Objectives: Explain the importance of the family Identify various types of families Identify stages in the family life cycle Social Trends that influence families
The Importance of Families
A family is a group of two or more people who care about each other and are committed to each other. Why does family seem to matter so much? A family is every child’s first connection to the world. As a child gets older, a family should provide a safe environment from which to explore-and to which he or she can return. The family provides an important sense of belonging for every member.
Types of Families Family groups take many different forms and vary in size and structure. A family may include a single parent and several children, or two parents and one child, or two married or committed with no children….etc. In spite of these many variations, there are four main kinds of family groups: - nuclear family - extended family - single-parent family - blended family
The Nuclear Family Is a family with two generations – a father and mother and at least one child – sharing the same household. the families may differ depending on how many children there are, whether parents work outside the home, and other characteristics. A nuclear family can include: - biological children - adopted children - foster children
Single-Parent Family Is a family group that includes either a mother or a father and at least one child. The parent may be father or mother. That parent may be raising children alone because: He or she never married He or she was left alone after a divorce or death. Single parenting puts many demands on the parent. He or she has a great deal of responsibility, little free time, and no spouse with home to share problems. Many single parents find support in a network of friends and relatives. Some communities have organizations for single parents, which provide emotional support and social opportunities. Example: YMCA
Custodial Parent In the case of divorce, many children make scheduled visits to the parent who doesn’t live with them. These visits give the custodial parent, the one with whom the child resides, a necessary break from the challenges of single parenthood and preserves the relationship between the other parent and child.
The Blended Family Is a family group formed when a single parent marries another person, who may or may not have children. Step-parents Step-children Step-brothers/ step-sisters In the first few months or years, the members of a blended family may experience challenges: Learning to live with each other Accommodations and compromises Stepparenting adjustments And more.
Extended Family Is a family group that includes a parent or parents, at least one child, and relatives other than a parent or child who live with them. Examples: A woman raisers her two grandsons. An elderly man lives with his daughter, his son-in law and his granddaughter. The term extended family also refers to additional relatives outside the family.
Joining a Family A child can join a family in many ways. Biologically
legal process Adoption Foster A legal guardian is a person who is designated by a legal process to assume responsibility for raising the child.
Adoption Is the legal process in which people obtain the permanent right to raise a child who is not biologically their own. In the past, children were always matched as closely as possible to their adoptive parents, with special consideration given to their race, ethnic and religious background, and physical characteristics. Now, the emphasis of adoption is on finding good homes for children who need them. Matching the characteristics is no longer considered especially important.
Foster Child A child whose parents or other close family members are unable to care for him or her. Foster parents assume temporary legal responsibility for the child.
The Family Life Cycle Each family goes through the family life cycle – a series of stages in a predictable order. The timing and duration of these stages may vary widely from family to family.
Family Life Cycle Beginning Stage: a couple works to establish a home and relationship. Childbearing Stage: the couple prepares and adjusts to parenthood. Child-rearing Stage: as children grow, the parents work to meet their children’s changing needs and help them develop independence. Launching Stage: Children gradually leave home to support themselves. Parents help their children adapt to life on their own. Empty-nest Stage: After the last child has left home, the couple renews their relationship and adjusts to the change in their parenting role. Retirement Stage: The couple adjusts to the aging process. They may develop new interests or renew old ones.
Variations in the Family Life Cycle
Any of the following situations may change the pattern of the family life cycle or the characteristics of each stage: Single adulthood Single parenthood Divorce Remarriage Couples without children Adult children who move back with parents.
Trends Affecting Families
All families are affected by trends in the society around them. Mobility Many adults move away from the community where they were raised. Families may lack close, supportive connections with extended family. Families must rely on themselves, neighbours, and close friends for support and assistance. Aging Population People are living longer then they used to. People find themselves caring not only for children, but also helping and caring for aging parents. This can create stress as well as opportunities for intergenerational interaction – between young and old. Fluctuations in Economy Families struggle to make ends meet. Finances are often the primary reason why both parents in a nuclear family are employed. The pressure of finances have led to families having less children/smaller families. Workplace changes There is a constant shift in the amount of jobs available at any given time. In such a changing work environment, there is the demand to continuously learn new skills. Impact of technology Can make life easier, and make life more difficult. Cell phones, internet are two technologies that are leading to less communication and time for each other.
Review There are four types of families:
nuclear family extended family single-parent family blended family There are four different ways to become a parent: Biologically Adoption Foster Through marriage
Review Each family goes through the family-life cycle. The time and duration of each stage will vary family to family. There are several societal trends that affect families: Mobility Aging population Economy changes Workplace changes Technology advancements
Your Task Complete Assessment 1.3A: Ways of Becoming a Parent
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