There’s no such thing as a typical family or is there?

By now, you’ve probably noticed a very different mix of students and parents in your kid’s school this year. Indeed, according to the Council on Contemporary Families, half of all children under the age of one are now ethnic and racial “minorities,” which means that within 5 years, kindergarten students will come from so many different racial and ethnic backgrounds that no single group will be a majority.
When it comes to family arrangements, we’re already there. A new report prepared for CCF by University of Maryland’s Philip Cohen shows that family diversity—no majority family form and no “typical” mom—is the norm for kids today.
Cohen’s report, “Family Diversity is the New Normal for America’s Children,” shows a remarkable multiplication of the kinds of families in which children live. In the 1950s, there was such a thing as a “typical” family – and it looked very much like the hit TV show of the era, “Father Knows Best.” Two-thirds of children lived in families where parents were married and father was the breadwinner. Today there is no such thing as a typical family.
In particular, Cohen reports:
* Out of every 100 children, just 22 live in a married male-breadwinner family, compared to 23 who live with a single mother.
* The single largest group of children – 34 – live with dual-earner married parents. But Cohen notes that this largest group is only a third of the total, making it impossible to point to an “average” family.
* Meanwhile, marriage—as illustrated by data from 1880 to the present—has lost its place as the dominant household arrangement.
So I’m curious, how are things shaping up in your kid’s school and the families you see? Always thought the more diversity the better. What do you think?


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