Monday, December 5, 2011

Divorce rates

This week we talked about marriage and divorce rates. We talked about predictors of divorce and what are causes leading to divorce. We talked about education, prior divorce, those who marry very young, dual earner households, Parents divorced, culture, finances, and religion. I though it was interesting to learn that those couples who claim atheism are more likely to divorce than those couples who are religious. I think there are many reason for this. I feel that religion gives greater purpose and meaning to life and helps people to be accountable so it generally causes people to strive to grow and to hold themselves to a certain standard. Most standards that serve to nourish and strengthen family relationships and personal progression. I also feel it is because religious people tend to have a greater value for family relationships and growth and are more committed as they see them as a part of a greater plan for life and in some religions even see them as eternal. This can have a great influence in the marriage unit and the function of the family as a whole. Something we also talked about how we view marriage today as that 50% of all marriages end in divorce. This causes a lot of pessimistic views of marriage and I feel cause a lot of people to have fears and reserves for commitment to marriage because of the daunting statistics of divorce rates. In reality Brother Williams pointed out that statistics are in some ways misconstrued. A lot of the statistics are taken also from people the same people who have divorced multiple times which of course increases the divorce rates but doesn’t provide a realistic percentage of each persons likelihood of divorce individual. Its also true that if a person is divorced they are more likely to divorce again. So the truth is considering that Bro. Williams stated that statistics are that 70% of all people who have never divorced before stay together. This to me gives a great deal of a more positive/optimistic outlook on marriage. We need to have society more familiar with all these statistics that show a better reality of divorce rates. I feel it could change a lot of attitudes that exist today as a result of the daunting probabilities that are currently being represented.  

Parenting and responding to children

This week was on parenting. Something that I feel stood out to me was the importance of how parents deal with their children and how it can either negatively or positivley impact them. We watched a video on a son who asked his mother if he could sleep over at his friends house. The mother didnt like his friend because of how he looked and didnt want him being friends with him and so she told him he could go, displaying mistrust in her son and making him feel like she didnt trust his judgement. His reaction was anger and rebellion. Most often this is what I have seen happen, where parents are too overprotective of their children and instead of instilling within them self-esteem and confident and a feeling that they trust them and have good judgmenet and that they believe in them, they make them feel like their not capable of good judgement and dont allow them freedom to make their own decision or proove themselves. We watched another video with the same senerio except the mother showed concern, asked him questions about what he would choose to do based on her concerns and made him aware of her expectations of him and what risks his decisions could result it but she allowed him to decide for himself and then she expressed her confidence in him that he would make the right decisiosn and that he had good judgement and that she trusted him to sleep over and hang out with him. His response was positive and it then put a level of responsibilty on him that would make him more likely to want to keep that trust with his mother. I have seen these resulted time and time again especially in my own extended family and friends. If parents are mistrusting, controlling and overprotective of their children they always tend to rebel and act as they expect them to act and do the very things they mistrust them about whereas parents I know who expressed trust and confidence in their children and taught them and then allowed them to make their own decision those people were always more motivated to live up to waht their parents thought of them and to keep that trust and confidence. Children naturally want to make their parents proud but if they are made to feel bad or that their not capable that is the behavior they will often reflect. To me this is so important to keep in mind when raising childrne and although I know it will be hard, I hope to do everything I can to have confidence in my children and have faith in them and allow them to make their own decisions with my guidance. I hope I always remember that.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Fathers, Finances, and Communcation

