Saturday, May 30, 2015


I have learned a LOT about dating this week, what is healthy and what is not and its funny that what’s NOT healthy seems to be the norm nowadays… MAINLY Hanging out is not good because it causes more competition. Think about it, you’re at a party and you’ve got your eye on the cutie in the corner across the room. You make eye contact and he even smiles at you! And then later in the evening you catch him stealing a glance again and now you’re really excited! But THEN this beautiful stranger just waltzes in and starts flirting with the very guy that has been making eyes at you. She’s cute funny and flirting profusely. It’s clear that she has his full attention now. So now you’re stuck trying to think of ways to get back in the game! And that’s all it is! Just a big fat frustrating game! If he’d just asked you out on a date things would be fine! You’d have his full attention and you wouldn’t be worried about the other girls because everyone knows the dating rules, when you’re on a date you’re committed to that person for the time-being and that’s that. But on the other hand, in a hanging out situation there is zero commitment, those glances and smiles mean nothing as soon as someone else walks in and succeeds in grabbing his attention. So moral of the story, hanging out is NOT the best way to find a potential spouse! That was important for me to learn!  

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Gender Roles

This week we talked about gender roles. Ive always thought there were differences between males and females but I never thought much more about it. I grew up in a home where my parents fulfilled the traditional roles: Dad as the bread winner, changed the oil on the car and worked in the yard. Mom was the the homemaker, cooked meals, took care of us kids and the house. That was normal for me but as I grew up I saw families do things differently and I didnt think much of it. As I have learned more about the family and how we best function it makes sense that moms typically stay home and dads go to work. Like is said before, I knew there were differences between men and women but the WHY really clicked with me when we talked about it in class! Women are able to be aware of multiple things at once and therefore best equiped to watch over children and different things at home at one time. Men on the other hand are able to hyper focus on one thing making them very successful in the work place, but not just that! With his ability to focus on one thing at a time, when he finally does come home he is better able to leave work at work and focus on his family! How neat is that?! I belive that our gender roles are divinely appointed! We can do things "our way" and they might turn out "ok", but I dont want to just "get by", I want to to the very BEST that I can at raising a family and I believe that to achieve that I must embrace and fulfill my role as a woman!

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Culture and Family-Make a Change

This week we talked about culture and how that affects or plays a role in how families function. Then I think of culture I think of big parties that different ethnic groups might have, but come to found out that in families, the culture isn't always so easy to recognize and point out, especially if it's your own family that you are examining. One example that Brother Williams mentioned in class is how some families have a tendency to be sarcastic. In the eyes of that family, sarcasm is acceptable because "That's just how we are". But in reality it may not be as "ok" as they think. There are consequences that come as a result for negative family cultures. Parent/child relationships and sibling/sibling relationships can be greatly affected as well as the development of the children when there are negative cultures in the family. But one must be realistic, we’re not perfect, no one family is! But we CAN break the cycle! WE can make a CHANGE! We can learn from those who have gone before us and follow their example in the good things they do and adjust the things that need some improvements. One thing that we talked about and that I thought was very important was how when a couple are getting ready to get married and start a family, it is wise to discuss WHAT you want your family to be like. HOW you want to raise your children. WHAT PRACTICES will you incorporate into your daily routine? HOW will you discipline your children? It is wise to discuss these things before children come because if you and your spouse haven’t agreed on what is best for YOUR family, most likely you will both parent the way you were parented whether that is the best way to do it or not. We watched a few videos about a family who lived some pretty rough conditions. The oldest son didn’t like it and he wanted to make a change, but he ended up more or less following in the same path that his mother had gone down. So it’s one thing to recognize a problem, and another to actually fix it because it won’t fix itself. So what I personally want to do, is decide NOW what is important to me and what I think I need to change. If I figure that out now, then when I get married, I can discuss it with my husband and we can work together and decide what our priorities are for our future family. I am confident that that will help us be stronger as a family! 

Saturday, May 9, 2015


This week we talked a lot about theories and how the family maintains homeostasis (an interesting concept in relation to families I thought...) and what different kinds of relationships families have.
I mostly want to focus on the theories because I think that can be really helpful in each of our families! If we know how the family works or responds to things, we can know how to better deal with the challenges in our own families.

The theories were interesting to me. Even though they say different things and explain situations differently, I can see how they have all played a role in my life in my relationships with people.
*Systems Theory- The "whole" is greater than the sum of its parts. The book used the example of a cake with the individual family members representing the flour, salt, baking soda etc. Without one of the ingredients, the cake wouldn't be as good. Therefore everyone in a family contributes and is needed for the family to function properly.
--> I've seen the evidence of that theory in my life with my family. When Mom gets sick and isn't able to do all she normally does, it affects the whole family. The same goes for my Dad. When he is gone or sick or whatever the case may be, the family isn't the same. Now that's pretty obvious though right? I am pretty confident that most if not all can remember how they felt when someone who played a major role in their life, was out of the picture for awhile. But the same rule applies to other members of the family, siblings who have grown up and left home and live far away. That's not uncommon and doesn't necessarily mean they're not functioning in the family, but when you know that things are not going well for them and you know they're not doing very well, it affects the whole family! You worry about them or you're angry with them or you're scared for them. All of those feelings effect how you respond to other things. Therefore, no single individual can do something without affecting another.

