• I believe a family consists of
the people that you love.
This can include married
couples, married couples
with children, single parents
with children, siblings,
grandchildren, or a circle of
friends. The common tie that
binds all these groups
together is the love that
they have for each other.
This is what makes them a
FamilySystemsTheory Family systems theory focuses on
the families behavior rather than
the individual behavior. It can
explain why members of a family
behave the way they do in certain
situations. As an early childhood
educator there are six
characteristics of the family that
are especially relevant. These
boundaries, roles, rules, hierarch
y, climate, and equilibrium.
Becoming an informational
advocate, so to speak, is
imperative in being able to
support and nurture each family.
•Boundaries – avoid stereotypes, recognize need for
•Roles – observe children, allow role play
•Rules – watch for unspoken rules, ask for families’
SIX CHARACTERISTICS CONT.
•Hierarchy – Careful and keen observation
•Climate – Safe classroom environment
•Equilibrium – Provide consistency
You pass through many
emotional and intellectual
stages as you move from
childhood to your
retirement years. This is
what is referred to as the
family life cycle. As you
move through the family life
cycle you gain life
skills, which will help you in
moving from one stage to the
next stage. This is important
as there will be many
struggles and challenges
along the way.
The stages include
Launching adult children
WHY IS IT IMPORTANT TO UNDERSTAND THE
FAMILY LIFE CYCLE?
When you are able to successfully master the skills in
one stage of the cycle you are more apt to make a
smooth transition to the next stage. Furthermore, you
are less likely to struggle with future relationships
WHAT CAN DISRUPT THE NORMAL
There are number of things that can disrupt the cycle.
An ongoing medical crisis, daily stress, or other chronic
condition can all make it difficult to transition to the
next stage successfully.
HOW CAN YOU IMPROVE YOUR LIFE
Through self-examination, education and counseling you
can improve your life cycles. Getting support from
those people that love and care for you is also
extremely important during times of struggle.
My Life Cycle Experience
I have had many challenges during my own life cycle.
My first husband took his life when I was twenty-seven
years old. My second husband, and father of my only
child, was killed when I was thirty-six years old. Being
a single parent is difficult at times, especially with no
family in the area, but I know that my life cycle is what
has shaped me into the person I am today. I am blessed