I’ve heard and read and studied about a product life cycle in marketing and retail sales classes. But I hadn’t heard a term referred to as family life cycle.
According to my reading, the family life cycle entails the different life phases that an individual undergoes as part of a family unit. The various phases range from growing up and moving out of the childhood home, up to becoming a couple, and raising children in a new family unit, then career development and retirement, and finally, old age. All of these life phases are always accompanied by various emotional and psychological landmarks and growth opportunities.
It is during these growth opportunities and challenges that individuals may experience conflict or are unable to cope appropriately. Therefore there’s a line of counseling called contextual systemic therapy that works out the balance in the family relationship in an attempt to smooth out the conflict and re-establish the correct give and take balance and coping mechanisms.
We’ve all experienced stress at various life stages, but have you ever felt like you were unable to cope with an especially stressful life phase change? I know I have, on several occasions. Moving, family members and loved ones being far away, different schools, work changes, company changes, economic stresses, etc.
Have you ever reached out for counseling from someone outside of your family? Sometimes an objective friend can act as ombudsman or as a neutral third party observer, and can help get people back in balance by noticing particular patterns that are causing some deterioration in relationships or communications.
I was really fascinated by the whole concept of the family life cycle and hope to read more on it going forward.