Wednesday, December 18, 2013

I love Family

Adolescence is a very challenging time for both the parents and child. The child starts to be more independentQ and doesn't want mom and dad involved as much. They want more freedom. Parents have a hard time adjusting to all the changes. Conflict arises out of opposing needs and interests. There seems to be more arguments and the relationship can closeness lessens. It all depends on how the situations are handled. Most people think that the teenage years are the worst, but really they can be great. Parents need to remember to be warm and supportive. Again, good communication is necessary. Both parents and child need to strive to understand and respect the other. Everyone should be open about their feelings. Spend time together. If You have a chance, I would encourage you to watch this video. 
I think it can be used as a metaphor of our life. It starts out kind of slow. There are some excited, big times in life as we continue to grow older. As children are starting to grow up and move out, there are a lot of huge changes to be made. As we work together just as the piano and cello, it can turn out beautiful. Remember our family and our relationships will be what we make them.

I am sad to have this semester be over. I have absolutely loved this class and all it has taught me. One think that I think I have found to be most important in the family unit is communication. Verbal and non verbal communication is important, but listening is just as if not more. We can learn so much by slowing down to listen. A father once said, "I do a greater amount of good when I listen to my children than when I talk to them." Elder Nelson said, "Wise parents and teachers, listen to learn from children." One last quote that I think sums my ideas up really well is, "Speak in such a way that others love to listen to you, listen in such a way that others love to speak to you."

One other thing I have found really important is dating. Dating the right way rather than hanging out. Dating is our way of finding an eternal companion. If we use Elder Oaks advice and date the right way with the 3 P's, 1-Planned Ahead, 2-Paid For, 3-Paired off, we will get to know our dates better and find good qualities or bad ones. We will be able to better understand what we want in our future spouse.

This class has been a great blessing in my life. I have learned about the importance of family. I love my future family already. Thank you to everyone who has taken the time to read my blog. I really appreciate you. If you have questions feel free to comment.

Friday, December 13, 2013


This week, we discussed divorce and remarriage. On Monday, we identified some divorce statistics. One that really stood out to me was that 70 percent of divorced people, after two years, believe they could have and SHOULD have saved the marriage. The easy way is not always the best way. Divorce is not easy because it costs a lot of money, but it is an easy way to get out of a marriage. I realize there are times when people have to get a divorce. It is to the benefit of every family member, but I also believe there are times when the family should try and work together to make the marriage work. Parents should look at the future consequences of divorce when they are mad and upset with one another. Children no longer have a stable home. They are going from one to the other if parents have joint custody. If one parent gets remarried, it's difficult for the children to adjust in most cases. Sometimes children want to please both parents, but mom is trying to get child to be on her side. If the divorced parents have children and joint custody, they still have to see each other and communicate. They still have to be respectful. This is so difficult for the children and parents. If possible, families should try to work out their problems. There are many counselors who can help, or the Lord is the best counselor. Even though it's very difficult to work through problems and difficulties, it will be worth it in the end. Families will be happier. Usually the hard way is the best way.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Teaching by Example

This week we were able to learn and discuss parenting. We talked about the importance and purpose of parenting. We also discussed some of the ideal ways to handle situations with our children. During the whole week, I was able to see how important it is for parents to teach by example. Especially for teenagers, they learn better by watching their parents rather than listening to what they have to say. That's no fun. We want our kids to listen to what we say and we just want them to do it. It doesn't quite work like that most of the time even if we wished it would. We have to spend a lot of time and work really hard to best teach our children and provide for their needs.

Personal prayer and scripture study are crucial. They help us learn from our Savior and be guided in our every day life. We want our children to be active in their scriptures and pray regularly. We can't just tell them to do it and expect it. Parents should do it as a family and also personally. I love to walk into my parents room and see them kneeling at their bedside. It helps me have a stronger desire to do it myself.

Children make mistakes just as parents do. We don't want to see our children make mistakes so we try to help them make better choices. Sometimes when they mess up, it's hard not to get really upset and yell. Then if the child yells back, we get even more upset. Once again, we are teaching by example. If we instead choose to be respectful and talk firmly but politely, we can hope for the same in return. That may not happen, but at least we are doing our best and setting a good example that will hopefully one day benefit our children.

We desire for our children to have great qualities. One thing my parents have always tried to instill in me was the importance of hard work, honesty, and respect. I learned it because they lived it. I remember a time when my mother was very honest. She went back and told the truth after another person had lied about my brother's age. It would have been easy to not go back and tell the truth because my brother got something free, but she went back and was honest. I'll never forget that great example. My father is a very hard working man. As we works on the farm, there are times he doesn't go to bed because he is working hard to provide for our family. He also gave me the opportunity to work on the farm as I moved water for many years. My parent's examples helped me to learn important lessons.

