Family Life Cycle

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Change is a fact of life.
Families will experiences changes all the time
Some changes may have a bigger impact on a
family then another
Social Scientists have identified a general
pattern to describe how families grow and
change over the year.
It is called Family Life Cycle
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Beginning Stage
Parental Stage
Launching Stage
Middle age Stage
Retirement Stage
As a couple establish a home in this stage
 They also learn about each other
 They devise systems for living happy together
 Organizing finances
 Setting up a schedule for doing household
tasks
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As the couple become parents and raise their
children, many changes can occur
Parents teach and train their young children
Often have less time for activities as a couple
(ex. Date night)
As the children grow up, they state to share
in household responsibilities
Also become more independent and begin to
prepare for their own adult lives
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Children leave home to support themselves
and develop their own lifestyles
Family cycle begins for a new generation
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After children have left home, parents have
time to focus on being a couple again
This stage is sometimes called “ Empty Nest”
During this time couples may also reassess
their careers, take up hobbies, and become
more active in the community
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Retirement may mean freedom for travel and
leisure activities
Some people may find new work to
supplement income
Adjusting to the aging process is necessary,
often including:
- death of friends and/or spouses
- Moving to a smaller home
- Moving to a retirement facility
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This cycle is very general, there are many
variation to the Family Cycle
Grandparents may be raising the children,
husband and wife had children later in life,
divorce, and remarriage
What used to be a basic pattern of family
development is now much more complicated
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Families often struggle today because of the
changing framework of the family
Events may not be as predictable as they once
were
Some times families have to look for different
methods of operating than earlier
generations used to
Often have to work out new solutions to fit
new situations
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