Tuesday, December 1, 2015

This video is all about the importance of dating in a healthy way. Make sure you are not making decisions under the influence.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Families are

If the Video does not work click here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zTGG7sy2Hf8

Monday, July 20, 2015

Divorce and Re-Marriage

For anyone who has been involved in a divorce process knows how hard it can be. The pain and hurt from a divorce do not just disappear. With a divorce and a re-marriage, emotions are fragile and it is important that parents and children communicate with each other in a healthy way. At this time there are many feelings of hurt and betrayal and family members should be sensitive to one another.

6 Stages of Divorce: 

  • Legal: Court officially brings the marriage to an end, relief from legal responsibilities. 
  • Economic: Settlement of property. 
  • Community: Leaves one community of friends and relations and enters another. 
  • Co-parental: Decisions on who will have custody, visitation rights, and continuing parental responsibilities. 
  • Emotional: Loss of trust, respect, and affection for each other. 
  • Psychic: Acceptance of the disruption of the relationship and regain a sense of being an individual again. 
According to Waite and Gallagher, the majority of couples who are unhappy can work through their problems and have a happy union within five years (Marriage and Family the Quest of Intimacy). 

Usual a divorce does more harm than good for the couple and children. When a couple gets a divorce the children are torn to choose who they will live with.  

Remarriage can be difficult especially when children are involved. Most couples choose to remarry because they want to be in an intimate relationship. When a couple remarries with children it makes the new situation difficult because children can feel a sense of betrayal and on the other hand, the new couple will find it difficult to find time to be with each other because they are taking care of children, thus leaving little room for a "honeymoon" phase. 

Within a re-marriage it is important to remember that it will take a minimal of 2 years to get to normalcy within the family. That includes getting used to each other and figuring out a routine that fits best with everyone. 

The birth parent of the children should have all the heavy discipline and the step-parent should act more like a great aunt or uncle. This is done to help build trust between the step-parent and child. 

The newly wed couple should have a conference with each other daily to make sure that things are still okay, and if need be resolve conflict. Misunderstanding one another can lead to hurt feelings and cause more problems between a family. 

Marriage is hard, but divorce is even harder with lasting damage done to a family. Sometimes, a divorce can be a good thing. However, couples should fight hard to stay together. 

It takes extra work to keep a blended/step family in harmony. Feelings are sensitive but ultimately everyone wants things to work out. 

Thursday, July 9, 2015


In class we discussed what are the reasons for parenting. Here are just a few things that we concluded.

  • Difficult things make us stronger
  • It helps us to understand God and relate to him
  • To up bring children in a safe environment
One word that was heavily enforced to contributing to successful parenting was.... LOVE

There are many books and articles addressing different parenting styles, but nothing will ever be better than love. 

Here is an example of confronting conflict between a parent and child/teenager.

Who owns the problem? 

  • Instead of yelling or demeaning the teenager, first approach them with a polite request. 
  • Instead of pointing fingers and blaming, use the "I" statement which is;
                      When you...
                       I feel...
                       I would like...

  • Make a stronger statement
  • Let the natural consequences unfold 
  • Plan a logical consequence 
  • Plan/Discuss together 
  • Encourage (Good behavior) 
When we try to control what our children do we do more damage than good. Satan's plan was to control us. When we use our agency and choose for ourselves the lessons we learn are much greater. 
Avoid immediate compliance. Instead, look for teaching opportunities. 

A theory of NEEDS was discussed in class. 
As humans we all need physical contact and a sense of belonging.
Parents should: 
  • Offer contact freely 
  • Teach to contribute
  • Response/Ability- Let children take responsibility showing that they are capable of working and contributing to the family. 
  • Teach assertiveness and forgiveness. 

Get needs met and people will stop doing desperate things to get needs met. 

Ever wonder why children act out? It is probably because they are not getting their basic needs met. They are starving for attention, affection or any type of contact. 

Parents have such a powerful position. Their actions can make or break someone. A proper parenting style brings about positive and good behavior. It brings a healthy child. 
Parents and children should have mutual respect for one another. Listen to each other and learn from each other. Most importantly they should love each other. 