President Hinkley once said, "When parents try to teach their children to avoid danger, it is no answer for parents to say to their children, ‘We are experienced and wise in the ways of the world, and we can get closer to the edge of the cliff than you.’ Parental hypocrisy can make children cynical and unbelieving of what they are taught in the home. For instance, when parents attend movies they forbid their children to see, parental credibility is diminished. If children are expected to be honest, parents must be honest. If children are expected to be virtuous, parents must be virtuous. If you expect your children to be honorable, you must be honorable."

It's up to you parents. Teach by example. If you mess up, IT'S OKAY. Apologize and do better next time. Reach to our loving Heavenly Father and he will help you and guide you. 

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Family that Works Together, Stays Together

When a family works together, it is to their benefit. It all started with Adam and Eve. They worked together as a family. In recent years, many families don't take the opportunity to work together. Often times, parents are busy at work and children are busy with many different activities. They need to slow down and remember to spend time together. People don't understand the importance of working together and sometimes they become too worried on the money aspect.  

Kathleen Slaugh Bahr and Cheri A. Loveless shared an article called, Family Work. It says, "Today many social and political forces continue the devaluation of family work, encouraging the belief that family work is the province of the exploited and the powerless. Chief among these forces is the idea that because money is power, one's salary is the true indication of one's worth. Another is that the important work of the world is visible and takes place in the public sphere--in offices, factories, and government buildings. According to this ideology, if one wants to make a difference in the world, one must do it through participation in the world of paid work."

Parents can make a huge difference if they take the time to work with their children. If all parents did this they could make an impact in the world by strengthening relationships and teaching hard work. 

Sometimes people don't believe a stay at home mom does as much work. They think the mom should be in the work force, which for some families, the mom does have to be in the work force and they desire to pursue a career, but the family benefits greatly when the mother has the opportunity to be a stay at home mom. Also in the Family Work article, it says, "Some have tried to convince us of the importance of family work by calling attention to its economic value, declaring, as in one recent study, that a stay-at-home mom's work is worth more than half a million dollars. But I believe assigning economic value to household work does not translate into an increase in its status or power. In fact, devaluing family work to its mere market equivalent may even have the opposite effect. People who see the value of family work only in terms of the economic value of processes that yield measurable products--washed dishes, baked bread, swept floors, clothed children--miss what some call the "invisible household production" that occurs at the same time, but which is, in fact, more important to family-building and character development than the economic products. Here lies the real power of family work--its potential to transform lives, to forge strong families, to build strong communities. It is the power to quietly, effectively urge hearts and minds toward a oneness known only in Zion." 

Working hard together brings much happiness and satisfaction. It provides an opportunity to communicate with each other. Robert D. Hales once said, "Work together as a family, even if it may be faster and easier to do the job ourselves. Talk with our sons and daughters as we work together." Most little children love to help and this gives them a time to work. Everyone feels good after they have accomplished a task. This leads to happiness. There are many benefits that come from working together. 

Building a strong family takes hard work, and part of that work is teaching our children how to work. Though some may see work as something to avoid, the gospel teaches that working for and with our families brings great blessings. God Himself calls His plan for His children “my work and my glory” (Moses 1:39).


I encourage everyone to work together as a family. Find those opportunities. I'm grateful to my parents who taught me how to work. Looking back, I'm grateful for the time we worked together. 

Saturday, November 23, 2013

The Lord's Will

What does the Lord want? How would the Lord want me to handle this situation? There will be conflict in our lives and especially in our families. There will be many times when we have to make important decisions together. When this happens, we should turn to the Lord rather than do what we want and what we think we should do.

The general authorities of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints are great examples of how we can truly invite in the Spirit of the Lord in our lives to make decisions. I think we can all have a similar counsels, but in our homes. The prophet, his counselors, and the 12 apostles have a set apart time to have their meetings every week. They meet in the temple on Thursday. We too can strive to have a set time every week to meet together as a family. We are then able to prepare for that time.

The men always make decisions according to the Lord's will. They start by arriving about 30 minutes early to their meetings to express love and appreciation. This helps them to feel more comfortable with each other knowing each person is important and loved. Elder M. Russell Ballard said, "Leadership based on love brings incredible power. It is real, and it generates lasting results in the lives of our Father’s children."

Next, they begin with an opening prayer to invite the Spirit into their meeting. They invite the Lord to be there with them. They seek revelation. They have a desire to have the Spirit.

They then discuss different topics and they make decisions based on the Spirit. They discuss to consensus. They all come together depending on the Lord's will. They discuss and the Spirit confirms. Sometimes they learn patience as they wait on the Lord's timing. They find what is right, they do not just want to win. They truly learn to align their plan with the Lord's plan. Some topics are a challenge, yet an opportunity.

They end with a prayer and then refreshments. They thank the Lord for his help and they ask for a confirmation about the items that were discussed. They have refreshments. These men have an opportunity to share something together.

We can have similar counsels in our home. We can strive to have them regularly. You can work through problems and conflict as you love and communicate. Rely on the Lord. I know it will be a blessing in your life as you strive to make decisions for your family with the Lord's help. 

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Family Crisis

Crisis in the family can have a positive or negative effect on a family, depending on how the situation is handled. A crisis adds stress on the family. Usually when people think of stress, they think of it as a very negative thing, but it all reality, it can be for the good. It can help motivate someone to make changes and get something accomplished. Death, job loss, illness, infidelity, divorce, or drug abuse  are all examples of family crisis. Death can be beneficial for a family if they come together and rely on each other. When mom or dad loses their job, it can hurt the family if they are constantly in a bad mood and won't move on from the situation or they can work out the problem by coming up with a solution and working through it together. Family crisis can help make changes in the family structure.

We cannot expect every crisis to have a positive effect. You have to put some work into it. It all depends on how we react. In the Ensign of February 1990, there was a talk given about dealing with stress and discouragement. It says, "Some experts like to rank stressful activities by the amount of stress they produce. But the truth is, it is more the way we react to events, rather than the events themselves, that causes stress. It is our ability to adjust to changes in our circumstances that determines the degree of stress we feel. It is for this reason that what is stressful for one person isn’t necessarily stressful for another." What are we going to do when our child decides to use drugs? Are we going to belittle them and not help them out? That is a moment when your child will need your love the most. Turn to your husband and other children if you have them. Pull closer together as a family and reach out to that sibling who is a little lost. If dad looses his job, he could turn to alcohol consumption or he could turn to his family and our loving Heavenly Father to get help in saving money and finding a new job. The Lord put us in families for a reason. They can help us through hard times. They should be those people in our lives who love us no matter what. We should strive to be as close to them as possible. We need them more than anything on this earth.

Communication is one of the most important ways in which we can accomplish our goal in getting a positive effect from a crisis. Talk WITH each other rather that TO each other. Along with talking comes listening. Listen to each person's concerns. Get everyone involved when it is appropriate. Not everything has to be up to mom and dad. Children can be involved and help in the process as well.

Another important way we can make positive changes in the family after a crisis is to love unconditionally. Also in the Dealing with Stress and Discouragement talk it says, " After all and above all, our greatest means of supporting others is to love them without guile. That means we learn to see them as the Lord sees them, for their eternal worth as children of God. As parents, we must learn to do this especially when our children seem to deserve it least. If we can do this, despite all our personal weaknesses, we can overcome anything together."

How are you going to react the next time a crisis happens in your life? I hope we can all try to make it great instead of terrible. Do something good! Make a change!

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Magic 5 Hours

This week was very informative as we talked about marriage fidelity, intimacy, and teaching children correctly about marital intimacy. We should always be 100% honest with our spouse when we are married. We should never spend too much time and energy on someone or something else. It's also important to remember how sacred intimacy is. It should be saved for marriage. When teaching our children, we should feel comfortable about talking about intimacy and don't expect them to learn about it from someone on the school bus or at recess. Take the opportunity and teach your children. Don't be afraid. It is not a dirty thing it is very special and sacred. There are some great resources on that can help guide you in informing your children. 

Those were a few topics I wanted to touch on, but I want to focus on one important thing that stood out to me. When a couple is dating, they are with each other quite often, they show affection for one another, and they go on dates often. How do you continue this once you're married? A great solution is Magic 5 Hours. This idea came from John Gottman's book, The Seven Principles For Making Marriage Work. These 5 magic hours are the least amount of time a couple should spend together. They set a great foundation.

Partings: 2 minutes x 5 days = 10 minutes
Reunions: 20 minutes x 5 days = 100 minutes
Admiration: 5 minutes x 7 days = 35 minutes
Affection: 5 minutes x 7 days = 35 minutes
Weekly Date: 2 hours x 1 day = 120 minutes
Week Total = 300 minutes or 5 hours

Partings refer to the amount of time spent saying goodbye to one another in the morning. You shouldn't have a rushed kiss, instead a sincere kiss and goodbye when one leaves the home for work or school or whatever activities one might be involved in. 

He talks about reunions being the amount if time the couple spends when they return home and are together. They should spend 20 minutes talking about each others days. This helps them know how to help each other better. It also strengthens the relationship.

Admiration meaning complimenting one another, telling each other you appreciate the other, and saying I love you. Spend 5 minutes every single day to do that. It's difficult to be upset with your spouse when you look for the good. 

Showing affection by hugging and kissing. Do it! It will bring you closer. 5 minutes is a tiny bit of your day. 

Last but definitely not least is a weekly date. Friday night seems to work well for most couples. Set aside at least 2 hours to spend time with your spouse. Use the time to reconnect and enjoy one another's company. 

I promise if you use the Magic 5 hours you won't regret it one bit. You will be blessed and find much more satisfaction with your marriage. Share this idea with your spouse. I wish you all the best of luck!