13 Jan The steps of crisis that a family faces (Virginia Satir)
I would like to describe the major, natural steps a family undergoes at its members grow. All of these steps mean crisis and temporary anxiety and require an adjustment period and anew integration.
The first crisis is the conception, pregnancy, and birth of a child.
The second crisis comes when the child starts to use intelligible speech. Few people realize how much adjustment this takes.
The third crisis comes when the child makes an official connection outside the home, namely , school.
This brings the school world onto the family, and brings in a foreign element for the parents and children alike. Teaches are generally parental extensions; and even if you welcome this , it requires adjustment.
The fourth crisis, which is a great big one , comes when the child goes into adolescence
The fifth is when the child had grown to adulthood and is leaving home to seek independence. There are often low feeling here.
The sixth crisis comes when the young adult marries and the in-laws become foreign elements to be accepted in the family.
The seventh is the advent of menopause in the woman.
The eighth, called the climacteric, involve reduced level of sexual activity by the male.
This is not a physical problem; his crisis seems to be more connected to his feeling that he is losing his potency.
The nine comes, then, with grandparenting, which is chock full of privileges and traps.
Finally, the tenth comes when death comes to one of the spouses, and then to the other.
The family is the only social group I know that accommodates so many changing differentnesses in so little space and in such a short time. When three of four of these crises occur at once, life can get really intense and more “worriable” than usual. Chances are good , though , that if you understand what is happening, you can relax a little. In turn, you can clearly see what directions to take to make changes. I want to emphasize that these are normal, natural stresses; they are predictable for most people. Don’t make the mistake of regarding them as abnormal.
The New Peoplemaking