Fathers and Finances

Throughout years there appears to be a greater number of single mothers who are working outside of the home to provide for their families. The traditional roles of a father working and a mother staying at home with the children has changed. This type of family tradition is no longer "normal". Usually both parents work outside of the home, and because of this the significance of fatherhood has been overlooked. 

 This is a picture of my dad and I years ago on our trip to Europe. It is a silly picture because I had asked my dad if he was strong enough to pick me up. When we are younger, especially as daughters we look up to our fathers for almost everything, especially for protection. Is my dad strong enough physically? That is what I was trying to prove in this picture, but as I got older I looked to my father for his emotional and spiritual strength to keep our family strong.

In the article titled, "The Distinct, Positive Impact of a Good Dad," by W. Bradford Wilcox, the author expressed how having a father in the home reduced depression and brought an overall more positive outlook on life. He states, " By contrast, great, and even good-enough dads, appear to make a real difference in their children's lives."

I have seen this not only with my dad, but with my brother as well. He has three daughters. In the picture to the left is his oldest daughter. How many of us remember sitting on our daddy's shoulders? Do you remember how confident you felt as you could see the world through a new perspective? You believed that your dad could carry you and help you reach new heights that you could not reach on your own. W. Bradford Wilcox states, "In their approach to childrearing, fathers are more likely to encourage their children to take risks, embrace challenges, and be independent." Fathers do much more than provide financially for the family. They challenge their children. They push them to reach their full potential by taking risk.

According to, "The Importance of Fathers," by Ditta M. Oliker, "Children with involved, caring fathers have better educational outcomes. The influence of a father's involvement into adolescence and young adulthood." This picture was taken right before I got on a plane and left for my mission. I know that my dad had an impact on me to help give me the courage and confidence I needed to serve a mission. When I was younger I came to my father for protection, to go on his shoulders and be lifted. Now that I am older I look up to my father for emotional and spiritual upliftment. The role of a father is never ending and does leave a lasting impact.

Fatherhood could be considered sacred, the greatest calling a man could ask for. It is a calling that is most similar to that of our Father in Heaven and for that reason it is not surprise that the role of fatherhood is powerful Let us not forget how significant the role of fatherhood truly is, especially in these changing times.

Links to articles:


Communication & Mutual Problem Solving

The Nature of Communication: 

Words           14%
Tone             35%
Non-Verbal  51%

The objective of communication is to decode the messages that are being sent our way.

Communicating our feelings can often times be a complex scenario. The feelings you intend to communicate can often times be misinterpreted. A KEY to avoid miscommunication is Listening. 

Psychiatrist Karl Menninger once said, " I believe listening to be one of the most powerful and influential techniques of human intercourse." It is no doubt that listening plays a significant role in proper communication.

The 5 styles of poor listening are;

The Faker: They pretend to be listening, nodding their heads and smiling, but are thinking about something else.

The Dependent Listener:  Primarily looking to please the speaker. Agreeing with everything they say just to maintain a goodwill with the speaker.

The Interrupter: Never allow the other person to finish speaking.

The Self-Conscious Listener: Trying to impress the other person, they fail to listen with understanding.

The Intellectual Listener:  Attend only to the words of other, ignoring non-verbal cues.

If you have found yourself being one of these listeners at one point than it would explain moments of miscommunication. However, there is always room for improvement.
A few pointers for this is;

  • Taking initiative in communication. Listening does not have to be passive. Look at the person speaking to you and concentrate on what they are saying. 
  • Resist distractions. 
  • Control your emotions and tendency to respond before someone is finished speaking. 
  • Ask questions and rephrase to clarify meaning. 
We are constantly communicating with one another. Whether it be verbally, or non-verbally we are always sending a message to the world. A good communicator must be an effective sender and receiver. A healthy relationship is one that has good communication skills. Therefore, it should be something we are constantly working on. 