 This week was filled with alot of valuable lessons and important issues within the family. Father involvement, finances and communication. I loved learning and studying about the importance of father involvement and how it has been shown to drastically effect childrens development. In my own life I experienced having a very involved father in my early childhood and then having my father become completely univolved in my later childhood. It was interesting for me on how much I could relate to the studies of causes and effects that result. Alot of things I have struggled with through out my life as a result of my father not being involved I was able to see how it was directly related to that. It made me realize how essential that truly is and know that I will do everything I can to ensure that my husband is involved in my future childrens lives. I loved the insight of how the level fatherhood involvement is in many ways determined by the relationship he has with the mother. It was also eye opening that the quality of that relationship is the greatest influence above anything else for a child.  The parent relationship truly is the most important in the family. If that fails, the family fails. If that succeeds the family succeeds. What I gained from learning about fatherhood involvement increased my resolve to always be aware in the future that Im putting my marriage first and my primary focus on nourishing that relationship first. I also found articles that stated when couples are satisfied in their marriage not only is the father more invovled and a better parent, but the mother as well. They are more able to work together and there is a greater sense of unity in the family which is so important for it to grow and flourish. Finances is a big one as we hear all the time that it is the leading cause of divorce. I feel that although it is a sympton leading to that, i dont feel that its really finances that are the cause. In society today we live way beyond our means and are not smart with our money and put too much value on money. Alot of people say that they cant afford alot of essentials but alot of times those same people are still able to buy things that they do not need and most often do and thats why they constantly feel they dont have enough for the essentials. Alot of the problems is communication. Couples dont sit down together often enough and work together through finances and figure out how they can manage their money together and make sure that their making correct decisions together. Money isnt everything, but it is essential to live. And if we arent being smart, because it is so essential it has the power to tear people apart and destroy marriages, but its not because financial stability isnt possible, I feel its most often a lack of communication and poor decision making. If couples would communicate with one another and follow the advice of money managing especially those stated in the "one for the money" article by Elder Aston to: pay an honest tithe; teach children importance of work and earning money, learn how to manage money, live in a home you can affort and involved yourself in food storage , and also learn other methods of proper money managment their wouldnt be the amount of these divorces over fianncial issues today. We all need to take control of our lives and learn how we can be happy doing it. Im grateful for the knowledge im learning now as I know it will help me to be better prepared to know the importance of Fathers involvement in the lives of children, to know the importance of putting my marriage first, to know the importance of money managment and communication so that I can protect my family and marriage from neglecting these issues of what causes the breakdown of so many families. The knowledge is there of what we need to do, and how to do it, along with the experiences and ways we can prepare, protect and preserve our own families now and in the future we just need to seek it, learn it, apply it, and share it.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Value of a Mother

This last week we talked about mothers staying in or working outside the home. I’m extremely passionate about this subject and will state first that these are my opinions and views and I hope it doesn’t offend anyone. First I strongly, passionately believe and know that being a mother is the most important, essential, glorious role in all of life. There is truly nothing of greater significance and importance.  As a woman there is no career or amount of money that can compare to the joy, purpose and necessity of raising your own children and of being a mother. I do believe God has given each of us man and woman roles that we are responsible for fulfilling in order for his plan to function and be carried out as it was meant to be. I don’t believe that Gods essential responsibilities given to us go away or are justified for us not fulfill just because of apparent circumstance or for any other reasons. I understand that unfortunately in society today we have created problems that affect mothers being in the home. Some of the problems being that there are some circumstances where often times it requires two incomes for families to be able to keep up with the bills and to provide for the family. Another problem I feel is our culture: the way we view motherhood from the worlds perspective. Some say, it’s not fulfilling to be at home and to just be a mother, it’s boring, it’s too hard, a woman doesn’t get a lot of time to herself or gets to do what she wants, its demanding, exhausting, and a stay at home mom is not given the credit or looked at in success or accomplishment in any way in comparison to that of a successful business woman with a career- (in the worlds view) In response to some of these apparent problems, I feel that a lot of it comes down to priorities, perspective and what we truly value in life. The world has created this society but we know what the responsibilities the Lord has given us are and we know that he will always provide a way for us to accomplish what he has commanded us. ………if we truly desire it. A lot of money troubles come down to wants, and the quality of material things and entertaining activities we feel we need. I also feel that if men really take on the responsibility to provide, they can prepare for that in the future by making wise decisions and they can make it possible to provide comfortably in this world of so much opportunity. I also feel that even if there is two incomes required there are many ways that the mother can still be at home and able to put her responsibility as a mother first. There are many jobs that you can do from home, just to name one of many for example, my sister runs a day home out of her home, with only a few extra children part-time, which does more than enough to contribute to the families needs, so she can be there for her children and be at home. There are many other ways that we can fulfill our roles as mother as first priority and still be able to make ends meet. Regardless of the way the world looks at motherhood we know how far-reaching the effects are of the nurturing and loving care only a mother can provide. It is not a bad thing for a woman to desire to have an education -it is beneficial, it is not bad thing for a woman to desire a career and to make her contributions in the world that way-but I feel that being a mother and rasing your chidlren should always come first. There is no greater contribution a woman can make to society than being a true mother to her children and there is alot of life left after raising children for careers and other things of far less importance. It is my opinion, although there are also many studies that allude to confirming it, that I feel the value of motherhood is essential to the success, and virtue of our society. If you look back in time when mothers entered the workforce, and children no longer were being nurtured and raised fully by their mothers, I feel society (as a whole),- especially in virtue- began to decline drastically at this time and has continued on that downward spiral ever since. Just as the proclamation to the world on the family  states that we will stand accountable to God for failure to fulfill family responsibilities and they warn that as a result of that disintegration of the family, it will bring upon individuals, communities, and nations the calamities foretold by ancient and modern prophets. Are we not seeing this today?? The difference in values, virtue and perspective since then is almost unrecognizable. And I truly feel it can be directly related to the fact that children are no longer receiving the nurture and loving care of their mothers as it was meant to be. (Responsibilities in the family are not being fulfilled) I feel this is also the result of so many children who have low-self esteems and seem to have no respect or understanding of so many things in life—such things that a mother is able to instill, shape, and direct. So many children are missing the nourishing and love from childhood that is so essential for their proper development that they begin searching for it in early adolescence through friends, drugs and other harmful behaviors. I’m not saying that this is all the cause of all these problems but I will say that I truly feel it is in large measure, a contributing factor. I know that when we understand Heavenly Fathers plan and understand the importance and significance of the role of motherhood we will do everything we can to keep it a priority in our lives  and protect its value in our society and know that we as mothers have the responsibility along with our spouses to nourish, teach, prepare and love our children and not except society or other people to fulfill that responsibility.

