Following the introduction of the influential ‘doing’ family perspective, an active understanding of parents has taken centre stage in sociological thinking on how families are constructed. However, this has not extended to children, and their roles as co-constructors of families have not received the same amount of attention. This article examines the practices children use to construct themselves as child of someone in relation to a parent. By locating children’s practices within the ‘doing’ family perspective, the article identifies three levels of childhood in families – being child, doing child and reflecting child. The article shows how the three levels must be understood in relation to discourses on what it means to be a ‘good’ child of someone, as these moral questions influence what children come to do. The article draws on interviews with 39 children (aged 5–17 years) from two studies that explored children’s family relationships in challenging family circumstances.
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