Thursday, June 18, 2015

The Family Under Stress

Family Crisis

  • Separation 
  • Death 
  • Step Parents (Re-Marriage) 
  • Finances
  • Abuse 
These are just some family crisis that can occur. Think about your own life experiences. Have any of these impacted you in some way? If so, were you able to find a positive outcome from the experience? Can trials (crisis) within a family become a blessing/helpful in pulling the family closer together? 

It is unfortunate for anyone who has to deal with a family crisis, but often times the result of how we are effected is largely due to how we deal or cope with the situation. 

There are 4 ways someone will generally deal with a crisis
  1. Denial 
  2. Avoidance 
  3. Scapegoating
  4. Substance Abuse 
None of these sound like heathy ways to deal with a problem especially if it is effecting all members of a family. It is important for a family to communicate to have understanding for each other, to have compassion. 

Family therapist CloĆ© Madanes created a method in order to help all members of a family get on the same page and experience ownership of their mistakes instead of blaming others, thus bringing the family closer together. 

The three main points are: 
  1. Recognizing that during this crisis everyones  spirit is wounded 
  2. Evil is always stupid 
  3. Have the person who may have caused pain and sorrow upon the family to get on their knees and apologize. This is not done to humiliate the person but rather to give this person an opportunity to apologize and for the family to have a greater understanding for the reasons behind his or her actions. The family will realize that he/she did not intend to hurt the family. 
Any type of family crisis can be difficult to deal with. We often feel pain, betrayal, anger, and hopeless. However, I know that these crisis can also develop very strong bonds between family members.  There is nothing that the Savior cannot heal, and I know he can heal a broken heart in a broken home. Keeping an eternal perspective is difficult but will give you a better understanding of how our trials can turn into blessings. 

Sexual Intimacy and Family Life

Personally, I feel that too many people abuse the power of sex. We all generally know what it is and know its purpose therefore I am going to discuss sexual intimacy in more of a gospel related tone. 

Many people will have a sexual experience before marriage, but for those who wait until they are married are given a much richer experience and opportunity to grow closer to their spouse. 

Men and women were created differently but were created to complete each other. Because a man might experience something different than a woman during sex it is important to treat such an experience with consideration and communication. When a couple begins to communicate and understand each others needs in a more intimate personal level they begin to know each other and become as one. 

In Genesis 4:1 it says that "Adam knew Eve his wife; and she conceived..."

Sexual intimacy was intended to create a special bond between spouses. 

The benefits that come through this sacred ordinance are that it will; Require great selflessness, we can "know" well beyond self, seek inspiration, feel deep compassion, have an exclusive connection, develop trust, peace and bond. 

Fidelity = Faithfulness (To ones spouse in this case). Loyalty, consistent, true in all occasions. 

Infidelity = Fantasizing about someone else visually, romantically, sexually, emotionally. 

We need to be careful how we seek for emotional support. It seems that this type of infidelity can become overlooked at times. Especially with the rise in Facebook use it is much easier to seek elsewhere for emotional support when we do not feel it in our homes. This will lead to the other factors of infidelity such as fantasy and romance. We need to be committed to our spouse and communicate so that we can connect on a all levels especially emotional. This will help us to avoid having affairs and will keep our bond stronger. 

Let us put away the natural man and cling to God, cling to our spouse and choose carefully where we put our thoughts and desires. 

Saturday, June 13, 2015


Why do people marry? 

  • The need for intimacy:  Throughout generations people have started to marry for a number of different reasons. In olden times marriage was primary for economic reasons only. However, now people marry to have a sense of security. Most people believe that the best way to maintain intimacy is through marriage.
  • Social Expectations:  An individual can become pressured by peers, society and especially family members to get married. Some individuals who choose not to marry are looked down upon by family members or even society. 
  • Social ideals and personal fulfillment:  Most of us still have the goal to have a family and a white picket fence. Some people believe that marriage will carry out their fulfillments and basic needs. 
  • Desire for children:  An individual has reached a stage in their life where they desire to form their own family.

The Wedding! 

We all love weddings it is a celebration of a couple's marriage. Wedding traditions vary throughout the world. Laws regulate a number of steps prior to the wedding (Cornell Law School 2007). Some laws consists of age at which one can marry, medical examinations and obtaining a marriage license. 

