Saturday, December 14, 2013

After Marriage

After someone gets married, unfortunately, there is the possibility of separation and divorce. Divorce is becoming more commonly accepted. In 2008, 22% of Americans still believed that divorce is morally wrong. I personally believe that a couple should do everything in their power to work out their problems before even considering marriage. Doing everything possible, doesn't mean trying to talk about it and then deciding that it's not getting everywhere. I mean that both spouses are really attempting to make it work between them and giving their heart to trying to fix their problem. I believe that people are genuinely happier when they work out a problem instead of divorce because often times one of them regrets the divorce two years later. There are certain instances in which I believe divorce is healthier for both parties and children, but there are many instances where it is not healthier. My textbook (Marriage and Family: The Quest for Intimacy Eighth Edition) notes that there are four phases in the process of divorce. The first is recognition. This is when one or both spouses recognize that there is a serious problem. The second is discussion. Discussion is the period during which one or both spouses begin to share the marital problems with others or each other. Third is action. This is when one of the spouses secures a lawyer in order to legally divorce. The last one is postdissolution which begins when both spouses accept the fact that the marriage has ended. The textbook also mentions the six "stations" of divorce or six different experiences that people are likely to have. There is emotional divorce, legal divorce, economic divorce, co-parental divorce, community divorce, and finally psychic divorce. I won't explain what each of these is, but you can do your research and find out more about these. If considering divorce, people need to think about the negative effects of divorce as well. Health problems can occur (physical and emotional) and financial problems.. PLUS... it can dramatically affect the children too. All of these should be taken into consideration, but if possible, I highly recommend trying to work things out. What can seem like a major problem or a problem that can't be fixed, turns out to be solvable if work and time is put into it. If you're married, I wish you a happy marriage! Take time to make your spouse (and children if any) feel loved! Happy Holidays!

Saturday, December 7, 2013


Being a parent, in my opinion, is the most important job you could have in this life. Having children is such an amazing privilege and blessing. We need to learn to be the best parents we can be. There are so many different parenting techniques. What you need to do is look at the different techniques and decide what you believe are the correct ones and the ones you want to implement. I will talk about some things I learned about parenting and you can form your own opinions about them. I learned that you are supposed to use "I" messages. Those work in any type of relationship because you aren't placing blame on anyone and you're talking about how you feel. The video we watched talks about two techniques called "either/or" and "when/then". The "either/or" is telling your child that they either do the thing you're asking of them or there will be a consequence. The "when/then" is telling your child that they can do something when they do what you want them to do. I have learned in my parenting class and this class that rewards and punishments are not very effective. They are slightly effective for the short-term, but they are not at all effective for the long-term. In fact, they can be the opposite of effective. According to Alfie Kohn, every time you reward a child for something they do, they become less interested in the thing they were rewarded for. Punishments can be done correctly, but almost always aren't. We should learn to be more intentional parents. We need to be more aware of our children and why they do things instead of just focusing on their behavior. We should talk to them more and try to understand them. We need to speak to them on their level instead of talking down to them. We are there  to help them instead of bossing them around. The video I watched talks about Logical Consequences Guidelines for teens. These are the steps: 1. Ask the teen to help decide the consequence. , 2. Put the consequence in the form of a choice: either/or choice OR when/then choice. , 3. Make sure the consequence is logically connected to the misbehavior. , 4. Give choices that you can live with. , 5. Keep your tone of voice firm and calm. , 6. Give the choice on time, then enforce the consequence. , and 7. Expect testing from your teen. They also talk about FLAC. It stands for Feelings, Limits, Alternatives (working with child for a solution), and Consequences. It is important to acknowledge their good efforts and not just point out their mistakes. It is easy to discourage our children. This is done by expecting too little, expecting too much, focusing on mistakes, and overprotecting our children. We can encourage our children by showing confidence, building on strengths, learning to value them, and stimulating their independence. It is important to be the best parents we can be because we will be raising the next generation. How you treat them and raise them has a huge impact on the rest of their life. I am excited to be a parent. I know it will be difficult, but it will be so worth it. The good times will outweigh the challenging. This week's challenge: Be intentional parents! Get to know your children. Work to truly understand them and only make decisions that are beneficial and will actually. teach your children. Happy December!

Friday, November 29, 2013

Fatherhood and Finances

So! Happy late Thanksgiving, everyone! Hope it was great. It is finally time for Christmas music, lights, decorations, gift giving, caroling, hot cocoa, and fireplaces! Oh and snow...lots of snow. If you couldn't tell.. I love Christmas. ANYWAY.. back on track. This week I've been learning about work and the home. The way society views work and home has changed significantly. I've read how more and more women are entering the labor force and the men are not the only breadwinners these days. Before I continue, I just want to establish that I don't find anything wrong with women working. If they choose to do that, that's great. The big issue is children. If you don't have any children, well then I guess that isn't a problem. If children are in the home (mainly young children), it can be difficult to have both parents working full time. I'm not saying just difficult for the parents because they have to find child-care and all, but difficult for the children. I firmly believe that children need to learn and grow in the company of a parent. When they are young is when they are developing and learning the things they need to know. It is also when a bond forms between the parent and child. I, personally, wouldn't want someone else raising my child. I would want to be at home raising my child and teaching them what I think it is important to learn including my religious beliefs. When children are in school, it is nice to have a parent at home because it is like a support system for the child and a way they can learn outside of school as well. I want to defend home-makers. I do not think that home-makers are wasting their life away and discarding their education and wasting it. I think home-makers do more than most people believe. I find it important to be with your children and do things around the house that need to get done. There are ways of continuing your education while being at home. There is the news, talk shows, books, online courses, etc. The list could go on and on. Truly. I think the world views home-making as not important, but I think it is one of the most important jobs you could have, if not the most important. Another topic we covered is finances. It is so important to learn how to manage finances and budget your money. Finances is one of the most common reasons for divorce. It is highly recommended to discuss how you will manage money with your fiancé before you get married. Money is an issue that most people have trouble with. Having a wedding cost money and starting a family cost money. In fact, EVERYTHING costs money. It is all about managing money. You can save so much money if you just pin point what you spend most of your money on unnecessarily and cut down on it. That can make life easier. Try going a week without spending money that you don't need to and see the difference it can make. You may want to come with a way so you will actually be able to see the numbers. Good luck.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Communication is KEY!

