Friday, July 17, 2015

Problem Handling

First off I wanted to share to really great books my teacher mentioned. They are:
'Parenting with Love and Logic' and 'Parenting with Love: Making a difference in a day' by Glenn L. Lathem. (Sorry I don't know the author of the first one)

Problems will always come our way. We can't always solve them. We can however learn how to handle them well.
1. With some problems we can simply let natural consequences teach the children. The lessons they learn this way usually have a longer lasting impact. There are three exceptions when you DO NOT want to rely on natural consequences teaching your children. Number one is when it is too dangerous. If your child or someone else is going to get hurt, then you need to step in and try to prevent that. Number two is when the consequences are too far in the future. Number three is when others are effected.
2. Another handing method is making polite requests. These help us respect our children and give them opportunities to have a say in what goes on.
3. Use 'I' messages: "When you_____ I feel_____ because____" or "I like____" This helps more understanding take place and the child doesn't feel so attacked.
4. Sometimes you have to use a strong message. The more you use these though, the less effect they have on a child each time, so the parent often ends up having to get stronger and stronger. So be careful with these.
5. Logical consequences. These are planned out in advance with the child. For example maybe a child keeps leaving their bike in the middle of the drive way. You can explain to them why that is a problem and then ask them what they think should happen if they keep leaving it there. Follow through with what you planned together and keep trying. Planning and talking together helps the child learn to solve problems and it helps a parent and child be on the same page.

Remember to give your children encouragement and catch them being good!!! We shouldn't only be telling them things they need to work on or what they are doing wrong. Remember that we are building relationships with our children, we aren't trying to control them.

Divorce and Blended Families

Divorce is very common these days. Some people get married with the mindset of "I will get a divorce later". It would be nice if people wouldn't ever think that they will get a divorce one day.
There are six stages of divorce. The first stage is emotional divorce where a couple starts pulling away from each other. They aren't involved with one another's concerns and emotions. Second is the legal divorce. Third is economic divorce. This can be tricky to decide who gets what and who pays for what. Fourth is community divorce. This consists of having to move away sometimes and leaving behind friends, teachers, and family. Coparental is the fifth stage of divorce. This is deciding and working out how to share the children. Who gets who? How often does each spouse get to see each child? The six stage is Psychic divorce. This is finally coming to terms that the divorce really happened. It can take a long time to accept that and for it to really sink in.
We cannot judge why people get divorced. There is so much we don't know about every situation. When we can though we need to work on our marriage!!!! An awesome tip from my teacher was "let the bad marriage die and create a new one together." We shouldn't automatically think that simply marrying a new person will solve all our problems. The fact is, it usually creates a lot of new problems. Take time to breathe and try again.
Because of divorce and many other circumstances, blended families are more of the norm now. Almost everybody will have a blended family in part of their lives whether it is your own, a neighbor, friend, or a church member. Here are four things that can really help a blended family if they apply them and keep them in mind.
4 Guidelines For Blended Families
1. It will take a minimal of two years to reach normalcy. (or to get into a routine with each other)
2. The birth parent should do all the heavy discipline. (This will help the children not resent the step parent and it will help the spouses not
3. The step-parent should be the equivalent to a really awesome aunt or uncle.  (This means showing the children that you really care about them, emphasize with them, take time to understand them while you are supporting your spouse and letting your children know how much you love them and your spouse.)
4. Spouses need to have daily conferences with each other. (This is vital!!! There are so many things you both are adjusting to so it's vital that you are on the same page. You need to work as closely together on everything as you are creating a new family together. The family won't work if anything gets in between the two of you.)

Families, no matter what they look like, take a lot of work to make them strong and happy, but it's so worth it!!! Always remember that God will help you!!!!!! Turn to Him for help.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

See a need. Fill a need.

Charity: seeing a need and filling it with love, NEVER faileth.

