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A diverse family with a grandmother raising her granddaughter.

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Tips for Parents: Diverse Families | PDF

Español/Spanish: Consejos para padres - Consejos para padres: Las familias distintas

In the United States, there have never before been so many families that don’t conform to the typical, “traditional” family than today.  Divorces, deaths, changes in gender roles, remarriages, accidents, drug addiction, crime and a strengthening acceptance of homosexuality, among numerous other factors, all have contributed to a significant change in what constitutes an American family.

Public perception and long-time institutions have been slow to adjust, and as a result, millions of children across the country are experiencing a reality that isn’t adequately provided for in homes, schools, religious organizations, medical care, and public programs.  In addition to the children facing these new circumstances, many parents, guardians and caregivers find they haven’t been taught how to handle the unique challenges these situations present.

There are actually a lot of resources out there to help, but knowing where to look can be daunting.  So we’re creating a series of Tips for Parents called Diverse Families.  This series will discuss the challenges and benefits of many different types of families, offer tips for some of the most common issues, and provide links to credible, really helpful websites you can visit for more information.

Check out all the Tips on Diverse Families in the series:

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Tips for Parents: Teen Parents

In Tips for Parents: Teen Parents, learn the steps you should take if you're pregnant, and if you're already a teen parent, get tips for improving your and your baby's lives.

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Tips for Parents: Stay at Home Dads

Not every man makes a good stay at home father; but truthfully, not every woman does either.  Research indicates that in general, children raised by fathers that have willingly chosen to be stay at home dads flourish.  Wives benefit when they opt to pursue a fulfilling career, and dads are able to nourish their care giving sides, especially if they seek outside contact from other stay at home dads.

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Tips for Parents: Single Parents

Parenting on your own can be stressful, confusing and exhausting.  Here are several key do and don’t tips for single parents to help you manage your time, your kids, and your sanity.

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Tips for Parents: Step Parents

When a new stepparent joins the family, extra care should be taken to develop a safe, secure and mutually rewarding relationship between all involved.  Find tips for setting realistic expectations, showing respect for each individual's feelings, and learn how soon these relationships will be formed.

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Tips for Parents: Military Families

In Tips for Parents: Military Families, get tips for communicating, asking for the support of family and friends, making the best of each day, and get links dozens of great resources for military families.

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Tips for Parents: Older Parents

Discover why people are waiting until later to have kids, learn the advantages and disadvantages of becoming older parents, and get tips for overcoming some of the difficulties later in life parents face.

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Tips for Parents: Large Families

In Tips for Parents: Large Families, learn the benefits of having a large family and get tips for making sure each child feels valued and gets the attention and support he or she needs.

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Tips for Parents: Interracial Families

As interracial families continue to expand faster than many other segments of the population, barriers are being broken down and many families are seizing an opportunity to teach their children and others about the value of diversity and respect.  In this Tips for Parents, discover ways to help your children develop their own unique identity, to value who they are, to learn how to respond to discrimination, and to develop respect for others.

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Tips for Parents: Immigrant Families

In Tips for Parents: Immigrant Families, get tips for adjusting to American culture, understanding your responsibility to help your children succeed in school, and get links to many government programs that assist immigrant families.

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Tips for Parents: Gay or Lesbian Parents

In Tips for Parents: Gay or Lesbian Parents, discover research about children growing up with a gay parent/parents, learn what the experts have to say about how well these children fare, get tips for raising children with gay or lesbian parents, and find links to great resources on the topic.

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Tips for Parents: Divorce

In Tips for Parents: Divorce, learn how to break the news to your children that you're getting divorced, and get tips for making the transition, moving on, and when to seek professional help.

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Tips for Parents: When a Mommy or Daddy Dies

In Tips for Parents: When a Mommy or Daddy Dies, learn how to help yourself and your children grieve and cope in a healthy way when your spouse passes away. 

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Tips for Parents: Having an Only Child

In Tips for Parents: Having an Only Child, learn the benefits and common issues associated with having an only child.  Learn how to avoid these issues and optimize the one on one attention your child benefits from with you.

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Tips for Parents: Adoption

In Tips for Parents: Adoption, learn more about what adoption is, where to find more information about the adoption process, how to encourage bonding post adoption, and resources to help adopted children find their biological parents.

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Tips for Parents: Kinship Care (Children Raised by Relatives)

When parents choose not to care for their own children, or become unable to provide safe, loving care due to drug addiction, abuse, death, imprisonment or other situations, family members often step in to care for the child and prevent them from living in the foster care system. This kind of care is often called "Kinship Care."

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Tips for Parents: Foster Parents

Foster parents provide a temporary, safe home for children in crisis and become part of the child's support, treatment, and care program. If you are interested in being a foster parent, this Tips for Parents will help you know what is involved and how to begin the process.

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