Communicating is one of the most important things you can do in any relationship. There are different techniques of good communication. There are soft start ups which are conversations that are started not harshly. There are repair attempts when people try to get the conversation back on track, there are I-messages when people us the word "I" instead of pointing blame, and there is reflective listening which is when you reflect and ask if you understand what the person is saying. The conflict resolution steps are: identify/define the issues, clarify the issue completely, identify alternatives, solidify agreements, and try the plan and review/renegotiate. The forms of communication include verbal, words, tone, and non-verbal. in communications, 51% is nonverbal, 35% is tone, an 14% is words. We need to watch our nonverbal communication because that says a lot about how we are feeling. That is why people say actions speak louder than words.  Communication is so big in relationships because it allows each person to understand how the other is feeling, learn more about them, work out problems, and bond. Often times, we focus so much on indirect communication that it has a big potential to be misunderstood. When we communicate, we should be sure to not let impure things pass through our mouths. We need to build up others. I need to be especially careful about sarcasm. Sarcasm is a corrupt form of communications. Your tone won't match your words and in other words, you are lying because there is the potential for damage or misunderstanding. There is no congruent way to respond to sarcasm. Moral of the story, communication is everything and it is very important to be careful how you communicate so that you are not misunderstood. Miscommunication causes many problems, therefore it is worth your time to do your best to communicate effectively.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Family Crisis

Everyone deals with challenges differently and it all depends on how you do that determines how the challenge affects you. This week we talked about crisis and how families deal with it. Some people may look at a struggle as a big crisis while others may look at it as a small thing. It is all based on how you handle it and your other circumstances. We learned about the ABCX family crisis model. This is the actual event, the resources and your application, and cognition all adds up to the total experience that you have. Stressor events bring about a family crisis. The events are not sufficient to cause serious problems, but it is important to know the kind of events can cause a family crisis. There are different types of stressor events. They are categorized into internal and external. The internal stressor events are events that begin from someone inside the family, such as getting drunk, suicide, or running for election. The external events that begin from someone or something outside the family, such as earthquakes, terrorism, the inflation rate, or cultural attitudes toward women and minorities. The internal stressors are normative, ambiguous, volitional, chronic, cumulative. The external stressors are non-normative, non-ambiguous, non-volitional, acute, isolated. All of the stressors can be handled in a ways that make it easier for you and your family to handle. It is important to keep perspective and know that your trial will be just a moment in the grand scheme of things. If you just keep perspective, be flexible, and do what you can to take everything one step at a time and support the other people in your family.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Sex Education

Teaching your children about intimate relations can be very important. You don't want your children to learn from their peers and be misinformed. You want your child to know your stance on intimate relations outside of marriage. I am going to speak from my stance now, so I'm sorry if you don't agree. I would want to teach my children of the importance of sex and how sacred it is and should be shared between a husband and wife. The world looks at it as a recreation. It is important to talk about it with your children so they don't look at it as a bad thing. Let your children hear it from you and not their health teachers or students first. You can practice with your spouse how to share the information with your children, let them ask questions, invite them to share their thoughts, and avoid euphemism. 
We also learned about infidelity. The words we thought about when we heard "high fidelity" (related to music) was truth, loyalty, purity, warmth, multi sensual, and interactive. This can relate to relationships too. Infidelity is actually very easy to fall into. Some forms of infidelity are pornography, fantasizing about another person, and romantic relations with another. Other forms of infidelity include putting anything above God, same-sex, sexting others, dishonesty, confiding in friends, impure thoughts about others, lusting after others, some romantic novels or romantic movies. We should be very careful of infidelity.  

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Newly Weds

There are many challenges to the first few years of marriage. The big one is traditions. It is hard to start making your own traditions, deciding which traditions to go with, and deciding which families to see during the holidays. It is hard to decide which family and or whether you'll stay and develop your own traditions. It is also hard to decide which traditions to create especially if both spouses come from a different cultural background. It is hard for spouses to get used to their new roles and responsibilities. Money is often a big thing couples disagree on. Getting used to living with each other and sharing everything can be difficult for some people. The sleeping arrangements can be a hard thing to get used to. In-laws can be hard to deal with, but it takes a lot of patience and it can be a way to solve problems together as a couple. Dividing responsibilities is one thing that couples have to learn in the the first few months of marriage. We also learned in class that when couples have children, their marital satisfaction goes down with each one. Having children can cause the parents to grow more distant because of many factors, but couples can mostly avoid this if they stay close, take time for one another, talk about their feelings, and work out problems together.