Dear Mom and Dad.
Or Mom and Mom.
or Dad and Dad.
You get the drift:
You may think a good childhood consists of Disney vacations, Mommy and me classes, adorable matching outfits from Gymboree, the latest toys and educational devices, and a healthy diet.
While I won’t deny the power of healthy food or a pair of Mickey ears (FYI- I never went to Disney), that’s not what kids need to have a great childhood.
All kids need is stable, unconditional love and support.
Sure, kids need guidelines and positive discipline. Kids need to hear the word “No.”
But the most crucial thing a child needs in order to truly succeed out in the world is knowing that he or she is loved and a person of value.
As I watch my child navigate the world of divorced parent life, I see her struggles but overall, she is an incredibly confident, strong-willed, and happy child.
Critics might say that can’t be so.
How can a child going through such turbulence in her life be confident?
And if she is having struggles, can you truly claim she is confident?
And her confidence stems from the fact that she has two hands-on, amazing, caring, and active parents who love her.
It doesn’t matter if you’re two women raising a bundle of boys. Two fabulously out and proud gay men raising a troop of boys or a gaggle of girls. It doesn’t matter if you’re one person raising a brood of four. Or two divorced parents raising one kid.
What matters is the child knows he or she is loved, valued, and honored.
Those feelings are intimately tied to a child’s future self-esteem, partner choices, and attitude.
As someone raised by two people but I questioned if I were really loved by one parent…sometimes two, but mostly one…
I will say that my fate fared worse in a two parent family than my daughter in a divorced parent family.
All kids need are security and love.
Sure, there is more to it than that but when it comes down to it, don’t let other people tell you Single Mom, Single Dad, Two Moms, Two Dads, or even an extended family member that your child biological or adopted is going to struggle because he or she is not being raised by the heteronormative/hegemonical (not such a word I suppose) standards of the two parent heterosexual household.
Kids don’t need some metaphorically perfect heteronormative nuclear two-parent family to strive.
While two parents of any kind are certainly more helpful (most often) in terms of strength in numbers than one, there is no guidebook to guaranteed successful parenting other than valuing your child and giving him or her the self-esteem to one day be an independent force and being in this world.