I have always loved that quote. We will always bless others when are there to help them. We all have needs and will try to fill them in any way we can. Sometimes people turn to negative things like pornography, drugs, eating to much, tv, etc to fill those needs. These methods don't help!! A quote my teacher shared was "you can never get enough of what you don't need because what you don't need will never and cannot satisfy you". This is why we get addicted to things. We turn to something looking for relief or fulfillment but aren't getting that so we increase the amount of what we are addicted to trying to reach that satisfied point. We will never actually reach that satisfied point until we turn to what is real.  Revelations chapter 7 verses 16 and 17 say: "They shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more;.... For the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters: and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes." I think this is beautiful. I know that it's only what God can give us that can truly meet our needs.
Mr. Popkins talks about five needs we all have. They are: contact and belonging, power, protection, challenge, and withdrawal. When these needs are not met people tend to rebel, go to great lengths to get attention, take a lot of risks, might try to get revenge, etc. We don't want this!! To healthily respond to these needs we can offer contact freely, teach others to contribute, give responsibility, teach assertiveness and forgiveness, help develop skills, and show by example how to take a break and then get right back into work. When we choose to respond to needs in this way we can avoid a lot of heartache and headaches.
I know that as we pray we will receive help to recognize the needs of those around us and know how to respond to them.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Good Work Ethic

Life is work. We have things to do to grow ourselves and to grow closer to other people. Here are six tips my teacher shared with the class on how to teach children how to have a good work ethic. 

1. Work doesn't equal money= we don't want children to only lift a finger when they are getting paid to do so. We want to help them want to do it for the simple rewards it automatically brings.

2. Teach money self reliance when children are young= children can learn that when they put in effort than they can work towards getting something they want or need. So when work does help them earn money, they can then go buy something for themselves. It teaches them that they can't just be given things they want all the time.

3. Don't micro manage= it's important to hear what the children have to say. Let them pick from a number of chores to do. Children, like ourselves, don't always like being told what to do. 

4. Be a worker yourself= so much can be learned from simply watching a good example. It's easier to want to get a job done, when a child can do it alongside a parent. 

5. Contribute= let the children know they are valued and needed. 

6. Encourage= Tell your children when they are doing a good job. It gets very discouraging when we are constantly being told that we are doing something wrong, especially something we didn't want to do in the first place. I remember one specific time of doing the dishes when I was little. I did NOT like that job. I was rinsing the dishes while my brother Ben was washing them. I remember he gave me a compliment about how I would turn the water off when I was through in stead of leaving it on while waiting for another dish to rinse. Ben is my Superman. Getting a compliment from someone I admire so much really lifted my heart. I remember this experience every time I do the dishes. I now actually really enjoy this job. 

Friday, June 19, 2015

Crisis and stress

Life can be quite hard. Nobody goes through life without trials. Thankfully Heavenly Father has given us families to help us through the tough times. If we work together then we can get through any crisis and stressor. We will not only make it through it, but we will come out stronger and closer as a family.
My teacher showed the class a stressor model called the ABCX model. It goes like this:

    Actual event
    Both resources and application for help (or response)
+ Cognitions (how the family defines the problem)
total eXperience

For example. Maybe a family member goes into deep depression= A. B= we choose to respond to the situation instead of avoiding it or blaming someone for it. We help that member attend counseling, we do all we can to help her feel loved and needed, we pray a lot for more guidance. C= the family sees this as a not something wrong or a curse from God, but a time to really band together to help the daughter. X= each family member realizes how much they are loved and how much they love each other. They all better know how to express feelings instead of holding them inside. They are closer to God and to each other.

Stressors are events that cause pressure and make us bend for a while. Crisis' are much bigger. They cause us to actually permanently change. By turning to God and working as a family crisis' won't make us break or fall apart, but can tie us together in a new and wonderful way.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

For a strong marriage

Here are three very important things to do to have a strong marriage:

1. Go to great lengths to protect your marriage.
We need to be very intentional about how we are treating our spouse and others around us. We need to make sure we are being completely faithful to who we are married to. We need to love and cherish that person.

2. Don't reduce sacred things
We need to treat our spouse with the utmost respect. We need to remember how important marriage is and treat it that way. Also we shouldn't ever demean our sexual relations with our spouse.

3. Don't let anyone inside your marriage other than your spouse and God.
The person we should be discussing any kind of matter first with is God and our spouse. Friends and family are great to talk to, but once we are married those people should come second. We draw closer to our spouse as we discuss things together and work them out together.

