Genealogy and Non-Traditional Families
Jerri wrote in with this question about genealogy and non-traditional families:
How do you do this genealogy achievement when you have children from non-traditional families? We have a foster child who does not know about his parents, one being raised by grandparents that aren’t biological (but at 8 isn’t aware of that fact), one that is being raised by his father and has no knowledge of his mother who gave him up at birth, etc, etc, etc.
Is there a way to do this genealogy thing without bringing up things that might hurt these children, or that they are too young to know? It seems that there are so many children being brought up by other people nowdays that there should be a way around this achievement. They are only 8 and I am not sure they need to know at the age about the sins of their parents (so to speak).
I would appreciate any ideas on this subject from anyone in the same situation. We have a great group of scouts looking and working hard towards their Bear badge. But we run into roadblocks like this one and don’t know what to do.
I should also add that I found your site when we were brand new Tigers (with No clue whatsoever, but a huge amount of “want-to” and “will-do”), and I bow to your knowledge and commitment. We copy your ideas and use them extensively, as does our entire pack now. Thank you for sharing with all of us, your ideas help us help these little boys become the men that we know they will become; and help us help them become the Scouts that make all of us proud.
Ideas for Genealogy and Non-Traditional Families
Jerri, thanks for your dedication and for considering the needs of your Scouts. Ask them who they consider “family”. Explain that family doesn’t always require a biological connection. A family can be defined by loving and caring for each other. You might need to adjust according to the specifics. For example, if you want to talk about relationships and a family tree, instead of giving them a traditional family tree “form” to fill out, let them make a more free form representation of the important people in their lives.
Sometimes fewer instructions are better. If they want to go with a more traditional tree model, it is OK to add extra branches and shoots. When we did this with my den, we had a couple of kids with step-parents and step-siblings on both sides and they seemed to figure out how to add them in without any advice from me at all.
Readers, if you have any other ideas about how to handle and non traditional families, please add your comments about genealogy and non-traditional families at the bottom of the post. And read the comments. Some readers have already added some great ideas.
Scouts working on the Genealogy merit badge learn about their family heritage. They explore the many ways to research information about their ancestors and where they came from. Scouts will appreciate their family history and learn how this can lead them to delve deeper into their cultural roots.
The Faith and Our Ancestors Game is an icebreaker activity with a genealogy twist. Players ask each other questions about how they think their ancestors lived.