Chapter 7-textbook.docx

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Family Relations and Human Development
FRHD 1020
Robyn Pitman

Couple and Family Relations – Chapter Seven The Middle years and the Not-So-Empty Nest Key terms:  Boomerang kids: children who return to their parents’ home after moving out  Empty nest syndrome: the depression and sense of uselessness some women experience when the last child leaves home  Generativity: the focus on one’s legacy  Midlife crisis: extreme strain as a person re-evaluates his or her life in the middle age  Revolving door: children’s repeated moving in and out of their parents’ home  Sandwich generation: middle-aged adults who experience the stress of continuing dependency of their children and increasing disability of their parents  Stressor: a life event that can produce change in the family system example: parenthood or death Notes:  40-65 parents with kids anywhere from toddlerhood to young adults  By the end of this period children become independent  New generations have smaller families and therefore spend less time raising children then before  Median age of the population is 39 years old half older half younger  Middles years joined child rearing years as longest stages in life  Wide variety of types of families and diverse situations  Some people are at the peak of their careers while others are retiring, some people are just having kids while others are great grandparents  Years are transitional as family life changes with one family splitting into two families when children are leaving the house, getting married and having children themselves  New boundaries are formed  New roles are then formed as well, because of the addition or subtraction of members from the family  Canadians reported that most of the negative stressors include their own health, the death of a loved one and financial problems  Erik Erikson key issue in middle age is generativity (or having children and passing on something of value to younger generations)  Age span broken into two stages (1) midlife evaluation and transition (40s and late 50s) (2) time of liberation, experimentations and innovation (50s-70s) example bucket list  Midlife crisis rare and related to sports cars and new younger wife  Areas of evaluation (1) Gererativity can be done through raising children, big sister big brother programs, mentoring younger kids, the creation of artistic works  Men’s generativity was focused more on career and public life but now since womens roles are resembling men’s their experience is similar  Emptying the nest is significant and necessary to allow your children to become independent but to as well redefine marriage without dependent children which usually increases marital satisfaction and happiness (2) evaluation of identity: the search for personal meaning, mostly with men but now since women are in the workforce and divorce is accepted women have this problem as well (3) sense of confidence and competence: women- sense of power in their jobs and organization men-able to relax from demands that they perform at high level (4) mortality: people around them and their parents are dying reminding them that they will not live forever  Men start to face the signs of aging : grey hairs, wrinkles, loss of physical power while women: face menopause  Both men and women are more likely to be concerned with health problems then physical appearance over the age of 50  Men and women both need goals to direct life  Men form a dream and by midlife it should be apparent whether the dream is attainable, if not to reassess it to reality, if accomplished need to make a new goal to direct life (women in workforce similar decision)  Push towards excitement and a pull towards security  Individuals become grandparents at 50 and have fewer grandchildren then their grandparents had, often include step grandparents  These generation rich families called beanpole families  Childless household men more concerned with relationship and competitiveness and women more concerned with achievement  When making this adjustment men and women become happier  Parents with older children in midlife tend to be happier than those with older children that are not living at home  Much stress of fathers with boys and mothers with girls when the first child reaches puberty, men often become used to this by the time the second child reaches puberty but still problems with the mother  Both spouses are more happier after the last child leaves the house and find spending the time with their spouse more relaxing then before  If children are in the house then there is often a conflict with money and chores  Their sexual relations may increase with less interruptions from t
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