Some quotes on Motherhood
The mother is the most precious possessions of the nation, so precious that society advances its highest well-being when it protects the functions of the mother -Ellen Key
The noblest calling in the world is that of mother. True motherhood is the most beautiful of all arts, the greatest of all professions. She who can paint a masterpiece or who can write a book that will influence millions deserves the plaudits and admiration of mankind; but she who rears successfully a family of healthy, beautiful sons and daughters whose immortal souls will be exerting an influence throughout the ages long after paintings shall have faded, and books and statues shall have been destroyed, deserves the highest honor that man can give.-David 0. McKay

Mothers have as powerful an influence over the welfare of future generations as all other earthly causes combined.-John S C Abbott

Women as the guardians of children possess a great power. They are the molders of their children's personalities and the arbiters of their development.-Ann Oakley

Whenever I'm with my mother, I feel as though I have to spend the whole time avoiding land mines.-Amy Tan The Kitchen God's Wife

To be a mother is a woman's greatest vocation in life. She is a partner with God. No being has a position of such power and influence. She holds in her hands the destiny of nations, for to her comes the responsibility and opportunity of molding the nation's citizens.-Spencer W. Kimball

Perhaps the greatest social service that can be rendered by anybody to the country and to mankind is to bring up a family. But here again, because there is nothing to sell, there is a very general disposition to regard a married woman's work as no work at all, and to take it as a matter of course that she should not be paid for it. -George Bernard Shaw

Motherhood is the greatest potential influence in human society. Her caress first awakens in the child a sense of security; her kiss the first realization of affection; her sympathy and tenderness, the first assurance that there is love in the world. Thus in infancy and childhood she implants ever-directing and restraining influences that remain through life.-David 0. McKay

I affirm my profound belief that God's greatest creation is womanhood. I also believe that there is no greater good in all the world than motherhood. The influence of a mother in the lives of her children is beyond calculation. James E. Faust

Her dignity consists in being unknown to the world; her glory is in the esteem of her husband; her pleasures in the happiness of her family.-Jean Rousseau

The mother, more than any other, affects the moral and spiritual part of the children's character. She is their constant companion and teacher in formative years. The child is ever imitating and assimilating the mother's nature. It is only in after life that men gaze backward and behold how a mother's hand and heart of love molded their young lives and shaped their destiny. -E.W. Caswell

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

"If we are faithful"