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Marriage satisfaction

Marriage satisfaction is and should be high when a couple gets married. It is shown that it will or can decrease with each child born. If it always decreases, then when the children all move out the husband and wife don't have much going for them anymore. They either divorce or maybe stay together, but live separate lives. This doesn't need to be so!! Yes, raising children is very hard, but Heavenly Father will help us raise them. When we rely on God and our spouse to know how to best love our children then our bond with our spouse will grow stronger. When all the children leave home the relationship between husband and wife should be stronger than ever! Marriage satisfaction should be really high. Working together gives spouses experiences together and hopefully cherished memories. Remember, it's life that is hard. Marriage and family are given to us to help us enjoy this life journey.

Saturday, May 30, 2015


Since marriage is so important we really need to be wise in how we prepare for it. Many people these days are just hooking up, making out, living together, etc. They aren't being intentional in what they are doing and many don't really have a plan for why they are doing what they are doing.

We need to start by going on dates with a lot of people. These dates are great ways to get to know others in a variety of different ways. When you have met someone you really like and they really like you, then you can start courting them. The idea behind courting is to see if you two really do want to get married. Here you only date each other. You take time together to have a lot of mutual self disclosure and be involved in sharing a wide range of activities (says J. Van Epp) to really get to know one another. If marriage to each other isn't the best thing, then you break up. If it is right then get engaged and then get married!!! In the marriage you will continually become closer and deeper in love as you grow together and serve one another.

Friday, May 22, 2015

We reach together for the best we can be

"I help you and you help me. We reach together for the best we can be. I help you and you help me. And that's the way it's supposed to be." This is another LDS Primary song. I know what it says is true. There are males and females on this earth for an important reason. We can do a lot of the same things, but we aren't exactly the same and we shouldn't be. Everyone deserves respect and should be able to work for their goals. As men and women work together we help each other become more complete. Our strengths compliment each other and it's when we are working together that we excel.

I know that what gender we are is not a mistake. We were boys and girls long before we came to earth. We shouldn't try to be what we are not. Many people are attracted to the same gender. We need to still accept and loves those that are. We shouldn't label them as Gay or Lesbian. There is so much about each person. They shouldn't be defined by one thing about them. People with this attraction should be treated with patience. Some of them really struggle with this desire and want to change. We should help them change when that's what they want. There are four things that we can do to help in this situation:

  1. Help them understand what's going on and what they are feeling
  2. Teach skills to they stop abusing themselves and others
  3. Help them develop skills to manage emotions
  4. Develop healthy relationships with their own gender. 
Why do these steps help? Well there is a process that many people go through that have the same gender attraction. The typical one is that they temperament determines who they play with and what they play with. If what they are playing is normal than they are accepted. If not, like a boy playing with Barbies and dress ups, they he is often teased and made to feel bad for what he is doing. The boy feels different because he is treated that way. He might blame his gender for that. As years go by there is some kind of non-specific autonomic arousal. Many boys who go through this cycle have a sexual experience at age 12. Later pornography is looked at. These boys are sexually aroused which causes them to think "Hmm I felt something with a man, so it must mean I am Gay". Then they romanticize about it. They are so hungry for acceptance especially from their own gender since they never felt like they fit in. So, they might try to get that acceptance where ever they can.  

We need to help people in this situation feel loved.. We need to help them talk about what they are feeling and experiencing and so they know that they aren't alone, so we know how to better help them.

One last thing is, we shouldn't stereo type. Just because a man is sensitive, artistic, nurturing, driven, and compassionate, doesn't mean he is attracted to men! Those qualities can make a great husband. The Savior has those qualities and he is perfect. Lets help each other out and not be so quick to un-righteously judge. We need to have our arms stretched out and help others feel loved and included like the Savior did. 

Thursday, May 14, 2015

How is your nest built?

A boy and girl bird fall in love. They begin making a nest together for their future family. They make sure that the nest is in a safe location, that it is big enough, and that it will be very strong. They work very hard together to create the best nest possible for their children.

It would be wonderful if all families could start out this way. We should always be preparing for our family. It would be extremely hard for the birds to raise children, if they didn't first have a nest to put their eggs in. Husbands and wives need to work together. So much more will get done and the outcome will be far better than what could have been done by only one person.

