Monday, September 19, 2011

Expressions of Love in Marriage

At this web site, there is a great reminder of how important it is to expression love in your marriage.  Check it out!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011


For the next few posts at least, I am going to be focusing on communication.  The information is mostly from a book called "Couple Communication I: Collaborative Marriage Skills" by Sherod Miller, Phyllis Miller, Elam W. Nunnally, and Daniel B. Wackman.  This book is from my Marriage and Family course from USU, and while the book is meant to be used to improve marriage skills, the communication information is good for anybody in any situation! 

For this post, I'm only going to share a brief idea about communication.  It is just something to think about before I share more detailed information in following posts.  
When you talk to people, your message contains two parts: What you say-the content and How you say it-the style.  Most of us know that how you say something can change the meaning of what you say.  To communicate well, we know that you do need the what part, but it is often the how, or style, that determines how good of a communicator you are. 

How you talk and listen to someone falls into one of four major communication styles.  Each of the talking styles corresponds to a listening style, and every style has typical behaviors-unskilled or skilled-associated with it that have a highly predictable impact upon a conversation.  The four styles are small/shop talk, control/fight/spite talk, search talk, and aware talk.  Next time, I will begin sharing more detailed information about the different talking styles of communication.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Teaching Kids to Follow Directions

The following is from a weekly tip sent by the Love and Logic Institute.  I like the simplicity of the ideas.  They are easy for anyone to start using! 

When you're asking your children to do things for you, do you ever feel like you're talking to a cat? I love my cats, even though they never listen to a thing I say.

Fortunately, children, unlike cats, respond well to the following strategies:
  • When asking your child to do something, don't forget to say "please."
    Since we want our children to use this magic word, doesn't it make sense that we ought to model it?
  • Get close to them and use a pleasant, calm voice.
    Few people respond favorably to being hollered at from across the room. Besides, do I want to train my kids to need yelling at, or would it be better if I taught them to respond to a calmer, quieter tone?
  • Ahead of time, have a plan for how you'll respond to noncompliance or defiance.
    If they refuse to comply, or they dawdle about, reply, "I love you too much to fight with you about doing this. I'm going to have to do something. We'll talk about this later."

    Delay the consequence so that you don't find yourself in an unwinnable power-struggle.
  • Resist the urge to threaten, lecture, or give repeated warnings.
    This is a tough tip for most of us! Just remember that when we use threats, lectures, and repeated warnings, we train our kids to need threats, lectures, and repeated warnings.
  • Allow empathy and consequences to do the teaching.
    In our DVD, Simple Parenting Strategies, we describe how to apply a consequence when it's tough to think of one. One powerful strategy involves having your children replace energy drained from you by their noncompliance. They can do this through extra chores, doing without some fun activities that you provide, etc.

    The key, of course, is the empathy. Nothing works without it!

Friday, June 17, 2011

The positive impact of fathers on their children

Just in time for Father's Day, here is my latest article on the positive impact of fathers!

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Family Friendly Places to Visit in Utah

I've published another article on about the This is the Place Heritage Park.  It is a great family friendly place to visit if you are in the Salt Lake area!  Find it here!

Monday, May 30, 2011

SSS Aproach to Balance

Often we can find ourselves trying to balance many roles in our lives, such as spouse, mother/father, employee, etc.  It can be difficult to not get caught up in one role or the other, which can result in the other's coming up a little short.  There are skills out there that can help us to find more balance in our family and home life even with all of these roles.  One such technique that is taught by Dr. Victor Harris in his book Balancing Work and Family in the Real World is the SSS Approach.  The SSS stands for Support, Share, and Strategize.

Support Collaboration is key.  Support your spouse or partner on specific household and childcare tasks.  Work as a team on certain issues involving your family and home life and delegate certain responsibilities and tasks in a fair manner.  Tap into skills/qualities you use in your career to help in your family and home life as well.  Discuss work and family life priorities with your spouse/partner and what you both consider these to successfully look like.

Share Delineating a responsibility as completely "yours" or "mine" discourages sharing in tasks and it discourages taking over certain responsibilities when it is necessary at times.  Share in your family tasks even if you decide on who has primary responsibility over that task.  It is necessary for you to make choices and remain flexible each day.  It's OK to feel guilty or feel insecure about your performance as a spouse/partner, parent, or employee.  Everyone experiences these feelings, and you should accept them.  Share your feelings of guilt and stress, as well as your insecurities, with your spouse/partner.

Strategize It's one thing to say you will share in a responsibility; it's another thing to actually do it.  Develop strategies or action plans with your spouse/partner on how you will handle certain responsibilities or regular issues that arise.  Together, write them down and discuss them as a team like you would prepare for a meeting or presentation. 

Take a few minutes now to think about one or two issues that you regularly struggle with, and think of an action plan to involve your spouse/partner using the SSS approach to help you balance these issues more effectively.  Then, sit down to discuss it with your spouse, and modify it together as needed.