Saturday, December 10, 2011


           Fathers play such an important role in families and their level of involvement will affect their children greatly. We live in a culture today that discounts the importance of fathers as unnecessary and makes us believe that fathers don’t need to be involved with their children.  It has also become increasingly popular for women to believe that they don’t need a man in their lives to be successful but that is very false.  Men and fathers play such an important role in many different aspects of the family. 
Research shows that fathers greatly determine the moral and spiritual development of children.  There have been studies conducted on this by the Swiss Government who says that “it is the religious practice of the father of the family that, above all, determines the future church attendance of the children.”  The study shows that if the Mother attends church regularly but the Father doesn’t attend church at all that 2% of children will end up attending church regularly while on the other hand, if the father attends church regularly but the mother does not, 44% of the children will end up attending church regularly.  This study goes to show how much of a spiritual impact fathers have on their children.
Another key factor that fathers bring to a family is structure and security.  Fathers have an instinct of being the provider which helps keep the family out of the clutches of poverty. Having this stability helps the child to feel very secure and less stressed in their home.  Single-mother homes are more likely to experience poverty than homes with both a father and mother.  This is very important because children who have to experience poverty also have to deal with much more than just being in poverty, they experience health problems, have a lower education and less of a chance of succeeding in life, commit higher rates of crime and have more mental.
This research goes to show that fathers have such a big affect on the family and play a huge role in both the wife's life and the children's life.


Divorce has become more common in the past few decades and there are many reasons for this.  One reason that really stands out and is the cause of many divorces is cohabitation.  The divorce rate for those who cohabitate before marriage is 47% higher than those not living together before marriage.  When comparing married couples vs. married couples that cohabitated before marriage, it has been shown that marriages are less satisfactory and more unstable, there is more conflict, there is poorer communication, increased domestic violence, increased sexual abuse for children and an increase in affairs. 
Cohabitation is not a wise decision because people are less committed to marriage and don't see marriage as a life long institution and people marry unwisely because it is the next logical step after cohabitation.  Cohabiting is popular in today's society but research is finding that all odds are against those who live together before marriage.  Hopefully society will become aware of this so that we can decrease the rate of divorce.

Communication in Marriage

You often hear that communication is the most important key to a successful marriage.  Although, there are many other important aspects, the way we communicate has a lot to do with how successful our marriage is.  I read a book called, "The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work" by, John Gottman.  This book talked a lot about how we should communicate with each other and what is affective or not.  Something that he emphasizes is that when we are in an argument with our spouse, we need to make repair attempts.  Repair attempts are trying to lighten up the argument by joking around, making funny faces or apologizing.  Repair attempts are very helpful for couples because it will help keep the arguments from escalating into something that can be dangerous.  Another way of bad communication is when you are invaladating your spouse by not giving affection back, not answering questions or responding to comments being made.  This communicational error can cause hurt feelings and anger.  Something else that this book talked about was called harsh start-up which is where you are trying to solve a problem but you begin by putting the person down.  By bringing something up with a soft start-up, you will have a much more successful and effecient discussion.
These tips for communicating with your spouse are going to be very helpful for when I am married.  I know that I will use these ideas probably quite often.


Love is often is approached for what it does for yourself.  Although, most people view love as what it does for you, it's not all about that, it's about the person that you are loving.  There are four different types of love that we learned about in class these types include; Eros, Agape, Storge and Philih.
Eros is the romantic love, the head-over-heels feeling we get in a relationship.  You are constantly thinking about that person and your world revolves around them.  You have a feeling that you could not be happy in life without their companionship and love.  Eros love is not sustainable and usually lasts for 18-24 months before the relationship moves on to another form of love.  But, eros love can cycle in and out of relationships over its course.
Agape love is to love your spouse completely, love them wholly, but expect nothing in return from them at that cureent time.  Agape love is not sexual or romantic, its nature is that of self sacrifice but is not unconditional.  You can love your spouse completely but still have boundaries and maintain you self respect.  You choose to have this type of love because yo uknow that it is best for your spouse and family.
Storge love is like a parent-child kind of love.  You feel comfortable and it is comprised of natural affection and a sense of belonging to each other.  Storge love is a safe haven for couples because it is a place of acceptance, mutual respect and shelter.
Phileo love is described as a "brotherly" love.  It is a love of relationship, sharing, friendship and communication.  They share each other's thoughts, feelings, attitudes and plans.  They confide in each other the most intimate secrets, fears and needs that would not be shared with other.
Incorporating all of these types of love in a marriage will help you to stay bonded to your spouse in many different aspects.  It's important to know of these types of love so that you can use them within your own relationships.

Friday, December 9, 2011


One of my friends, Jorge, grew up in Mexico but later moved to the United States.  I asked my friend many questions about how he came to the United States and what brought him here?  After talking with him for a long time, I realized the major effect that it had on him and his family.  Jorge's dad move to the United States 5 years before the rest of the family was able to move.  His dad went to the States because he wanted to find a job where he could earn more money for him and his family.  Jorge explained that he had a difficult time not having his dad in his life.  He struggled a lot in his teenage years because he didn't have a dad to turn to when he was going through difficulties.  Jorge also said that him and his siblings were torn apart because some move to the States sooner than others so they didn't have a very close relationship.  Once Jorge's whole family finally moved to the United States, they experienced a lot of criticism and stereotypes.  He said that it was hard to fit in in America because he had some obvious differences than the other students in his class.  It was sad to listen to Jorge's story because of the strong effect it had on him.  He still struggles with difficulties from his past and wants to do it differently when he becomes a parent.  After talking in class about immigration and talking to Jorge, I have gained a much different perspective on immigration and realize how difficult it is for families who immigrate.

Parenting Styles

In class, we learned about the different parenting styles and which styles are more productive.  The three styles of parenting include; authoritative parenting, authoritarian parenting and permissive parenting.
Authoritative parents are responsive to their children and willing to listen to questions. When children fail to meet the expectations, these parents nurture and forgive rather than punish. These parents are not intrusive but are assertive and they are supportive when they are disciplining.
In authoritarian parenting, children are expected to follow the strict rules established by the parents and a failure to follow these rules usually results in punishment. Authoritarian parents fail to explain the reasoning behind these rules. If the asks to explain, the parent might simply reply, "Because I said so." These parents have high demands, but are not responsive to their children.
Permissive parenting involves parents who rarely discipline there children.  These parents are more responsive than they are demanding.  these parents do not require mature behavior, allow the child to self-regulate and they avoid confrontation.  Permissive parents are nurturing and communicate with their children but act more as a friend than a parent.
I'm glad that we learned about these different styles of parenting because I am more aware of the style of parenting that I want to have once I have children.  It's important to be aware of these styles and know the effects that it can have on children so you can stray away from that once you are a parent.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Working Parents

Up until this past year, I have always wanted to be a successful working woman.  I didn't think that working while having children was a big deal or would have a negative effect on my children.  After taking several different classes at BYU-Idaho, I have realized that being a mother and working at the same time is not a the best idea. 
Both my parents worked all my years of growing up.  My dad did a good job of being with the family and not letting work take over but my mom seemed to kind of forget about the family and instead, totally focused on her work.  It was difficult not having my mom around as a child.  At a very young age, I had to learn how to take care of myself, cook, clean the house and care for my sisters.  I took the role of the mom amongst my sisters and cared a lot for them.  This was hard on me when I was younger because for some reason, I felt like I had to take on a lot of responsibility.  My sister's and I didn't go to daycare, so we were at home by ourselves a lot.  We had babysitters for a while but eventually, we didn't need that anymore.  Since we were at home a lot of the time, we had to figure out how to do a lot on our own.  I look back and wish that my mom didn't work because I would have felt a lot more safe, secure and dependent.  Since I took care of myself a lot, I have become a very independent person which has effected my relationships.  I don't like to rely on other people to help me out, I like to do things for myself.  This is detrimental because in a marriage, you are totally dependent on someone else and everything involves around the both of you and not just one of you and this is going to be very hard for me to get used to.  I also struggle with getting really close to people because I fear that they will stop caring and will leave and I know that this roots back to not having my mom around.  I think that when mother's have a full-time job outside of the home, they don't have the time to nurture and care for their children.  It's so important to be their for your children in their growing stages and if you aren't there, it will affect them greatly. 
I'm glad that we talked about this subject matter in Family Relations because even more so, I have decided that I definitely want to be there for my children and want to be a full-time mom.  Children need a mom in their lives and need to feel like they can completely rely on someone to be there for them.  My biggest hope is that I can be that kind of mom in the future.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Staying Positive

Every family goes through many different crisis that can either have negative affects on the family or positive affects.  In class this week we talked about how to deal with crisis within your family and how they affect your family.  Recently, my Dad has been diagnosed with cancer.  This has been very tough for everyone in our family and has effected our roles within the family.  My dad has played the role of both mom and dad in our family but while he has been dealing with cancer, he hasn't been able to fulfill those roles as well.  My sisters and I have all helped to fill in for those roles and it has had a big impact on us.  Although this has been hard on all of us, we have been able to keep a positive attitude.
In class, we talked about how to deal with crisis. A crisis within a family is bound to happen, so you have to be prepared for it.  How you deal with a crisis determines the outcome of the crisis.  My family and I could chose to be negative about my dad's cancer and chose to constantly be sad about it but my dad has taught us that that won't help improve the situation at all.  By staying positive, we know that we can handle whatever hardships come from his cancer and know that we will be able to get through whatever happens.  Attitude has so much to do with the outcome of crisis.  I believe that if you dwell on the fact that you are going through a hard time, it's going to make it even harder.  In order to progress in life, you have to stay positive.

Saturday, November 5, 2011


This week in class, we talked about the type of friendships that you should have once you are married.  I have never really thought this much into detail about this subject but am so glad that we talked about it in class.  I now I have an understanding of what I should and shoudn't be doing. 

