Any family is a social system that is always in interaction with the outside world. The family will maintain its functioning when it is subject to the basic laws that are inextricably linked: the law aimed at maintaining family stability and the law of its development. It will not be superfluous to note that the life cycle of a family is accompanied by a periodic and consistent change in its stages.
As you know, the concept of a family that was recently created and spouses who have lived together for many years differs in the same way as the life cycle of a family.
Objective events and age-related psychological changes of partners in the family are able to determine the development of the life stages of each family.
Family life cycle stages
In psychology in the 40s of the 20th century. the idea of the stages of the life cycle of the family arose. Initially, there were about 24 of them. At the moment, it is conditionally divided into the following stages:
- care stage.
- Living without children.
- The triad stage (the appearance of children).
- mature marriage.
- The stage in which the children leave the house.
- “Empty nest”.
- The final stage, in which one of the spouses is left alone after the death of a partner.
Each stage sets the spouses to perform certain tasks. So, a family that successfully overcomes the difficulties that arise, the set internal and external tasks, is called functional. Otherwise, dysfunctional. The right decision for a dysfunctional family is to seek help from a psychologist. The life cycle of family development involves a crisis transition from one phase to another, and partners are not always able to see the opportunity to adapt to a new environment in family life.
The main stages of the family life cycle
The phases of the family life cycle have their own difficulties and problems, we will consider them in detail.
- In the period of courtship before the wedding, the main goal is the desire to achieve material and psychological independence from the parental family, determination with the choice of the future husband, business and emotional interaction with him.
- There are young couples who are in no hurry to overcome this period. The reason for this is the fear hidden inside their family (parent). And others, on the contrary, strive to create their own family as soon as possible, thus freeing themselves from the close relationship between parents and children. Some cannot marry due to financial and economic troubles.
- During the period when a married couple lives without children, changes are established related to their social status. Internal and external family boundaries are determined, interference in the family life of relatives is allowed or not. During this period, partners spend a lot of time establishing negotiations with each other on various issues. Emergence of emotional, sexual and so forth problems is not excluded.
- During the appearance of small children in the family, the spouses are divided into roles. This is due to fatherhood and motherhood, adaptation to mental stress, insufficient stress to be alone. In the event that an unwanted child appears, then problems arise related to the difficulties of upbringing and the understanding of the spouses that parting will be difficult due to the appearance of a child.
- The crisis of the middle of family life falls on the period when children leave the parental “nest”. In complete families during this period there are a lot of divorces. This stage is characterized by a high level of anxiety. Spouses need to decide on new goals, priorities, etc.
- At the last stage of the life cycle, the restructuring of the role structure in the family takes place in the direction of the decision to preserve health, the creation of a satisfactory standard of living for the well-being of both spouses.
So, the family in the period of its development goes through a certain life cycle. The most important thing during this period is to overcome difficulties, stepping toe to toe with your partner.