Application: Family Systems Theory in Action

All of the readings this week, as well as the multimedia presentation focusing on Mahaley and her web of support, make the following points regarding healthy child development:

  • Children’s lives are embedded in the context of relationships with other people.
  • People from all walks of life and of all ages can contribute to children’s healthy development.
  • Children’s relationships are complex and multifaceted.
  • Not all relationships that have an impact on children are nurturing relationships.
  • It is vital that anyone working in the early childhood field understands the families/relationships in which children are growing up.
  • Child development and family systems theories and research support these points.

This assignment provides an opportunity to apply what you have learned about the characteristics of family systems to your own family, to the family in which you grew up, or to a family you know well. In preparation for this assignment, carefully review the article “Understanding Families: Applying Family Systems Theory to Early Childhood Practice,” paying particular attention to the six characteristics-boundaries, roles, rules, hierarchy, climate, and equilibrium”and how each affects the ways in which family members interact and how the child, then, interacts with the outside world.

For this Application assignment:

  • Briefly summarize three of the six characteristics that strongly resonate with you.
  • Provide an example that illustrates how each family systems characteristic you chose shaped the interactions within your own family, the family in which you grew up, or a family that you know well, as well as the way the child in that family interacted with the outside world.
  • Explain why understanding these characteristics and their consequences is essential to people who work with children and their families.

Laureate Education, Inc. (n.d.). Mahaley’s Web. Retrieved from http://mym.cdn.laureate-media.com/2dett4d/Walden/EDUC/6005/03/mm/Mahaleys_Web/index.html

(Laureate Education, Inc., n.d.).

Assignment length: 600 words

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