In the clinical therapeutic practice for family groups, therapists make use of structural family counseling for conceptualizing and believing that as a system, family plays a crucial role in development of individual behavior; In so doing, some therapists consider the significance of a family therapy for the goal of influencing and reinforcing the individual to adjust and alter previous problem behavior into a more desirable attitude and behavior that considers the internal values and behavior of other members in the family as a group (Corey, 2001). Literature Review
It was Murray Bowen who developed the theory of family systems and considers it as a guide to analyze family operations and dynamics in a “three-generation perspective (Corey, 2001). ” Implicitly, Bowen’s approach suggested the classification and description of such stages in order to understand the group dynamics of the family. The stages of development occurring in the life of the family include the ff. : Early family parenting, the middle Family parenting, and the late family parenting (Schatz, 1991). Stages of family development: Its characteristics, nature, and impact on the family
The initial stage of family development is the Early family parenting—in this stage, courtship, coupling, and initial period of parenting begins. During this stage, the early or newly-wed couple starts to feel the real adult experience wherein there is a new definition of the partners’ individual roles and functions. In this initial stage, both partners feel both the excitement and anxiety of the transition from late adolescence to early adulthood or the transition from early adulthood to middle adulthood, or middle to late adulthood (depending on the age of the couples when they got married).
Moreover, this stage is characterized by the exposure of the partners to their revealing likes and dislikes, opposing views and similar perspectives and creating a bond in attempt to adjust with the changes and make compromises (Schatz, 1991). Second, middle family parenting is characterized by: managing to sustain spontaneous conversation with partner, enhanced independence and autonomy, defining, differentiating and adjusting oneself with one’s spouse and off-springs, and taking pleasure into discover new set of responsibilities.
In this stage, change is continuous as parents move into another phase of family development. Increase focus on their child or disengagement may occur in this stage that is why communication is considered as the key to solve the diversity and conflict in the family (Schatz, 1991). Last but not the least, late family parenting occurs in the course of family development. This stage is described as the period of acceptance in the offspring or child’s distinct behavior due to the prevalent generational gap and present norms.
It is also in this stage that the parents experience more freedom and independence from the once perceived rebellious, or different child. In this stage, partners “rediscover” their spouse as to what changes occurred in their life course. It is a major time to reevaluate each other’s life to re-experience or refresh the past learning and knowledge from the past and apply those learning by relating and sharing the experiences to the children or younger generation (Schatz, 1991). Conclusion There are three stages of family development as summarized in a person’s life span.
These are the early family parenting, middle family parenting, and late family parenting. Multicultural issues influence each stage as the parents should adjust their behaviour according to the existing cultural values of their children, spouse, and diverse multicultural values of the society in which the family belongs. With the help of the therapist, the family is guided to the behaviour that is appropriate and inappropriate to existing situations to prevent further familial conflicts (Schatz, 1991). References Schatz, M. S. , Menne, D. , & Trever, J. (1991).
The game board of family dynamics: Structures, stages, rules, roles, and functions. Fostering Families: A specialized training program designed for foster care workers and foster care parents. Colorado State Dept. of Social Services, Boulder. Retrieved October, 27, 2008, from http://eric. ed. gov/ERICWebPortal/custom/portlets/recordDetails/detailmini. jsp? _nfpb=true&_&ERICExtSearch_SearchValue_0=ED353041&ERICExtSearch_SearchType_0=eric_accno&accno=ED353041\ Corey, G. (2001). Theory and practice of counselling and psychotherapy. (6th ed). SG: Wadsworth. pp. 386-448.