Saturday, December 7, 2013

This week’s topic was on parenting. President Monson stated, "To you who are parents, I say, show love to your children. You know you love them, but make certain they know it as well. They are so precious. Let them know. Call upon Heavenly Father for help as you care for their needs each day as you deal with challenges which inevitably come with parenthood. You need more than your own wisdom in rearing them." Everyone really needs to know they are valued, and their contributions are needed. Children can sometimes feel starved for attention and love, and then try different methods such as bad behavior to get attention.
In our class we also discussed disciplining children. We talked about the natural consequences of bad behavior being the best discipline. Natural consequences make sense to me because when I think back on important lessons I have learned in my life it was not because my parents gave me a great lecture. I was able to learn the lesson by experience. Natural consequences do have some important caveats which include the consequence being dangerous to the child, the consequence realized years down the road, and if the consequence harms or is dangerous to others. Drugs would be an example of a natural consequence that is dangerous to the child. Bad grades would be an example of a natural consequence that would take years to fully realize the consequences. Shoplifting would be an example of a consequence that harms others. Leaving the discipline to natural consequences are not always the best way.
The most important idea to me was encouraging children on the good things they do so they can feel loved, and not be discouraged.

"Fathers and Finances" was the next chapter we studied in Family Relations class. I wrote a paper on the importance of fatherhood, and as a source I used an article by David Blakenhorn titled Fatherless America: Confronting Our Most Urgent Social Problem. This article talks about a direct correlation between the absence of fathers in the lives of their families and many of the social problems our society is facing currently.
 We also discussed in class that many marital problems have to do with money.  We read a very helpful talk titled One For The Money by Marvin J Ashton. He gave twelve rules  to help families be financially secure.  The first three rules include pay an honest tithe, learn to manage money before it manages you, and learn self-discipline and self-restraint in money matters. This talk was my favorite reading required for this chapter. I would highly recommend it.
A chapter we have discussed in class was titled, “Communication and Mutual Problem Solving”. Love in the family unit can be strengthened as members listen and counsel with each other. President Ezra Taft Benson has stated, “Your most important friendships should be with your own brothers and sisters and with your father and mother. Love your family. Be loyal to them. Have genuine concern for your brothers and sisters.” Communication is an important part of building friendships, showing loyalty, and loving within the family. We also discussed the importance of family counsels. When there are problems to solve family counsels can be helpful so that each individual member can contribute to a solution. 

Saturday, November 30, 2013

The Family Under Stress is a chapter my class has studied.  My teacher, Brother Williams, stated, “Crisis is best viewed as an opportunity paired with danger;  as the term implies our response to these moments are critical for our further success.” I thought that his definition of a crisis was very accurate.  I would adjust it in a small way by saying sometimes stress does not happen for just a moment, and that sometime that moment is stretched for months or years.  It was also humbling to hear classmates share personal experiences of family tragedy.  We discussed the different coping methods that different people use to deal with the stressors, and the best way to respond effectively.

The topic for my Family Relations class has been Sexual Intimacy and Family Life. In this chapter we discussed keeping marriage safe against violation, and teaching children about sexuality. The topic did not seem new to me because I have seen my parents use guard rails to protect their marriage. One particular example was when I was maybe eight or nine, and my family had eaten dinner with the sister missionaries. Afterwards my Dad asked me to come in the car to give them a ride home. I was confused, but I agreed. My Dad later told me that it was a general rule for my parents to not ride alone in the car with someone of the opposite gender. Little rules can make a big difference in marriage. In my class we also discussed the importance of teaching children. I think it would be more difficult to learn about sexuality on the school bus rather than at home. We discussed the benefits of talking to kids earlier rather than later, and being open so kids can feel comfortable asking questions.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

This week in Family Relations class we are studying the transition into marriage.  Elder Russell M Nelson stated, "Meanwhile, mortal misunderstandings can make mischief in marriage. In fact, each marriage starts with two built-in handicaps. It involves two imperfect people. Happiness can come to them only through their earnest effort. Just as harmony comes from an orchestra only when its members make a concentrated effort, so harmony in marriage also requires a concerted effort. That effort will succeed in each partner will minimize personal demands and maximize actions of loving selflessness." I really appreciated Elder Nelson’s analogy because I have the wonderful opportunity to be in an orchestra. It is a cool experience to be exactly in sync with your stand partner. A successful marriage might be compared to being a member of the London Philharmonic, and both challenges brings wonderful fulfillment. I think Elder Nelson is saying that putting your spouse before yourself as well as compromise are needed requirements for a successful marriage. I am grateful for the guidance of prophets in our day. In addition to Elder Nelson, my teacher also referenced Abraham 5:14 that states, “And the Gods said: Let us make an help meet for the man, for it is not good that the man should be alone, therefore we will form an help meet for him. 

We also talked about how as individuals take the culture and traditions of their family of origin into their family of creation. We talked about marriage as a contract. Many times both the husband and the wife would bring a personal contract into the marriage, and not have talked over it. Conflict has occured when personal contracts are not known to the spouse, and misunderstanding or a violation of the contract has been the result.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

This week in Family Relations 160 the topic of gender differences was discussed.  Looking at gender differences from a gospel point of view is a good thing at BYU-I. It is always amazing to see how prophets warn us about principals before they become a big issue. The Proclamation to the World, which mentions gender differences, was announced in 1995. Gender roles have altered in many people’s minds since 1995. President Gordon B Hinckley addressed this issue when he stated, “In His grand design, when God first created man, He created duality of the sexes. The ennobling expression of that duality is found in marriage. One individual is complementary to the other. As Paul stated, 'Neither is the man without the woman, neither the woman without the man, in the Lord' (1 Corinthians 11:11). There is no other arrangement that meets the divine purposes of the Almighty. Man and woman are His creations. Their duality is His design. Their complementary relationships and functions are fundamental to His purposes. One is incomplete without the other”.    One of the articles that were assigned was titled, “Sisters Give Siblings Better Mental Health”. This article was given from a BYU-Provo news release. This article made me more grateful for my sisters!