Tuesday, December 17, 2013

The Aging Family

There seems to be endless information on how to start a healthy marriage and family and how to parent children.  There is by far fewer resources which discuss the aging family.  However, the aging family is just as important to focus on because it is a time of change for families and individuals that can include loss of adult children, a decline in health and independence, and loss of one's spouse.
Aging couples often times struggle with the changes that come with age.  Many have a hard time being 'empty nesters' because for many years their whole focus was raising children.  Some aging couples are satisfied with tending to grandchildren while others cross boundaries between the role of grandparent and parent.
Although the changes that occur can be difficult for aging couples, it can become a time to develop a stronger relationship with a spouse or other family members. 

Friday, December 6, 2013


The purpose of parenting is to "protect and prepare children so that they can survive and thrive in the world they have to live in."  Parents are a child's most needed teacher.  Through their guidance, love, and selflessness they teach their children important values and life lessons that will be relied upon for the remainder of their lives.

In class we discussed an effective parenting method to use when conflict or a problem arises with a child or teen.  The first step is for the parent to make a polite request.  When the child feels they are respected and loved they will be more likely to comply with the parents desires.  If this approach doesn't work the next step is to use "I" statements.  The statement "I have a problem with the mess in the living room" is much less offensive than "You are always making a mess in the living room."  By using "I" statements the child will not feel a need to defend themselves and as a result they will be more willing to fix the problem.  If these first two approaches don't work a firmer statement may need to be made.  When making a firm statement it is important to keep calm and be respectful while still making the point come across.

Friday, November 22, 2013


Clear communication is vital for a family to function well.  Communication does not only include the words we say but also the tone in which we say it and our non verbal actions.  When we speak to someone 14% of the message comes across from the actual words, 35% from the tone, and 51% from non verbal actions.  Because we as humans are so visually oriented, we need to be aware of messages we are sending non verbally.  One way we can use good non verbal communication is to keep eye contact while having a conversation.  If either the speaker or listener has wandering eyes it leaves the message that they are not interested in the conversation.  Families that learn good communication skills will have less tension in their homes and feel a greater sense of unity as they are able to communicate their thoughts and feelings in a constructive way.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Family Crisis

A family crisis can either break the family unit apart or bring family members closer together.  The strength of a family through a crisis all depends on the attitude towards the crisis and individual family members during the time of struggle.  One example of a family crisis is a death within the family.  This event can cause individuals to feel lonely and depressed or it can bring the family together.  When a family experiences a death and is closed to discussing the death with family members it causes individuals to feel alone and often depressed because they feel they have no one to talk to.  On the other hand, a family which is open to talking together about the individual who died is more likely to feel a sense of closeness and unity because they are sharing common emotions and experiences.  Although crisis is difficult, it is an important part of life because it allows us to grow and become stronger as individuals and as families.  

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Marriage Fidelity

On Wednesday we talked about what marriage fidelity is and how it is viewed in society today.  Many people believe the only way to be unfaithful to your spouse is to cheat on them or have a sexual relationship outside of your marriage.  However, there are many other ways one can be unfaithful to a spouse.  Things as simple as putting work or hobbies before taking care of the needs of your spouse is being unfaithful.  Talking to previous boyfriends or girlfriends or chatting on facebook or other social media can cause infidelity.  Spending more time with friends than your spouse or confiding in your parents instead of your spouse can cause infidelity.  Some more serious forms of infidelity are sexting or actually having a sexual relationship with someone other than your spouse.  Although some of these things may not seem like a big deal, the point is they all are dishonest to your spouse and lead to poorer decisions over time.  A faithful spouse puts their spouse above all else, takes care of their needs, loves them wholeheartedly, and is completely honest in all things at all times.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Marriage Satisfaction

Most couples report that their marriage satisfaction declines after the birth of their first child and continues to decrease as they have more children.  This can be a result of factors including: the mothers increased work load, a change in priorities, and less time spent together.  There are several things a couple can do to prevent their relationship from declining.  During pregnancy the wife can help involve her husband in experiences such as feeling the baby kick and going to doctors appointments.  This will show the wife that the husband cares and that she and the baby are important to him.  It will also allow the husband to form an attachment to their baby and help his relationship with his wife improve.  After the baby is born it is important to share responsibilities in taking care of the child.  This will prevent unnecessary stress for both husband and wife.  Another way a couple can maintain an healthy relationship after the birth of the child is taking the time to love and show appreciation for each other.  It is easy to get caught up with work or taking care the baby but it is important for each spouse to know they are the number one priority.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Preparation for Marriage

This week we discussed how dating prepares us for marriage.  We discussed how dating can show whether a man is likely to be a good provider and protector and preside over his family.  A date should be planned, paired off and paid for.  If a date has carefully planned out it is a good indicator that the man will be able to preside over his family and make wise decisions.  Part of good planning includes discussing and approving the activities with the date.  Dates should be paired off because this helps create a sense of protecting each other.  If your date is more interested in spending time with other people in your group and ignores you during the date it may be a sign that he won't be dedicated to protecting you and providing for your needs. A man who pays for a date demonstrates that he will be good provider for his wife and family.  This doesn't mean that he needs to spend lots of money on a date but he shouldn't expect you to pay for a date he asked you on. 

I had not previously realized how many indicators of a good marriage could be found in dating.  I will definitely start paying more attention to these signs in mine and others relationships.