International Commission on Couple and Family Relations

Subtopics of the theme for the 2022 conference/webinar series

The theme of the ICCFR 2022 conference/webinars is:

The evolution of contemporary couple and family relations in all their diversity

We have developed the following subtopics on which to focus in 2022. These subtopics will be highlighted in our programming for webinars, seminars, articles and conferences.

Watch this site for further details in the coming weeks.
Main subtopic 1: The family offers a lifetime foundation to build resilience and elasticity

Potential subjects:

  • Do we build resilience during good times or bad?
  • The Great Resignation and impact on families, on society, on an economy
  • Trends in divorce, separation, and issues related to children
  • How does a family member with a disability impact a family?
  • Do societal violence and global authoritarianism impact family dynamics (e.g. couples,      parenting)?
  • The evolution of gender roles and expectations within the family
Main subtopic 2: Diversity and inclusion: every family is whole

Potential subjects:

  • Eliminating assumptions and templates about what makes a family
  • Contemporary families – coupling and uncoupling as part of the family life cycle
  • How diversity impacts access to family services offered by the public and private sectors
  • Families have agency – they are the building blocks of our societies – what happens in families impacts everyone
Main subtopic 3: Intergenerational families

Potential subjects (including a non-exhaustive list of further ideas):

  • Share and care for the most vulnerable
    • Community resources serving the elderly (charities, free local delivery, self-help courses, dance/theatre/bingo)
    • Encourage ageing family members to share childcare duties
    • Encourage younger family members to spend time with the elderly (earn an allowance?)
    • Explore resources for the elderly to have a pen pal
  • The sandwich generation – working and caring for youngsters while simultaneously caring for ageing parents
    • Be organized – keep a weekly calendar of appointments, activities, mediations, etc., and share duties with entire family
    • Avoid last-minute changes when possible as they can destabilize and confuse the young and old alike
    • Delegate with love
    • Consult experts who can advise on family challenges, including legal resources (power of attorney, wills and trusts, hospitalizations, end-of life planning) and medical difficulties
    • Recognize the strain on carers. Be good to yourself. Share fears with a close friend or a professional. Acknowledge what you can and cannot manage; share tips
  • Complexities when independent adults become dependent on the family (elderly, adult children moving home)
    • Be patient with the transition – one step at a time
    • If your dependent adult feels like a burden, encourage them to “do for others”
    • Acting out of kindness raises self-esteem and being active helps people live longer
    • Help elderly to recognize that growing old is a privilege and not to be embarrassed by aging
  • The shame associated with estrangement when a family member is ‘ghosted’ by the family
    • Encourage estranged parent/grandparent to explore resources for how they are feeling (books, support groups, online experts) and whom to talk with (clergy, therapist)
    • Let the estranged family member bring up the topic; avoid frequently asking how things are with the distant children/grandchildren
    • Include estranged family members in holidays – the hardest time of all
  • Accommodating the growing ageing population
    • Cultural differences in caring for the aged
    • Cultural differences between the family and the caregiver offer opportunity to learn something new
    • Cultural differences between countries
    • Encourage the dependent adult to reflect on their youth and how they adapted in different cultural environments
  • Abandonment and isolation among the elderly
    • Acknowledge the correlation between aging and depression
    • Offer support when there is the death of a loved one (can generate feelings of abandonment and isolation)
    • “Moving on” requires sharing and patience after a death
  • The economic challenges when the ageing population outnumbers the gainfully employed
    • Stimulate a global discussion – differences between nations in caring for the elderly
    • With a slow birth rate in Europe, how, for example, can the youngest generation expect to retire with a pension?
    • Invest in a national pension scheme