Wednesday, October 21, 2009
The Human Family
I was having a conversation with a coworker recently about supporting children who come from different family configurations. I told him that I really enjoyed using multicultural play sets, or block people, to allow the child the opportunity to build a model of his own family in dramatic play. Even though many of the play people produced commercially come in racial family compositions, I like to get them all and allow the child to mix and match and create her family as close as she can. The make-up of the American family in 2009 has no one model. Families may have a father and mother, bi-racial members, single-parent households, gay parents, grandparents, foster parents, and the list could go on. Our job as early childhood educators is to validate and support every child in our care. Regardless of our own background or value system, we must realize that the child is the most important part of our classroom. Our support and validation is critical to help the child become well-adjusted and resilient.