Early Childhood 1

Application: Family Systems Theory in Action

All ofthe readings this week, as well as the multimedia presentation focusingon Mahaley and her web of support, make the following points regardinghealthy 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.
  • Itis vital that anyone working in the early childhood field understandsthe families/relationships in which children are growing up.
  • Child development and family systems theories and research support these points.

Thisassignment provides an opportunity to apply what you have learned aboutthe characteristics of family systems to your own family, to the familyin which you grew up, or to a family you know well. In preparation forthis assignment, carefully review the article “Understanding Families:Applying Family Systems Theory to Early Childhood Practice,” payingparticular attention to the six characteristics-boundaries, roles,rules, hierarchy, climate, and equilibrium”and how each affects the waysin which family members interact and how the child, then, interactswith the outside world.

For this Application assignment:

  • Briefly summarize three of the six characteristics that strongly resonate with you.
  • Providean example that illustrates how each family systems characteristic youchose shaped the interactions within your own family, the family inwhich you grew up, or a family that you know well, as well as the waythe child in that family interacted with the outside world.
  • Explainwhy understanding these characteristics and their consequences isessential 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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