort of house I lived in, or the kind of car I drove... but the world may be different because I was important in the life of a child.”
Family Characteristics characteristics of the family characteristics of individuals special challenges Family Life Cycle developmental stages & transitions change in characteristics change in functions Family Systems Conceptual Framework Inputs Cohesion Adaptability Family Interaction Extended Family Marital Parental Siblings Process Family Functions economics daily care self-definition recreation affection socialization education/vocational Outputs
Family Forms Married nuclear families: both adults are the biological or adoptive parents of children. • the man works outside the home while the woman works inside the home caring for the children. According to the 1990 U.S. Census, 28 % of all households fit this description. • the woman works outside the home and the man cares for the children. This constitutes 2 % of the families in this country. • both the husband and the wife work outside the home or are income providers. In some situations, the woman might have a home-based business, such as a day care center. Nearly 60 % of women with children under the age of six were in the workforce during the past decade.
Family Forms • Single-parent families: in this family there is only one parent in the home. • Due to high divorce rates and adults choosing not to marry, this is currently the fastest growing family form in America. • More than half of all children will spend some of their lives in a single-parent family. • This group includes unwed single teenage mothers. Currently, 88 percent of these families are headed by women.
Family Forms • Step families: these families are generally created by divorce and remarriage rather than by the death of the mother or father. In step families, biologically unrelated children often live in the same household. There are 9,000 new step families being created each week in this country.
Family Forms • Cohabitation families: two unmarried adults who are committed to a long-term relationship and, sometimes, children from this union or from previous relationships are included. This can include heterosexual or homosexual partners.
Family Forms • Cross-generational family: two or more adults from different generations of a family, who intend to share a household during the foreseeable future. This family type may include children. Sometimes children are raised by their grandparents when their biological parents have died or no longer can take care of them. The number of these families has increased by 40 percent in the past ten years. In addition, many grandparents take some primary responsibility for child care, particularly when both parents work.
Family Forms • Joint/shared-custody families: children are legally raised by both parents who are not living together. Generally, the children move back and forth between the residences of each parent, depending on the legal agreement between the parents.
Family Forms • Foster and group-home families: often provide a substitute family for children referred by the courts or government agencies. While problems with their parents or guardians are being resolved, the children may live in these families.
Fathers • From breadwinner and moral guidance to a variety of roles • 1940s – sex-role model • 1960s – beginning of the retreat from fatherhood • 1970s – nuturant father • 1990s – MADDADS, Promise Keepers, National Centers for Fathering
Fatherless • Tonight, at least 28% of American children will go to sleep in a fatherlesshome. At least 60% of black American children are living apart fromtheir biological fathers. • The number of children living apart from their dads has climbed from 5.1million in 1960 to 16.9 million in 1996. • 50 percent of all white children and 75 percent of all black children born inthe last two decades are likely to live for some portion of their childhood withonly their mothers.
Fatherless Data • 3 time more likely to fail at school • 2-3 times more likely to experience emotional or behavioral problems requiring psychiatric treatment • 3 times more likely to commit suicide as adolescents • 5 times more likely to be poor • 72% of adolescent murderers grew up without fathers. • 2 times more likely that a young male will engage in criminal activity
What Do You Think? • Write down 5 characteristics of the ideal father • Write down 5 characteristics of the ideal mother
What Do You Think? • List 5 things you can do as a teacher to involve fathers and father-substitutes in your classroom
What Do You Think? • What impact do you think divorce has on the child in your classroom? • What can you do when a child is experiencing divorce? • What about parent teacher conferences? • How can you best communicate with both parents?
Poverty • Following the Office of Management and Budget's (OMB) Statistical Policy Directive 14, the Census Bureau uses a set of money income thresholds that vary by family size and composition to determine who is poor. If a family's total income is less than that family's threshold, then that family, and every individual in it, is considered poor. The poverty thresholds do not vary geographically, but they are updated annually for inflation using the Consumer Price Index (CPI-U). • The official poverty definition counts money income before taxes and does not include capital gains and noncash benefits (such as public housing, Medicaid, and food stamps). • Poverty is not defined for people in military barracks, institutional group quarters, or for unrelated individuals under age 15 (such as foster children). They are excluded from the poverty universe--that is, they are considered neither as "poor" nor as "nonpoor."
Poverty Example • Example: Suppose Family A consists of five people: two children, their mother, father, and great-aunt. Family A's poverty threshold in 2001 was $21,665. Suppose also that each member had the following income in 2001: • Mother $10,000 Father 5,000 Great-aunt 10,000 First child 0 Second child 0 Total: $25,000 • Since their total family income, $25,000 was greater than their threshold ($21,665), the family would not be considered "poor" according to the official poverty measure.
Who is Homeless • According to the Stewart B. McKinney Act, 42 U.S.C. § 11301, et seq. (1994), a person is considered homeless who "lacks a fixed, regular, and adequate night-time residence and; and... has a primary night time residency that is: (A) a supervised publicly or privately operated shelter designed to provide temporary living accommodations... (B) an institution that provides a temporary residence for individuals intended to be institutionalized, or (C) a public or private place not designed for, or ordinarily used as, a regular sleeping accommodation for human beings." 42 U.S.C. § 11302(a) The term "'homeless individual' does not include any individual imprisoned or otherwise detained pursuant to an Act of Congress or a state law." 42 U.S.C. § 11302(c)
Homeless Children • In 2001, the U.S. Conference of Mayors' survey of homelessness in 27 cities found that children under the age of 18 accounted for 25.3% of the urban homeless population (U.S. Conference of Mayors, 2001). This same study found that unaccompanied minors comprised 4% of the urban homeless population. However, in other cities and especially in rural areas, the numbers of children experiencing homelessness are much higher. On a national level, approximately 39% of the homeless population are children (Urban Institute 2000). A 1987 Urban Institute study found that 51% of the homeless population were between the ages of 31 and 50 (Burt, 1989); other studies have found percentages of homeless persons aged 55 to 60 ranging from 2.5% to 19.4% (Institute of Medicine, 1988).
Homeless Two trends are largely responsible for the rise in homelessness over the past 20-25 years: • a growing shortage of affordable rental housing and • a simultaneous increase in poverty.
Homeless • Homelessness and poverty are inextricably linked. • Poor people are frequently unable to pay for housing, food, child care, health care, and education. • Difficult choices must be made when limited resources cover only some of these necessities. • Often it is housing, which absorbs a high proportion of income, that must be dropped. • Being poor means being an illness, an accident, or a paycheck away from living on the streets.
"Through Our Own Eyes" Last year Sioux Falls School District's Homeless Education Program organized a two-week program for homeless children. Eight homeless children were paired with four professional photographers who taught the children the fundamentals of taking pictures. The children where then sent out to capture events and images of their daily lives. The project, entitled "Through Our Own Eyes," not only helped the children to create photographic bibliographies, it also exposed the children to print development and the business of photography. Photography from the project has been exhibited at the Sioux Falls Civic Fine Arts Center and is available for exhibits elsewhere. In addition, the photographs were made into notecards (such as those featured in this issue of Safety Network) and are available for purchase as a fund-raiser for the Homeless Education Program. Notecards are available in sets of 12 for $10.00 from the Center for Western Studies, Augustana College, Box 727, Sioux Falls, SD 57197; 605/336-4007, 605/336-4999 (fax). For more information about the project, contact Marilyn Charging or Wendy Giebink at the Homeless Education Project, c/o Edison Middle School, 2101 Southwest Avenue, Sioux Falls, SD 57105, 605/367-4282.