Week 1: Life Cycle
BSHS/406: Family and Social Systems: Contemporary Trends and Issues June 01, 2015
Three of the major concepts in the family life cycle are marriage, childbearing and death. Just as there are stages within the family life cycle, there are phases within each of those stages. With marriage there is courtship, engagement, the actual marriage, and the honeymoon. The honeymoon usually lasts for about the first one to two years of the marriage. The same applies for childbearing. It entails the conception, nine months of pregnancy, childbearing and parenthood. Lastly there is death. According to the text, death is “dealing with loss of spouse, siblings, and other peers. Making preparations for death and legacy. Managing reversed roles in caretaking between middle and older generations. Realignment of relationships with larger community and social system to acknowledge changing life cycle relationships” (McGoldrick, Carter, & Garcia-Preto, 2011). Self-determination is basically free will and can be defined as the capability of making up one’s own mind about what to think or do without outside impact or coercion. Self-determination can definitely impact an individual’s ability to successfully negotiate challenges within the marriage, childbearing and death life cycles. In life we are all faced with obstacles that can be viewed as negative barriers. They can prevent us from moving forward, but if we are motivated and find the determination within ourselves to push past these hurdles we can make it to the other side unfazed. Self-determination allows individuals to master challenges they are faced with on a day-to-day basis and throughout each life cycle. Autonomy can be seen as independence or freedom and an individual’s capacity for self-determination. It can be identified as the capacity of a lucid person to make a knowledgeable decision. Autonomy helps to create self-esteem as we begin to develop from birth. It assists in
the ability of knowing right from wrong. In life, people will fall in love, get married and may decide if they want to have children. Autonomy allows us to have choices of what we want to do and when we want to do it. Death is a hard pill to swallow, no matter how you look at it. Death can be unexpected as well as expected. There’s fragile situations where a loved one is dying and on life support, it’s hard for the family to let go, but they have to decide whether to end the life of their dying loved one or not. Sadly, people are challenged with not wanting to live, and they may feel that suicide is their only option. Autonomy is all about freedom of choice, when one is able to make choices. It’s knowing that there are options if you are willing to take the necessary steps to seek help. Policies and legislations are in place for a reason, and regardless to the life cycle, there will always be rules and regulations that must be adhered to. After the birth of a child you have to obtain a birth certificate which contains important information like the child’s name, birthdate and birth others name. The same applies when 2 people are planning to be married. They must first apply for a marriage certificate and it must be signed and notarized. The female must also ensure that her name has been changed on both driver’s license and social security card. This documentation is proof that she has legally changed her last name to that of her husband. When an individual dies, a death certificate must be obtained as proof of death. It must also be signed and notarized as well. It may be needed to finalize any unresolved matters that they deceased may have left behind. Whether it is birth, marriage, or death, obtaining proper documentation is very important. Just as sure as we are born, we all will one day die. From the beginning to the end, we will travel through our own personal life cycle, causing changes not only in our growth and...
References: McGoldrick, M., Carter, B., & Garcia-Preto, N. (2011). The expanded life cycle (4th ed.). Boston, MA: Pearson.
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