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Postmodern families are increasing in many parts of the world, with rise of divorce, remarriage, blended families, single parenthood, joint custody, adoption, domestic partnership and two career households. Evaluate how these affect the care of children

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Introduction

Postmodern families are increasing in many parts of the world, with rise of divorce, remarriage, blended families, single parenthood, joint custody, adoption, domestic partnership and two career households. Evaluate how these affect the care of children. In modern times, it is believed that nuclear family has the ideal setting to bring up a child. This is because nuclear family is seen to be self-sufficient to take care of the physical, emotional and psychological needs of the child. However, due to societal, cultural, political and economic influences, family structures are changing. Tightly bound nuclear families are giving way to the more fluid and open postmodern families (The Postmodern Family). Postmodern families come in many different forms which include single parenthood, remarriage, blended families, joint custody, adoption, dual career household, same-sex parenting etc. It is currently estimated that in the UK, one child in eight will experience life in a stepfamily by the age of 16 (Burr & Montgomery, 2003). In US, 49%of the marriages are divorced. In Singapore, over the period 1980 to 2003, the general divorce rate doubled from 3.8 per cent to 8 per cent. The 2000 census in California found that 33 percent of lesbian couples and 22 percent of gay couples had children (American Psychologist Association). More than half of all U.S. households with young children have two employed parents (Medical News Today). Therefore, child-care beliefs and practices have to evolve to meet the needs of children within changing families and societies (Modernization, urbanization, and nutritional care). ...read more.

Middle

Shared parenting undertaken by the father, mother and various other caregivers, like extended family members, day care centers, domestic helpers, childcare institutions, is essential. This is made possible also due to the fact that children are able to form attachments with more than one person. Meanwhile, extended family members are also often the most sought after assistants. Census figures from 2000 show that more than twice as many families rely on family members for child care as use day-care services [country]. (Brandeis). As in the case of the Xhosa families in South Africa, it is often the maternal grandmother who raises a child. As the dual career families had increased in numbers, the dependence on domestic helpers in childcare is getting more common. In Singapore, dual career families had increased in numbers significantly, from 27.1% in 1980 to 39.8% in 1990. In America, statistics show there are some nine million pre-school children of which over one million are cared for by nannies. Nannies are required to sit for Competency Exam to enhance the healthy development of children and their families by promoting quality in-home childcare. With the emphasis of the quality care provided by the nannies and domestic helpers, care given is not any inferior. Another avenue where most of the postmodern parents seek is professional child care centres. These child care centres may even provide educational opportunities that family members may not be able to offer. Child Development Centers and Systems provides member day care centers with curriculum for children (Brandeis University). ...read more.

Conclusion

While some children thrive on dual socialization, others languish, unable to adjust to either environment or to the demands of daily transition from one environment to the other. The young child may be unable to form the necessary communication link between the two environments. Responsibilities may not be divided clearly between home and day-care center; as a result, neither may provide some crucial aspects of child rearing. For example, in the United States, neither the day-care center nor working parents perceive themselves being responsible for developing the child social and interaction skills (The Post-modern family). Though the physical well being of the children can be entrusted to third parties while postmodern parents are not available full time for the children, it is important still for the parents to be sensitive to the emotional and psychological needs of their children. Emphasis on bond building and instilling of moral values is crucial. As it is observed that children in postmodern families are expected to be competent to deal with all of life's challenges at a much earlier age, it is also the postmodern parents' responsibility to equip their children with the necessary values and skills. In conclusion, quality of childcare depends on how well the physical, psychological and emotional needs of the children are being taken care of. Postmodern families are usually posed with constraints such as lack of time or finances. Though the family structure one engage in is solely by choice, it may seemed that postmodern parents should find their own solutions. However, it is such a growing phenomenon that aids from the societies, communities and governments are essential so that the needs of the postmodern children are not compromised. ...read more.

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