Life Cycle: Stages a family passes through at
different points in time
“Call it a clan, call it a network, call it a tribe,
call it a family. Whatever you call it, whoever
you are, you need one.”
Roles & Responsibilities
 Make decisions together about careers, home, where to
live and whether they want to have children
 Learn to manage finances and household
Relationship Changes
 Expressing individuality while working well together
as a couple results in a strong marriage
 Couple must learn to communicate with each other
Roles & Responsibilities
 Provide safe, loving & organized environment
 Responsible for physical, emotional, social, financial,
intellectual & ethical needs of children
 Children require a great deal of time, leaving little time
for other things
Relationship Changes
 Transition from couple to family
 Children benefit when parents have strong
 Must compromise for the good of the family
 Divorce and extramarital affairs often occur during the
raising of small children when the parents have not
learned proper life skills.
 Can be a very rewarding, happy time, even with all of
its challenges.
Roles & Responsibilities
 Encourage teen to be creative and independent.
 Support teen as they experiment with different
thoughts, beliefs and styles.
 Establish boundaries for your teenager, but encourage
exploration at the same time.
 Strive for a balanced atmosphere in which your
teenager has a sense of support and emotional safety
as well as opportunities to try new behaviors.
Relationship Changes
 Parenting teens can test relationship skills
 Families that function best during this period have
strong, flexible relationships developed through good
communication, problem solving, mutual caring,
support, and trust.
 Your strengths as an individual and as part of a couple
are critical as you deal with the increasing challenges
of raising a teenager.
 Meet own individual needs and maintain relationship
with spouse.
Roles & Responsibilities
Children may now be off to post-secondary or work
Continue to encourage independence
Emotional support is still needed
Financial support may be needed
This stage will lengthen if child comes back home to
 A parent's focus shifts from the maturing teen to
career and relationship.
 May take on new role as Grandparents and may need
to include in-laws
Relationship Changes
 Couple adjust to their empty nest
 Can be emotionally difficult for couple
 Requires re-negotiation of marriage
 More time to focus on their own relationship ,
interests, hobbies
 Couple may have to assume responsibility to care for
their own aging parents (=sandwich generation)
Roles & Responsibilities
 Support children as they go through family life cycle
 Dealing with the loss of our spouse, siblings, and peers
and the preparation for own death and the end of their
 Interdependence of family roles
Relationship Changes
 Function as couple in face of physiological decline

Parenting over the Life Cycle