INTRODUCTION TO THE FAMILY LIFE CYCLE
STAGE 1: THE UNATTACHED YOUNG ADULT
This stage is characterized by a single young adult leaving home in order to establish herself or himself as an independent adult. The successful achievement of the task characteristic of this stage depends largely on the degree, quality and completeness of the young adult’s relationships with parents, siblings and extended family members while growing up. Key principle of the emotional transition of the unattached adults Acceptance of emotional responsibility for self
Acceptance of financial responsibility for self
Second order changes that have to be accomplished
The family start to recognize the young adult as a separate individual, were parents and the young adult begin to relate to one another on an adult to adult basis. The self is experienced as a separate person in relation to the original family, parents. Siblings and extended family members The young adult generalize the need for intimacy and begins to seek out suitable relationships outside the family of origin that provides feeling of attachment and belonging. The young adult become productive in the sense of finding and establishing herself or himself in a suitable career of productive work so as to be financial self-reliant.
STAGE 2: THE JOINING OF FAMILIES THROUGH MARRIAGE
Forming a new couple is a stage that is characterized by tremendous feelings of hope, optimism and joy, as presented in fairy tale endings were “they all lived happily ever after” sadly this fairy tale expectation seldom prepares couples for the adjustments and rearrangements that they will be required to make in their lives. Key principle of the emotional transition of the new couple
At this stage the couple commits to a new family system and has to decide on a whole range of matters. They develop their own ways of relating to and dealing with the myriad aspects of family life. People tend to use their experiences of their own families of origin and adjustment is generally less problematic when they have shared similar experiences of life Second order changes that have to be accomplished
Formation of a marital system – at this point one expects couple’s relationship strengths to be at their highest level. The couple are able to disclose their feelings, have relatively little to worry about, they trust and confide in each other, share similar believes and values, have respect for and pride in each order and have fewer conflicts. Realignment of relationships with extended families and friends to include the spouse.
STAGE 3: FAMILIES WITH YOUNG CHILDREN
The couple commits itself to an extra person or a few extra people in the family, and as a result, experiences many changes in the family system. The couple moves up a generation and become care takers of a younger generation. They may find it challenging to balance the role of mother and father with the role of husband and wife, and it is postulated that this is the reason why this phase in the family life cycle has the highest rate of divorce. Key principle of the emotional transition of families with young children This stage involves excepting the new members into the system. It is marked by the birth of one or more children , but this biological process presents psychological and social challenges that alter many things: work, friends, siblings parents, use of leisure time, finances and so forth The couple has to juggle all these things to make way for the new family members. Second order changes that have to be accomplished
Adjusting the material things to make space for children. Unless the couple have developed a relationship characterized by high levels of intimacy, it can be predicted that they will not be able to respond positively to the challenge of parenthood. The introduction of a child into a relationship creates what is commonly referred to by family therapist as the...
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