Planning a wedding has become so extreme that there are even wedding planners now. Even without a wedding planner weddings can become very expensive. In the United States an average wedding cost in 2009 was $27,800. 

Adjusting to Marriage

There are a number of adjustments to be made within marriage. Jessie Bernard (1972) has said that every marriage is really two marriages, his and hers. Men and women have different experiences in marriage. During the first year of marriage feelings and behavior tend to change. Commitment is the basis for marriage and makes the relationship more satisfying. 

For anything to be successful it requires hard work and commitment, it is the same for marriage. Marriage will be difficult, changes will need to be made but if both partners take time to communicate and nurture their relationship the marriage will not fall during times of difficulty. 

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Preparing for Marriage


Has the concept of dating gone away? What is the difference between "dating" and "hanging out" and how do we even find someone to date? 

The Western Model of Mate Selection suggest 3 main points as to how we generally find someone to date. 

  • Propinquity- Closeness in geography, frequent contact
  • Similarities- Economic status, cultures, hobbies, etc. 
  • Physical Attraction- Something that is "familiar" to us also known as having a "type" 
To go on a date with someone should generally consist of the 3 P's. 
  • Prepared
  • Paid for 
  • Paired off
Dating or going on dates, allows for others to get to know one another by doing various activities. 

In an article titled, "Hanging Out, Hooking up, and Celestial Marriage" by Bruce A. Chadwick he makes this suggestion to the college students attending BYU, "... don't wait for others to carry your glass slipper about the campus looking for a match. In other words, don't wait for your Heavenly Father to write the name of the person you are to marry on your kitchen wall or to deliver him or her to your front door. Instead, be a little more proactive and seek someone you like, someone who is worthy, and someone who inspires you to be a better person. The Spirit will guide you but won't do the courting or make the choice for you." 

What is he suggesting from this quote? That in order to find someone who will Provide, Protect, and Preside, we must be Proactive and start dating. 

What seems to be the "norm" now are these principles:
  • Hang out, Make out, Drop out: We begin to become too comfortable that we resort to just hanging out and making out without any commitments or ties attached. How does this concept help anyone prepare for marriage, when there is little effort being put forth in the process. 
  • Date 'em 'till you hate' em: This concept suggest that sometimes we just date someone to date, not really because we are interested or even that invested in the person. We date them for long periods of time and realize that the relationship has not experienced any progression and therefor end up calling it quits. 

The "Know-Quo" by J Van Epp is a great tool to use when dating.

    Talk (Mutual Self Disclosure)
    Togetherness (Sharing a wide range of activities....DATING)
+  Time

What is Love? 

The next step in dating is love. 

"Misattribution of Arousal" is the "two component" theory of love. 
  1. (Non-Specific) Autonomic Arousal 
  2. Cognition=Attractivness
This theory suggest that the differing emotions can produce similar kinds of physical arousal (such as a pounding heart or sweating). Studies have shown that a person who just worked out will find others to be more attractive. 

It is no wonder why the TV show the Bachelor has the bachelors going on extravagant dates... It tends to make them more appealing to the girls. I mean what girl doesn't like a "bad boy" at times. ;) 

In this sense we need to be careful for when we think we are falling in love, or are just feeling the effects of the Misattribution of Arousal. Often times these feelings can be mistaken for falling in love with someone. 

John Alan Lee gave us a useful typology to understand love. The 4 levels of love he used are:
  • Storge (store-gay)- This type of love reflects the love between a parent and a child.
  • Philia (fill-ee-ah)- The type of love between friendships
  • Eros (air-os)- The type of love with passion, arousal, romance and sexual intimacy. 
  • Agape (a-gah-pay)- Type of love that is unconditional, where you make sacrifices also can be related to having a Christ-like love. 
All of these different love levels are important to have within a relationship. They build unity and trust. 

The Relationship Attachment Model (RAM): This model suggest what levels are healthy to
have while dating. 

