Over the past few decades, the pattern of family dynamics has changed drastically in the United States. Children growing up in a family with both the biological mother and father present used to be considered the traditional way of life. However, as society has changed, so has the perspective that a two-parent family is considered the norm. Therefore, the decision is not left up to the child to decide the lifestyle that they will be born into. Children are taught how to behave and are given the basis of what to expect out of life by what they learn from the family they are raised in (“Understanding Family Dynamics”). A strong support system in early childhood, no matter the family dynamics, will greatly influence a child’s development.
It has been shown in many statistics in the United States that family structure contributes directly and indirectly to certain characteristics of a child’s overall well-being. Family dynamics are the interaction between family members, as well as the relationships that exist within a family (“Understanding Family Dynamics”). The development of a child is impacted by the experiences he or she faces throughout childhood. For example, if a child feels safe and secure within their own family, he or she will begin to develop a strong form of self-esteem. A family is better defined by what the people in them do for each other rather than the stereotype based on the members that make up a family.
Society used to assume that children needed the stability of a traditional, two-parent family in order to thrive (“Why Children Need Married Parents”). This basic social unit is called a nuclear family. A nuclear family consists of a mother, father, and their biological children (Edwards). During the 1950s and 1960s, these traditional types of families were most common. However, in 2004, a study has shown that only 68 percent of children still lived with their married, biological parents (“Why Children Need Married Parents”). As a child develops, they are heavily influenced by the actions of their parents and family members. The mind of an infant up until about age five can be compared to a sponge, meaning children absorb every single thing they see, hear, and are taught. Parents are the main source of education for most babies and toddlers until they begin Kindergarten. For the most part, children raised in a family with both of their biological parents will experience a good sense of security through a stable economic environment (“Family Ties”).
The development of a child raised in a two-parent family is typically affected in positive ways. These children tend to excel in most developmental outcomes. A study from Princeton University conducted in 2012 found that on average, when compared to children from single parent families, children from two-parent homes had higher scores on cognitive ability tests and seemed to exhibit fewer internal and external behavioral problems (Thomas). A few positive...