Saturday, December 14, 2013

Blended Families

                After a divorce what is the average distance between he once married couple? It may come as a surprise, but the average distance is around 400 miles apart! Why are they so far apart?
                The reason can change depending on the parent. Mothers usually move because they remarry, there new spouse has a job that requires them to move, or they themselves get a job, and sometimes they move to be closer to family for support. Meanwhile a father is more likely to move because of a job. He now has to pay for two families and it cost a lot of money. He can also remarry witch will at the expenses of his family. Another reason that father moves is because he feels like his kids don’t need him anymore.
                When a divorced person remarries its important tot relies that there are now two separate families. Sometime people still see it as one family. This can be harmful to the newly formed family. It has been said that it takes at a minimum of two years for a stepfamily to receive a sense of normality. It must be understood that when a new family is starting out that it is going to be hard. You are in the process of trying to blend two completely different families into one. Traditions are different, habits are in the process of changing, and what are we to do!!!!!! Remember it takes two years, two cycles of going through all the holidays together.

                Three ways to help make the two year transition easier are first; let the birth parent do all the heavy discipline. This will help prevent the stepchildren from hating you, and causing more problems. Second, the stepparent should be like a favorite uncle or aunt. Children tend to talk to their aunt and uncle about certain things more then they tell the parents about it. As sad as it is as a step parent you will never be able to take the place of your step child’s birth mother or father. Third, counsel with your spouse regularly. This allows both of you to know what is going on in the family. It also allows you to make plans of action when something isn’t working what do we need to change to make it better.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Who owns the Problem?

                What does “who owns the problem” mean? It doesn’t mean the one who created the problem. Who owns the problem refers to who it affects, and how they react to the problem. An example would be, a son goes out on a drive Friday night and runs out of gas. He parks the car in the garage, but doesn’t tell anyone that there is no gas. Next morning dad goes out and tries to start the car only to find that not only will it not start, but there is no gas in the tank. Stomping back in and he yells at his son. Who owns the problem? The father does, because he can’t go to work and his angry directed at his son for not fueling up after he used all the gas. The way that the father handled this situation causes more problems in the long run. Is there a good way of owning the problem?
                Conflict needs to be solved based on where the problem is coming from and who is affected. If the child/teen owns the problem one way to handle it is to let the natural consequences take effect. Most of the life lessons that we learn growing up don’t come from out parents giving us lectures, or punishments, they come from us making mistakes and the natural consequences that follow. An example of this would be my little brother. We have always been told to drive safely when on the four-wheelers. One day my brother was going fast and slammed into what he thought was just a pile of straw, but turned out to be a dirt hill covered in straw. He was thrown of the four-wheeler breaking his collar bone. He never got a lecture, but he drives a lot more carefully then he used to.
There are times when as parents we need to step in and not let the natural consequences follow. These are times when the consequences are too dangerous, too far in the future, and if it affects others. It’s too dangerous if the child life is at risk, or serious harm may befall them. An example of consequences too far in the future is, the parents let their child quit school. Don’t let children quit school because they don’t want to do it now. It won’t affect them until much later in the future, but by then it can’t be reversed. When it affects others they have over stepped there bonds, and need to be stopped.
When the parent owns the problem there are two main ways to handle the situation. The first one is to give polite requests. Many people may be thinking that there is no way that talking to a child politely well get you anywhere. When talking to children we need to realize that they are human to.  An example would be a mother yelling at her daughter and telling her she is disrespectful when she listens to music when she is trying to talk to her. That’s fine right? Well let’s switch the roles, daughter comes in and yells at her mother telling her she is disrespectful for listening to her music when she is trying to talk to her. Wait that is disrespectful! Well isn’t it the same thing, all that is different is who’s talking. What makes it ok for the mother to yell at her daughter, but not ok for the daughter to yell at her mother for the same thing?
When asking your children to do something try using a I “statements.” An example of an I “statements” is, “Bobbie I would like if you would clean up the living room. I feel very disrespected when you leave all of your things on the floor.” I “statements” make it not about them but about you. When you make it about them it makes them feel like they never do anything right, they are more likely to continue their behavior then if you make it about you. If I “statements” don’t work next try firm “statements.” This should not be the first think you do. When using firm statements we need to remember that this is still about us not them. The second way for parents to handle owning the problem is to let the natural consequences take place. It may be hard to watch, but it will be better for them in the long run.

So are there good ways of owning the problem? There are, but the most common tendency like we saw in the first example is to strict out in anger. We need to remember that the best way for them to learn from their mistakes is to just let them learn from their own mistakes, without giving them a lecture. When parents are involved they need to remember that their children are human to and they deserve respect, use I “statements” and if they fail use firm “statements.”

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Divorce and Fatherhood

How does divorce affect the family? Divorce turns families against each other. Sometimes a mother will turn her children against her x-husband even if he had done nothing worng.
Facts about Fathers in the Home
“Approximately one third of all children under the age of 18 will live apart from their biological father. A  white child has a one in two chance of living continuously with a biological father through the age of 18, while an African American child has a one in four chance. In 1995 one in three births was to unmarried women” (Dudley and Stone). This means that a great portion of our population at one point or another does not have a father figure in their lives. With divorce on the rise some families will have a father, but he will be a stepfather not the biological father.
Misconceptions of Fatherhood
                There are many misconceptions about fatherhood in the world today. In mass media men are often portrayed as being self-absorbed, self-centered, highly competitive, sexually promiscuous, bungling as fathers, prone to violence, and preoccupied with their own needs. When a divorce takes place, if the father wants to have the children, they are suspected of foul play, on wanting to get revenge on the wife, or just wanting the upper hand. The world looks at husbands as if they are there for nothing more than discipline, protection, and financial support of the family.
Fathers Physically Living Apart from the Family
                When fathers live apart from their children it is difficult for them to spend quality time together. Sometimes the mother is not willing to let the father see the children or schedules conflict making it hard. One father explained that is was hard to see his children because it was emotionally, physically, and financially draining (Dudley and Stone). Consequently some fathers think it is better not to see the children and simply stop being fathers.
Divorced Fathers
                It used to be In noncustodial divorce cases that studies only  talked to the mother. In recent years they began interviewing noncustodial fathers and found differing opinions. Interviewers found that, “divorced fathers tended to give more credit to the value and extent of their involvement with their children than did their former spouse” (Dudley and Stone). It can be said that there are both good and bad fathers.  Bad fathers can say it was the mother’s fault even when it was really their own fault. Mothers can also pit their children against their father as well. One father said that when his children come over they were in tears because their mother went on and on about how she had to take them over, but she did not want to. He said it made him feel that sometime it would be better if they didn’t come over and see him if it caused them pain (Dudley and Stone).
Remarried Fathers
                Many divorcees remarry within a year. This causes strain on the newly remarried father. He sets firm bounders between him and his new wife and children; as a result the relationship with his children from the first marriage becomes more detached and problematic.  Remarriage can also cause tension because the first marriage children might think that he is trying to replace them. Another burden on the father is that he now is supporting two families. The biggest form of detachment occurs if only one parent remarries. When children live in a family group environment it is hard for the children to go over to the single parent’s house and vice versa.
                Divorce turns family members against each other. It tears already delicate relationships apart. When there are children involved it makes it even harder. I have seen how divorce tears families apart, making it hard for a father to see his children, and when he does how his wife has a heart attack ever time. Divorce in my mind can do nothing but hurt, there are times when it needs to be done, but I believe we as a nation divorce far too quickly without give the marriage a try. Marriage isn’t easy hut neither is life.

Works Cited

Dudley, James and Glenn Stone. "Fathering At Risk: Helping Nonresidential Fathers." 2001. Google Books. Book . 27 November 2013.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

How important is communication?

                Is communication in a relationship important? Yes it is we are constantly communications. It’s impossible for us not to communicate. Some people might have just said that not true when I give the silent treatment I’m not communicating. Well actually you are. You are communicated that you are angry with another and do not wish to speak to them. It was found that when communicating that on 14% in how people interpret what you are saying is from the words themselves. 35% is the tone, and 51% in the body language or the non-verbal.
                For example there are tons of ways to say I love you.  It can be said after a pause or with love because you truly love the person before you, or it can be said threatening. How we say it means a lot to different people. If we are rolling our eyes when we say something it says that we really don’t care, or we think it is silly.
                Sometimes couples complain that they are not communicating. It’s not that they can’t communicate it’s that they are miscommunication. Miscommunication is a dangerous and a harmful thing that can happen to a relationship. An example is a couple arguing in the car. She is complaining about the how she has to pick up after the dog and wants him to do it. He says he will but she has to take one of his jobs. She gets extremely angry with him. Some may think that what they are arguing about it is the dog, when in reality she thinks that the jobs around the house are distributed fairly. Sometimes the root of the problem is hidden and the other partner doesn’t see it. If they communicated better he would be able to see what they are really arguing over and they can come to a conclusion faster than if she never told him why she was mad.
                People can get divorces over miscommunication. An example is a couple where she travels a lot but gets tired easily, she hates it when her husband changes her flights when she is tiring to get home so that she stays an extra night in the city she is in. He finds it hard for her to be in the pain after a long day. He just wants her to feel better before heading home. They get into arguments all the time about him trying to control her life. In reality he is just showing his love for her in his own ways. Once they understand this there marriage was doing great again, but before that it was heading in the direction of divorce.

                So not only is it important to communicate, but also to make sure that there is no miscommunication. We need to be nice when we correct miscommunications because if they are handled wrong it can cause more problems then it would have fixed. So is communication important in a relationship? Yes. We are always communicating, and when we miscommunicate it hurts us more than if we never had.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Crisis in the Family

            Can crises in the family ever end happily? This is a question that surrounds families of today. The divorce rate is on the rise and even when little things happen sometimes it ends in divorce, so how can a family crisis end happily. It may come as a surprise to many but most marriages stay together after a crises.
An example of a crisis could be that it is found out that your spouse is having an affair. Most people when asked what they would do if they found out there spouse had an affair said that they would get a divorce right away and would never forgive the other party. Surprising though the statistics say that actual most couples stay together, it takes time to get over the betrayal and they may never get over it. Trust has been broken and it takes a long time and lots of hard work to patch up the betrayal.
Reuben Hill study the stress that a family goes through and he made the ABCX family crisis model.
A – Actual Event
B – Both resources, and how you apply them
C – Cognitions (Thought Process)
X – total eXperience
An example of this in the process of happening could be a death in the family. Karen’s Great Grandfather who she was very close to died recently (A). Karen leans on her family and friends for support (B). She goes to church every Sunday and it takes time but she gains a comfort that all is not lost (C). Several months later she is able to look back on the happy times she had with her Great Grandfather and tells stories of him to her friends.

Even though she has gone through the death of a loved one she is still able to move forward. It’s important to know that when you go into a crises that it will not be easy. The most important thing at least in my point of view is to go into it with faith that you will come out of it the same or maybe even better then when you went into it. So can crises end happily? They can but it takes a lot of work.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

The Sex Talk

A high number of teenagers are becoming teen parents. How our, our kids finding out about sex? Sadly lots of kids are finding it not from their parents, but from the people and things they interact with. I will put it into two list ways to help your children and ways that hurt your children.
                Ways that hurt are when we just don’t talk about it. If we never say anything they will find out about it from the kid on the school bus, there cousins, or maybe even the television. These resources all make it sound a lot more graphic and horrifying then it really is. Another problem is when someone gets raped. Some children are told since they were young that if you have sex before marriage then you are dirty. Parents or other adults put an emphasize on the sin of what was done to you. You have been “used”, no one will want you. When someone has been abused this way it was not there fault and they are not used, they need to understand that it’s not ok before you are married, but if you are forced then it is not your fault.
                What can we do to help them not do it before they are married, and so that they can understand what it is. Start when they are young. They need to know what their body is and how it is different. Set boundaries with them, talk with them. Have them help in setting the boundaries. Understand that they need to love their bodies; they don’t need to be ashamed about how they are different. Sex is a sacred physical activity that should be saved for marriage. The most important thing you can do as a parent is to teach them in live, and to give them correct information.

                There is never a case where a child should never know what they are going through and what to expect. They should always find out about it from their parents, it will hurt them more if they learn about it from someone else. A good resource for parents who are concerned about talk to their children a good resource to go to is A Parents Guild.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Getting Married

Marriage is never easy. Happy Ever After only happens in fairy tales. Life is hard so why should it be any different when we get married. The first week, month, and year are hard. Learning to share with another everything you have is hard. The stress and the hard ship can be diminished if we plan what we what to do before we are married. Here are some questions to go over with your soon to be spouse.
1.       Will the wife use the husband’s last name, her own name, or a hyphenated name?
2.       What will be the division of labor in the home? Who will do cooking, washing, repairs, and so on?
3.       Will you have children? If so, how many?
4.       Will you use contraception? What kind?
5.       If you have children, how will you divide up the child care responsibilities? What kind of discipline will you use?
6.       What will you do about housing? Will housing decisions be made in light of the husband’s career, the wife’s career, or both?
7.       Who will be the breadwinner? How will financial decisions be made and who will be responsible for paying bills?
8.       What will be your relationships with the in-laws? Will you spend part or all of your vacation time with parents or relatives?
9.       How much of your leisure time will you spend together and how much separately?
10.   What are you sexual expectations?
11.   How will you change the terms of this contract over the course of your marriage?
By answering these questions it helps eliminate situations where, “I thought we would have kids before I was thirty? No we would only have kids when I’m situated in my career and I don’t plan to say at home ether!” Major miscommunication. By sitting down they both would have known what the other thought and been able to plan accordingly. The biggest thing to know when going into marriage is to know what the other think is going to happen. By donning this we can stop many future problems in their tracks before they can even begin to form. We can’t have it all our way, that’s why compromise was invented.

Life is not one big honeymoon; it usually takes a couple a year before they are to a realistic mode of living together. We can’t go into marriage thinking that if I don’t like it I could just leave. The marriage is way more likely to end in divorce if that is the mid set we go in with. Those with a higher level of commitment are more likely to be satisfies with the union and less likely to have thoughts about divorce or other possible partners. Go in with the thoughts of I want to be married to this person tell the day I die, and forever.