As you can tell each level is gradually moving up. As my professor stated in class, we must... WALK into the next step, and avoid SLIDING into them. When we rush relationships we find ourselves in trouble. It is important to get to know someone before jumping into the physical part of things or begin a serious commitment. 
When we know someone better we are more likely to gain trust in that person. Dating is the first step in doing this. It seems that in order to find "true" love we must go back to the basics. Start dating, get to know someone and build trust. It seems as though we need to go against what society is telling us to do. Sometimes, hooking up doesn't always lead to finding love. Love requires time, sacrifice and commitment. I guess it requires quit a bit of work! But I am sure that when it does work out, it will have been worth it! 

Monday, May 25, 2015

It's not about the nail...

We watched this video in class the other day and it demonstrates the different       way men and women think in a humorous way, but also a very accurate way. This week in class we discussed gender roles and the differences between men and women. 


Men and women have the same basic needs such as they both need a sense of belonging, they need intimacy and they need to have a sense of control over their lives. However, they tend to go about fulfilling these needs in different ways.

Where and what do you learn to be feminine and masculine? Three important sources of where are through our family, school and the mass media.

We will look at an example of body image, what is ideal for men and for women.
Generally men want to be more lean and muscular and women want to be curvaceous but thin. Generally we learn of these “ideal” types of images at a young age through family members, friends and the media. We generalize that men should be more masculine and women should be more feminine.

Masculine traits are more aggressive and task orientated. Feminine traits are more empathetic and observant. Could it be that men and women were made to balance each other out?

There was a study done that showed that having a sister can protect your mental health. The study showed that having a sister protected adolescents from feeling lonely, unloved and fearful. However, this does not exempt brothers from being just as impactful. The study showed that a sibling of either gender who is loving promotes good deeds, and contributes to charitable attitudes more than loving parents. I have four nephews who are brothers and I can see how they protect each other and have a good influence on each other.

Here is the link to the study [http://news.byu.edu/archive10-aug-siblings.aspx ]


Another very sensitive topic we discussed this week in class is same-sex attraction. This ties in well with gender role because the language we use around children has a huge impact on the way they think. For example, if we see a little boy playing with dolls, his peers who are playing with trucks might call him names to make him feel less of himself for being different.

There is a strong debate if the phrase, “I was born this way.” Is true or not.

The following is a diagram that shows what can contribute to someone feeling that they are attracted to the same sex.

The following is just a generalized example of something that could contribute to same-sex attraction.

A young boy prefers to play with dolls rather than playing sports. He is not attracted to the same sex or any sex because he is still very young. However, his family may assume he is because he is not acting the way his peers general are supposed to act. If his behavior does not change his peers could start calling him names, using the word gay and homosexual in a negative connotation. He is feeling disconnected from his own sex and gender that he is longing for a feeling of acceptance from them. Around his early teenage years he may experience a form of sexual abuse from his same sex. Thus leaving him confused about his feelings.

There have been many individuals who have experienced something similar to this and have sought council to overcome it. Many were able to identify what was making them feel attracted to their own sex and were able to overcome those feelings. These individuals wanted to feel attracted to the opposite sex but because of the experiences that happened to them they were left confused and depressed.

Here is a link to a video of a few men who have overcome same-sex attraction

I am aware that this is a sensitive topic and it is one that cannot pin point any specific reason as to why people are attracted to the same sex. I do however believe that if someone wants the help to overcome these feelings they should be entitled the right to do so and vice versa.

From what we have studied it seems that most but not all same-sex attraction result in some form of abuse and a lack of acceptance from their own sex.

To conclude here are four basic steps that should be taken to ensure that no child grows up feeling confused or unwanted.

    1.Understood. If a child does something different than the norm it does not mean we should start labeling them. They are still innocent and we just need to understand them better.
    2. Stop Abusing. Abuse brings so much hurt and leads to confusion and is just wrong!
    3. Skills to manage emotions. Sometimes to those who are abused they do not know how to manage their emotions. It is important to give them the opportunity to seek help or have a healthy place to go to in which they can share their emotions and concerns.
     4. Healthy Relationships. Children should have a healthy relationship between both sexes and their parents, peers, and family members.

All in all we should just love each other. Never should we bring each other down and label each other. We are here to encourage and uplift one another.