When you are married, it could be detrimental to have a relationship with someone (other than your spouse) where you share very personal information about yourself with.  Having such a tight bond with someone else could cause many problems.  One of the problems is that it may seem like the "friend" that you are so close to understands you better than your spouse, listens more closely to your problems and cares about you more.  Having such a close friend is what usually leads to an affair.  Another problem is, if a spouse is has a really tight bond with someone outside of the marriage, it causes them to give their spouse less attention.  It also causes the spouse to not talk to their spouse about their deepest feelings because they are already talking to a friend and don't feel the need to talk to more about it. Once you are married, your best friend should be your spouse.  Your spouse should be the one that you confide in, vent to, trust and tell all of your problems and feelings to.  Sharing all of that with someone else could eventually lead to an affair. 

Knowing the keys to a successful marriage are very important.  Even wonderful people are very prone to falling into the temptation of having an affair.  You have to keep yourself away from the things that may lead you to cheat on your spouse whether it is sexually or emotionally, both cause great pain in a marriage.  Staying away from close relationships with people other than your spouse is one of the key points to keeping your marriage healthy and having the best relationship with your spouse as possible.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Gender Traits and Roles

This week in class, we talked a lot about the different roles of males and females.  I really enjoyed talking about this because it's interesting to to see how different men and women are.  For instance, women are more likely to be the nurturers and they have a better ability to do or think about several things at one time.  Men on the other hand are more focused on tasks rather then relationships and are very focused on one thing at a time and usually cannot multi-task.

The different traits of men and women can either be detramental or positive in a relationship.  Since men and women are opposites in many ways, it is sometimes difficult to make a relationship work.  It's important to understand and accept the different traits because we are all going to or have dealt with it at some point in our lives.

Sometimes it is hard for people to understand how a marriage is going to workout.  But Heavenly Father gave us different traits because he knew that the traits would balance each other out.  I think of marriage between a man and a woman is like a puzzle.  When we are single, independent and living our own lives, we have many traits of our own but are missing some very important ones that would make our lives a lot easier and more enjoyable if we had them.  When we get married, the spouse fills in the missing pieces of the puzzle and you fill in his missing pieces and together, you make a complete puzzle.  That's why marriage is so important because without one or the other, you can't be as successful in life.  I'm grateful for the perspective that I have on gender roles and for knowing that they are divine and of God.  Without the differences of the roles, it would be difficult to manage a family and I know that it's very important to accept and understand the differences in men and women.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Premarital Sex

This week in class, we learned about several different factors that cause unhealthy families.  Those factors included; a significant increase in cohabitation, delayed marriage, employed mothers with young children, unmarried mothers, an increase in divorce rates and premarital sex.  Out of those recent trends, the one that stands out to me the most is premarital sex and the effects it has on future marriage.

In our society today, it's normal to have intercourse with several different partners before marriage.  Even younger children are noticing this trend and becoming more accustomed to the idea of sex before marriage.  This trend has become very detrimental to families in our society and has lead to many different problems.

A major problem with premarital sex are the after effects of the act.  Many people, especially adolescents have unprotected sex before marriage which leads to pregnancy.  The problem with this, is that so many children are being raised in homes with only one parent.  Not only is this hard on the single parent but it is also  destructive for the child who is being raised in an unstable family.  Families are being destroyed from premarital sex because of the risk of pregnancy.  A child born out of wedlock will most likely struggle with emotional problems because of it and may keep the trend going and have a child of their own out of wedlock.  Another issue with premarital sex is that it can lead to infidelity within a marriage.  This often occurs because the spouse has had past sexual relationships with other people and it's hard for them to stick with having sex with just his or her spouse.  It also opens doors to past "lovers" and a spouse can easily go back to a past lover and start up sexual relationships with them again.  Premarital sex is becoming such a common thing in our society and unfortunately, people aren't thinking of the consequences that can come from it.  Sex before marriage is causing a destruction in the family and people need to become more aware of this so that families can be saved.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Secular Individualism

This past week I have focused a lot on secular individualism and how it is affecting my life.  Secular individualism is becoming more and more prominent in our society and is causing people to believe that families are no longer very important.  Many people view dependency as a sign of weakness and once you commit to marrying someone, you lose yourself and can't accomplish all of the things that you wanted to because someone is "tying you down".  Our society is suffering because of this and in order for marriage and families to survive, we need to promote it in a positive way.
There are many reasons for secular individualism.  People feel that once they are married, they can't fulfill their dreams that they had for themselves.  Marriage doesn't stop you from fulfilling your dreams it just helps you to make new and better dreams with someone else in the picture.  You have to make a lot of sacrifices when you get married and realize that starting a family is more important then some of the selfish goals that we all have for ourselves.  Another reason for secular individualism is that we may be scared to commit to someone because it's uncomfortable and hard.  A lot of trials do come along with marriage but working through those trials will only bring you closer to your spouse.  Elder Holland said "love is what you go through together".  If you work through your problems, you can have a successful marriage.
It's a scary thing getting married and I struggle with the thought of fully depending on someone else but after reading and talking about secular individualism in my marriage class, I have realized all of the wonderful things that come from marriage.  Once we are married, we aren't letting ourselves go and giving up on our dreams but rather enhancing ourselves and creating new dreams with the person that we love.