Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Blended Families

When creating a blended family there are a few things to keep in mind. It takes at least two years to normalcy, the birth parent should do all of the heavy disciplining for their children, and the parents should council together often. It takes two years to normalcy because the house is adjusting to the knew surroundings and people.

The birth parent of the children should do all of the heavy disciplining for at least the first two years. The new parent has to take the time to earn the child's respect and disciplining them heavily will only make them want to fight back more. Fighting will create tension and pulls on the family unit.

The parents should council together often to see how the family dynamics can improve. They should also council about how each other is doing in the newly created family. You should always make sure that you are both are on the same page. By doing these things the transition should be much easier.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Parenting: Discipline vs. Punishment

Discipline and punishment are different. Punishment is creating your own consequence or penalty. While discipline is simply correcting the behavior. Punishment can be equivalent to spanking or sending a child to their room. Whereas discipline is equivalent to having a discussion about correcting the behavior as well as teaching.
How would you handle these children?

You might resort to this:

When you should be acting something like this:

Love is an amazing power for children but should never be used against them.

Monday, December 2, 2013


There are five things that I have thought of that a new father should know. They are:

You're not a back-up parent, you're a father.
Go to every doctors appointment
Accept help
Be present
Be the protector

I consider these to be very important in understanding when becoming a father. First of all, you are not a back-up parent, you are a father. You are right there beside the mother. She may have a stronger instinct but you have instincts too. You may think of things that haven't come to her mind to try. You are equal partners.

Go to every doctors appointment. You never know what could happen to the baby that you wife is growing. What if you weren't there and she found out about a complication with the baby? She would feel her world crashing in around her and you wouldn't even be there to comfort her. 

You should swallow your pride and don't be afraid to accept help. You might need help taking care of the baby and the house while you have to work everyday and provide for the family. It's okay to take sometime for yourself and your wife while someone watches the baby for an hour or two.

Be as present with your baby as possible. Your baby will not remember you there but will know that you always were. Being present for the baby is so very important. There is no point in being a father if you come home just to get on the laptop or play video games. Being mentally there with your child and watching every step is highly rewarding and essential.

Be the protector. Be there for your wife. If she's tired, take care of her. You might even need to ask guests to leave and that's okay. Make sure she knows you are there for her because she won't feel as fantastic about herself as she used to. Make her feel as though there is an invisible shield you create between the family and the world.

Saturday, November 23, 2013


A big part of communication is reflective listening. Reflective listening is also called active listening. This is when you actively participate and ask questions in the conversation. Reflective listening also includes repeating back what the speaker has said. You can apply this by saying:

"So you feel...."
"You're wondering if..."
"It sounds like you..."

By using reflective listening, you the speaker understand that you care and want to understand. It also helps the speaker understand that you have a desire to help and that you will always be there if needed. Reflective listening has so many benefits. Some of them are:

Creates empathy
Builds a positive relationship
Helps the speaker and listener understand each other

By using reflective listening you create a bond of trust that continues to grow as you continue to actively listen.

Monday, November 18, 2013


Having a crisis in a family is so jolting. It can change a whole family dynamic. Having a crisis can either bring a family together or rip them apart depending on how they handle the situation. I would like to share an experience that I've had. 
My dear friend Madie passed away November 20, 2012. 

It was a tragic car accident where she was killed on impact and her brother was life lighted to a nearby hospital. Their family is an amazing example to me. They have grown so much closer to God through this experience but most importantly they grew together. Instead of letting this crisis tear the family apart, they worked together to push through the hard times that are still coming. If they had let the stress and heartache get to them, the whole situation could be a lot worse. So many things have changed in their family, even just day to day. For example, not a day goes by when they don't think of her. They all wish they had one more day with her. They mourn together over their loss of her and they work together to keep her amazing example alive here on Earth. Her mother now has a blog where she shares her feelings and memories and uses them to help others who are going through the same thing. I hope one day my family can be as strong as them. (This photo was taken about 9 months after the accident. Look how amazingly happy they all are together. They have grown undoubtedly closer.)

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Magic 5 Hours

To keep a marriage strong Gottman has suggested the Magic 5 Hour rule. Five hours sounds like a lot of time but it is only five hours in a whole week. Let me break this down for you so can have a better understanding.
PARTING THOUGHTFULLY: When one or both of you are parting ways in the morning, whether it's for work or an appointment, always take two minutes to say goodbye. If you do this once every work day that adds up to ten minutes. Only ten minutes a week so far and the relationship is bound to stay stronger.
REUNIONS: When one spouse returns home take a nice twenty minutes to focus on each other. This can be hugging and asking about how each others day went or just sitting on the couch and cuddling. If you do this for twenty minutes on every work day then you've got 110 minutes now of relationship building.

ADMIRATION AND APPRECIATION: Take five minutes every day to tell your spouse things you appreciate and admire about them. By doing this you create a stronger bond and appreciation for everything they are contributing to this marriage. So, if you take five minutes everyday that's thirty five minutes a week. Now we're up to 145 minutes. That's about two and a half hours a week!

AFFECTION: Take five minutes every day to place a kiss on your spouse or to hold their hand. Whatever you choose and label as affection. This continues to strengthen the bond between husband and wife. If you take five minutes every day, that adds up to another thirty five minutes. Now that's a total of three hours a week! How hard can this really be right?
WEEKLY DATE: Now if you take two hours to go on a weekly date to grow closer together then you reach the full five hours. A weekly date makes it easier to forget the world and focus on your spouse. It's only two hours; you could even just go have a great conversation over some amazing food then go for a stroll afterwards. 

It's that simple. Now you have your full five hours a week that is meant to strengthen your relationship and bring joy to you and your spouse.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

The Husband

There are many things that a husband can do before, during and after a child is born. I have chosen five things that I would like my husband to engage in. First, I would like him to go to all of my prenatal appointments. This is a very important aspect to me. What if he wasn’t there and I found out some troubling news about the baby? I would feel so alone and helpless but if he was there then we would be better able to work through it together. 

Secondly, I would need him to be patient with me. I get very moody sometimes and I can just imagine it getting worse when I’m pregnant. Thirdly, I need him to be understanding during my pregnancy. There are going to be good days and there are going to be bad days. I need him to understand that some days that I’ll be sick and others where I’m just completely worn out. 

Fourthly, I want him to be excited and reassuring. I need him to be excited because if he’s not it will just add stress to an already stress filled situation.  It will make me a lot happier overall. Then if he’s reassuring as he’s excited then I will be able to feel a lot more relaxed and be able to take the baby steps necessary in my pregnancy. