Wednesday, December 18, 2013

As the semester draws to a close, I have been reflecting a lot on the different things I have learned in my family relations class. I have learned so much about families that can be applied to my siblings and I, as well as my future family. Some things that I found particularly beneficial were: discussing clear boundaries within the immediate family, extended family, and other outside influences; the purpose and benefit of parenting children; and the rules of communication. The things I have learned in this class have been and will be beneficial for me to know. I had an amazing semester and I loved this class and the experiences I have had in relation to what I have learned.
Divorce and remarriage bring issues that impact many families. I'm not saying that divorce and remarriage is a bad thing, I'm just saying that there are certain issues that can arise when a family experiences the changes that accompany divorce or remarriage. In my class we discussed that 70% of people who divorce, within 2 years after the divorce, agree that not only could they have saved the marriage, but they should have saved the marriage. Some reasons for divorce that my class discussed include: money issues, falling out of love, lack of communication, and perception problems; each of these issues can be resolved if those involved are willing to put the necessary effort into making the relationship work.
Divorce and remarriage not only affects those getting the divorce or getting remarried, but any children or close family members can also be impacted. Children are often confused and upset when their parents divorce. Besides the immediate confusion and frustration what children can experience when parents get a divorce, there are also concerns like who disciplines who, conflicting priorities, and fighting among children. In short, couples need to decide together if their marriage is worth saving, and then if they have children, their children need to understand what is happening and feel included in what is happening in their family.  

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Parents need to be actively engaged in raising and caring for their children. In my class, we discussed current trends in parenting, such as delay in having children (by choice), having less children, choosing to not have children, having a nanny care for children rather than parents caring for them, increase in the number of children born outside of marriage, and increases in abortion. These trends play an important part in the family overall. When parents delay, have less children, or choose to have no children, they are not only opting out of the responsibilities of parenting, but out of the blessings too. Also, when parents choose to have a nanny care for their children, they are not as close to them.
Along with these trends associated with parenting, in my class we also discussed some specific purposes of parenting and blessings associated with parenting. Some specific purposes of parenting were preparing you for eternal life, provide discipline to children (through teaching), be loved mad to love. The benefits we discussed were confidence, capability, learn to sacrifice, develop selflessness, understand eternal perspective, and understand God. The blessings of parenting cannot be achieved through anything else.
Mothers and fathers play an extremely important role in the lives of their children. Fathers are typically the seen as the ones to go out and work, while the mother is the one who is typically seen as the main caregiver for the children. In class we discussed Dennis Prager's article "Does a Full-Time Homemaker Swap Her Mind for a Mop?" In his article, Dennis Prager states that full-time homemakers do not swap their minds for a mop,and they are not wasting their education by being stay-at-home mothers. I also wrote a paper about the importance of fatherhood, and how fathers contribute to the development of their children. Fathers and mothers need to work together in raising their children, they both contribute to their children differently.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Communication is extremely important in families, and members of the family need to be aware of not only what they are saying but how it is said and other non-verbal types of communication.

Communication is much more than what we say, we also much consider how we say it, the tone that we use is more important than what we actually say. Keep in mind that more than half of what you communicate is non-verbal, 14% verbal words, 35% tone, and 51% non-verbal (body language). we also discussed the flow of communication, from a personal thought to a personal feeling, then to an action, make an observation and then back to a personal thought, and the cycle continues. Some very important things to remember when communicating, especially over text message, or e-mail, be clear in what you mean, and take what is said as it is stated. We then discussed how these principles of communication can be used in a family setting, and that meetings with your family where each member feels that they can share their feelings without being mocked, or judged for what they say or feel. Communicating is important in any group, but especially in families.
Every member of the family is impacted when the family experiences a crisis.

In my class we discussed how different families cope with stress and crises, we discussed how it is vital for family members to communicate and include all family members when dealing with stress and crises that arise in family situations. Some situations my class discussed that occur where communication is important would be death, moving, job loss, and other events where each member is impacted. With death whether it is a sibling, parent, grandparent, aunt, cousin, whatever, it is important to talk about it, let each family member express their feelings and show that they are sad, this helps the family come closer together as they make an effort to comfort one another. In the situation of moving, it is important that each family member feels comfortable in their new house, new neighborhood, and with their new surroundings, as family members share how they feel and struggles they have with adjusting, they will become closer to other members of the family. I saw this happen when my family moved, I grew a lot closer to my brothers because we had moved to a new place and didn't know anyone, so we grew closer together as a family. Job loss is another situation where every family member is impacted, and the roles of each member can change, for example if the dad in a family lost his job, the mom and older children may get jobs to help support the family. Each family member is impacted and copes differently with stress and crises within the family, but communication is vital in every situation.

Friday, November 8, 2013

This past week (week 7) of my family relations class, we discusses sexual intimacy and Family Life, we discussed sexual intimacy within marriage, and how parents can talk to their children about sexual intimacy and when. We discussed that sexual intimacy is meant to bring a couple closer together on multiple levels, not just physically, but also spiritually, and emotionally. Along with the topic of sexual intimacy, my class discussed how parents can talk to their children about sexual intimacy. As a class, we agreed that the best way to address this topic is early, and when they ask questions and before they pursue other sources(such as friends, or older siblings) for information.