*Exchange Theory- You keep doing things that give you results even if it costs you something. But you will typically only do whatever that is, if the benefits are greater than the costs.
--> Think back to a time when you tried to do something nice for someone and they either didn't notice or were ungrateful about it. How did that make you feel? Well I know how I feel at times like that and it certainly doesn't make me want to do that thing again because it wasn't worth it! Now that can sound kind of selfish but its the truth! And that's not the only example of exchange theory in action. What about paying to have your car cleaned but when you get it back it still looks filthy! $10 says you won't be taking your car to get washed there again! And then there is a more positive example of exchange theory in action. How do you feel when someone does something nice for you?? It feels pretty good right? And you kind of want to do something nice back right? Well there ya go! Exchange theory!

*Conflict Theory- This theory states that conflict is inherent in human relationships. It can come from gender differences, different classes, and personality differences just to name a few. This theory bothered me at first because it seemed to say that everyone was just always angry and fighting. That's not the case though. Conflict theory just points out that there are always opposing forces and sometimes one side wins and sometimes the other side wins. I think we can all think of plenty of situations where we have experienced both sides of that. We don't always get our way, you have to give and take and it doesn't mean that you're fighting over things.

*Symbolic Interaction Theory- This theory has a lot to do with perception. When someone does something that offends you it's easy to jump to conclusions about why they did it, when in reality, many times you are way off the mark. One of the readings that we did shared an example of a couple where the husband had been married before but his wife had cheated on him. Well he and his new wife were at a party and she was talking to another man and the husband got upset with her later that night. The reading shared two different endings to the story, the first being that the husband accuses the wife of being too friendly and she gets all defensive and the whole thing escalates because they just assume the worst of each other. Then the other scenario the husband kind of calls the wife out about talking to the other man, she explains that she was asking about a vacation that the man had gone on, one that she and the husband had wanted to go on. He then expresses how he would appreciate if she talked to him about things first and she says that maybe he should come over and visit with them next time, that she'd like to have him with her. So really it's all about how we perceive things.

So as I have learned about these theories I would hope that I am more understanding of how my family and other people's families work and maybe have a better understanding of why they do what they do. I hope that learning this will help me have stronger relationships in all areas.

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Dismantling Myths

Wow this week I have learned SO much! I think my brain is on overload! But I have been mind blown by all the information we've covered! I like learning about most things just in general but when we when I get to learn about things that hit so close to home such as the family as a unit in society and how different things affect it (for good or bad) I just get pulled in! It has so much more meaning for me! Which makes sense right? I mean what happens in the family as a fundamental unit of society truly affects everyone in some way or another. One of the preparation assignments for class was watching a documentary on demographics called, "New Economic Reality: Demographic Winter and Viewer Guide" (I've added the URL for part 1, part 2 listed on the same youtube page for those of you who want to check it out! I definitely recommend it!) The documentary started out by addressing the widely accepted notion that the world is being over populated and in a relatively short period of time, we will have depleted all of the world's resources. This idea began to spread like wildfire when Paul L. Ehrlich, professor at Stanford University, published his book, "The Population Bomb". He firmly believed that having as many as five children was irresponsible and selfish because that meant you were taking resources from others and possibly making it so others could not have children.In any case this idea has widely become accepted. I will be honest I had heard that at one time years ago and it was a scary thought! But as time has gone on I have felt that that statement and all it claims just doesn't add up. Then watching this documentary confirmed my suspicions. In the documentary the social scientists and professors explain how in fact the opposite of what Ehrilch claimed is true. The fertility rate is dropping, not rising. In most countries in the world have stopped having big families for a variety of reasons. The one that was talked about the most was the U.S. and how fertility rates have dropped dramatically in a relatively short period of time. Some of the projected causes were the Women's Revolution (with a big help from birth control), Sexual Revolution, Age of Marriage going up, Individualism and the Decline in the Family. It was so interesting to see how all of these are interconnected causing a domino effect in ultimately resulting in a decline in fertility! It was a very eye-opening learning experience!

Some of the things we learned in the reading from our textbook that I thought was interesting was the section on myths about marriage that are commonly accepted as truth. One that I found interesting was the one that states "Having Children Increases Marital Satisfaction". The reason this caught my eye is that I had pretty well accepted that as truth. As I read more about it I learned that that isn't ALL wrong, but it is important to note that this "increase in marital satisfaction" doesn't just come with the children. If you have a lousy marriage having a kid isn't going to fix your problems, in many cases that just might "break" you. The book states, "The impact of children seems to depend on the quality of the marriage: a good marriage enhances the benefits...If the marriage deteriorates with the addition of children, the couple probably already had a troubled relationship."
Another myth which I think most people know is not true, is "Happily Married People Don't Have Conflict". I have known that forever, but it was cool to read that because it states that, "not only is conflict normal, but when it is handled properly, it strengthens rather than threatens the marriage". I thought that was pretty neat!

Anyway this is just a "smidge" of what I learned this week! Until next week!
"Marriage & Family: The Quest for Intimacy" Lauer-Lauer