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.