This past week we talked alot about families and crisis. In my life I have experienced alot of crisis within my own family. I feel like one of the most detremental crisis that can happen to a family is infidelity, which is what happened to my family. I feel it is because it is something that removes the foundation upon which a family is built: Covenants; trust; love; respect; loyalty, unity, etc. But something I learnt during the discussions was that infidelity wasnt just a crisis that happened in our family. It was a result of many crisis that had happened previously that werent properly dealt with and overcome. My parents suffered financial crisis and communication crisis, and many others. Slowly these problems started to poision my family and paved the way for even greater crisis to happen. I feel that I learned more about crisis that can happen to our families and how we can deal with them and prevent further crisis from happening. I loved what Brother Williams pointed out with the stories that he shared about how we can, by how we respond change the experience to a positive one verses what would naturally result in a terribly negative one. My family unfortunantely responded in a negative way and terrible things resulted with alot of suffering that could have been avoided but I feel that im better equipped to recognize that for my future family and relationships, to understand that its all about how I choose to respond and that I have the power to change the experiences that happen to me and change them for good and to the benefit of myself and family. I know for myself that even though inevidably we will all face crisis and challeneges the best way to get through them is by controlling our behavior and response to them and pulling together as a family and relying on the gospel of Jesus Christ to get us through. Im grateful for true principles that help to guide us in making those decisions and knowing what to do to get through the dark times in life. Im grateful for the atonement and what it means for families and how it can help us get through anything. I know that as we maintain an eternal prespective in life we can have the assurance that no matter what happens everything will be okay and as Emma smith- someone who faced more family crisis than almost anyone ive ever known of- said "All our losses will be made up, if we are faithful"

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Friends, children and sexual intimacy

This week we talked alot about fidelity in marriage. I have often had experiences with friends and my own relationships where there was talk that friends of the opposite sex would pose no threat to a relationship. I always had a problem with this as I have always felt that when you are with someone there is really no reason to be close with another member of the opposite sex unless they are a family member. And if there is a reason then there is a problem with the relationship. I too believe we are all human and when we become close to the opposite sex it is only natural that bonds and feelings will result. I feel that it takes away from the closeness of a relationship that you can have with your significant other and more especially your spouse. We talked about how this really is dangerous and that in alot of cases where it involved infidelity it was because one member got to close or emotionally involved in a seemingly innocent opposite sex relationship. I feel it really vailidated those feelings i had and helped me understand it better and reinforced to me that it is something I want to guard from relationships in the future. We also talked about children and sex education. I feel like especially in this day and age it is such an important topic for us to understand and to be prepared for when the time comes when we will have children. Something that really stood out to me is when teaching children about sex, it is so important that we use proper terms and not be ashamed to talk about it and to realize that the way we view it ourselves and teach it to our children will have a big influence in determining how they will view it themselves and look at sexual intimacy. Most importantly I liked the comment regarding the fact that we need to teach our children in a way that they dont get the impression or feeling that sex is a bad thing, that is nasty or in any way down playing the beautiful and sacred act that it is. What we need to do is properly teach our childrne that sex is a wonderful and beautiful thing but that it is only to be done in marriage between and husband and wife. That is what it is for and only then is it beautful, wonderful and sacred. We want people not to grow up with an idea that it is bad or wrong because i feel alot of times in the experiences ive had that will carry through and people will most likely struggle with it in marriage when it is right, Its hard to change our views of something but If they see sexual intimacy for what it is, they will most likely respect it and honor it in a way that it should be.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Preparation for marriage

This last week I learned alot about preparing for marriage and the first few years of marriage. We talked about marriage and planning a wedding and how often times people put so much emphasis on the wedding instead of the marriage. I think its important to remember that and not allow myself to get stressed when i will plan my own wedding and to remember that its really about the covenants I will make and the fact that i am starting a eternal family with my future husband. I liked how we talked about the first few years of marriage and something that stood out to me was the Lord command to cleave unto your spouse and none else. We talked about how its important to create boundaries between our families and the our new family of our own. That we need to redefine thsoe relationships and boundaries and instead of turing to our family for support and guidance and allowing them to meddle in our marriage we need to be doing that with our spouse not our born family. I have a very close relationship with my family and alot of times they are very involved in my life and almost to much. They dont always know their boundaries and it has made it difficult for me in my past relationships so talking about this has rteally helped me realize how it is important for the health of our relationships to establish those boundaries from our families because it can affect it and really it goes against Heavenly Fathers guidance for our marriages to cleave unto eachother and none else. I also loved how we talked about children and how they can affect our marriage at first and often creates a decline in satisfaction right after chidlren are introduced into the family. We talked about ways we can prevent taht decline and ways we can boost our marriages during that time. Some of the things it made think of things Im going to do for example instead of doing things seperate intaking care of children i want to strive to do them together as a couple. I think finding every way you can do still do things together will help you to bond and mantian your relationship and itimacy as a couple. Im really grateful for those things im learning because as i do not yet have a marriage or family of my own i feel I will be better prepared and more aware of the things i will have to face so that I can prevent the common things that lead to lack of satisfaction in marriage and be better prepared to create a foundation for a more happy and satisfying marriage and family.