March 20, 2014

What Makes a Family?

A long time before I became a parent, one of my students was interviewed for the documentary Let’s Get Real (a documentary which examines the issues of intolerance that lead to teasing and bullying.) During my work with Groundspark, the producers of the film, I learned about another wonderful K-5 film, That’s a Family, for families and educators to talk with kids about diverse family types.

Now that I am a parent, and my girls are old enough, I want to watch this film with them. I think it will be meaningful for my girls to see a biracial family like ours represented in the mix of traditional and “nontraditional” families presented.

“No matter what your family looks like, the defining quality is having adults who love and care about each other and you!”What is wonderful about this film (as well as others by Groundspark) is that it uses children’s own words to explain social issues related to diversity in developmentally appropriate ways. In this case, it examines how families can look quite different than the “traditional” ones we often see in the media, with one mom and one dad of the same race. The film highlights the fact that loving families can also be made up of adopted parents, single parents or with a grandparent, blended families or even gay parents with two moms and two dads. The most powerful message for children: “No matter what your family looks like, the defining quality is having adults who love and care about each other and you!”

Check out a trailer for the film above. If you are an educator, or parent leader interested in sharing this great resource with your school community, click this link to purchase the film with classroom resources. (Check out a sample handout from the educator guide.)

What do you think? Do you have any great resources to talk about diverse family types? If so, please share them in the comments below.

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About alimcollins

Ali Collins is an educator, community organizer and mom. She lives with her husband and twin girls in San Francisco, CA.

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Academics, Equity, Parenting, race

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