Husbands and wives need to put each other first. When their friendship and love for each other is strong, then it really benefits the whole family.

An awesome quote that was shared in class was "you can never get enough of what you don't need because what you don't need will never/cannot satisfy you". So true!! We waist a lot of time trying to buy the best things or look a certain way. Those things will never bring us lasting happiness. What will is our relationships with our family members. We need to focus on helping each other, getting to know one another better, and simply loving every member of our family. When we do this a lot of our stress will go away and Heavenly Father will be able to help us with the rest.

One more thing is culture. There are many ways to live life. The different ways can bring beauty. It's awesome how many kind of nests, birds, and songs are in the world. We need to be careful that the culture we are living a righteous one. Just because other nests are made of barbed wire, are where cats can easily get to them, or are sloppily made, that does NOT mean they are ok. Somethings are wrong even when many people don't think so or the law might even say otherwise. We need to keep checking ourselves to make sure what we are doing is in line with God's commandments. When they are we know we will be ok. Obeying the commandments brings blessings like protection and guidance. I for surely want those blessings for my family.

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Let Them Come

This week in my Family Relations class we got to watch a documentary called 'The New Economic Reality: Demographic Winter'(via It was interesting to learn about the world's population. The documentary talked about how the world's population used to double about every 20 years. Many people have been worried about over populating the earth. Years ago people thought that the world could not hold over 3 billion people. The earth currently supports around 7 billion.
One reason for population growth is the fact that people are living longer. A scary fact is that the fertility rate is decreasing. Women need to have on average 2.13 children to be able to replace those who pass away. In the United States the replacement rate is close to 2.09 and in Europe it's 1.38. Ahh! Yes, more people means more resources used, but remember that with each child of God comes talents, knowledge, and abilities. Each child can bring knew ways for us to use the earth for the better.
We do need to take care of the earth and hope to be able to give our children the best life. We shouldn't let worldy worries and fears stop us from having children though. God created the world for us. Specifically families. He has many spirit children that need a turn on earth. How many children we have needs to be between the husband and wife and God, not news reporters or scientists. God will bless us and provide a way for us to follow His commandment of 'multiplying and replenishing the earth.' I know as ,The Family: A Proclamation To The World states, that this commandment 'remains in force'.
I know not every family needs to be large, but I sure love having siblings and having tons of aunts, uncles, and cousins to help me enjoy my time on earth. The relationship and bond that comes from being family members is very special. We should never purposely stop a child from coming into a home where they can be loved and given the gospel, We should have the attitude of 'let them come'. Others let us come to this long awaited earth experience, let us help our other siblings have the same opportunity. See? We need each other.

Friday, April 24, 2015

Like a Redwood

Hello everyone!

I get to start this blog for my Family Relations class. Here I will be posting a little about what I have learned in class and anything else I would like to share about my love for the family.

I would first like to start out with my testimony about the family. I know that just like a church Primary song says: 'God gave us families to help us become what He wants us to be'*. I know this is true with all my heart. We need each other. Something that fascinates me is how the great big Redwood trees' roots grow. It would be easy to think that their roots would grow extremely deep into the ground to be able to support how tall and wide they are. Their roots actually only grow six feet deep and then they spread horizontally intertwining with the roots of the other trees around them. A huge part of their strength comes from relying on each other. It's hard to blow a tree (or really anything else) down or pull it out of the ground when it's connected to so many other trees.  I like to apply this to families. We each can become so much stronger and greater when we aren't trying to go through life alone. We need to lean on each other, work together, hold on tight to one another, and not give up on each other. This is a reason why our loving Heavenly Father sent us to earth in families. We don't need to travel this earth life adventure alone. Together we CAN become all God wants us to be and God only wants the best for us. One thing I know God wants us to be is happy. We can't even imagine all the joy God has in store for us. So, lets all think about what we have to give to our families whether it's a family by blood, a community family, church family, etc. What can we each give to help those around us become better? I know that everyone has something to give.  

*Here is a link to the song mentioned above. It's called 'The Family is of God'. You should go listen to it!