Family Life Cycle 101 Beginning Aging Childbearing Launching Parenting Midyears What Is The Family Life Cycle? The emotional and intellectual stages you pass
through from childhood to your retirement years as a member of a family are called the family life cycle. In each stage, you face challenges in your family life that allow you to build or gain new skills. Gaining these skills helps you work through the changes that nearly every family goes through. Not everyone passes through these stages smoothly. Situations such as severe illness, financial problems, or the death of a loved one can have an effect on how well you pass through the stages. Fortunately, if you miss skills in one stage, you can learn them in later What Are The Stages Of The Family Life Cycle?
Beginning Childbearing Parenting Midyears Launching Aging Beginning The first stage of the family life cycle begins with a couples marriage, which establishes a family unit. During this stage, their main goal is adjusting to married life. Each person must learn to share life with the other while maintaining his or her own individuality.
The length of this stage varies from one couple to another. Some couples shorten this stage and enter the childbearing stage right away. Other couples enjoy this stage longer while they postpone parenting. Couples without children remain in this first stage, continuing to mature in their marriage, until the middle-age years. Childbearing The second stage begins with expectant parenthood. As this stage begins, the couple focuses on the coming birth. As they prepare for the arrival of their first child, the
couple realizes nothing will ever be quite the same. Primary attention is focused on the baby. The couple now has dual family roleshusband/father and wife/mother. Parents must learn how to manage extra responsibilities and conflicting demands on their time and energy. This stage ends when the first child reaches age 3. Parenting In the Parenting stage, the couple focuses on guiding their children through the school-age and teen years. This stage usually lasts the longest.
Parenting Preschoolers Stage. Primary attention is focused on providing for the childs growth and development in the preschool years. Parents develop firm thinking about how to support, guide, and discipline their children socially and emotionally in this stage. Parenting School-agers Stage. This stage begins when the first child is age 6. Parents adjust to other parents within the school community and must encourage their childrens school achievements. Children are also expected to internalize the rules of home and school and become more responsible. The stage ends when the first child reaches age 13. Parenting Adolescents Stage. Parents must now focus on the adolescent who wants to become more independent of the family system. Parents have to
reason with children about decisions they are making within and outside the family setting. Launching Parents now prepare each child in turn to be independent of the family. Parents assist their children in becoming established in homes and careers. The launching stage is a process of letting go of dayto-day parenting tasks. Midyears During this time, parents can focus
on each other again. Many assume the role of grandparents and prepare for the retirement years. Couples without children gradually transition to this stage while others are in their parenting years. They mature in their marriage relationship and prepare for their retirement years as do people who have children. Aging The couple must adjust to changes brought on by retirement. For many couples, this means having more
time to spend with each other and with new activities. This time offers couples opportunities to learn new skills or take on new hobbies. For many older adults, this also means dealing with declining health and making changes in how they handle daily activities of living. Adult children often play a greater role in caring for their parents during this stage. The stage ends with the death of both partners. Why Is It Important To
Understand The Family Life Cycle? Mastering the skills and milestones of each stage allows you to successfully move from one stage of development to the next. If you don't master the skills, you may still move on to the next phase of the cycle, but you are more likely to have difficulty with relationships and future transitions. Family life cycle theory suggests that successful transitioning may also help to prevent disease and emotional or stress-related disorders. Whether you are a parent or child, brother or sister, bonded by blood or love, your experiences through the family life cycle will affect who you are and who you
What Can Disrupt The Normal Cycle? The stress of daily living, coping with a chronic medical condition, or other life crisis can disrupt the normal life cycle. Ongoing stress or a crisis can delay the transition to the next phase of life. Or you may move on without the skills that you need to easily adapt and transition to the next phase of life. How Can I Improve My Family Life Cycle?
Be assured, you can learn missed skills and improve your and your family's quality of life at any stage. Self-examination, education, and perhaps counseling are ways to improve yourself and your family life. These are also actions that can help you manage other issues, too, such as going through a divorce or being a part of a nontraditional family structure. References Family Life Cycle-Topic Overview. (2016). Web MD. Retrieved November 7, 2016, from http://www.webmd.com/parenting/tc/family-life-cycle-to pic-overview
Families and Parents. (2010). The Goodheart-Wilcox Company. Retrieved November 7, 2016, from http://www.g-w.com/pdf/sampchap/9781590709269_ch0 2.pdf Parenting 101. (2013). Weebly. Retrieved November 7, 2016, from Family Life Cycle 101 Activities Family Life Cycle 101 Worksheet Family Life Cycle 101 Quiz Family Life Cycle Illustration: Create a Family Life Cycle Illustration of the 6 Family Life Cycle Stages. Include pictures for each stage. (See Sample) Family Life Cycle Cartoon: Create a Cartoon of your family going through each stage of the Family Life Cycle. Use one of
the following cartoon creator websites: http://www.toondoo.com/ , http://cambridgeenglishonline.com/Cartoon_Maker/, https:// www.pixton.com/, https://www.animaker.com/, http://www.toonytool.com/, https://www.powtoon.com/
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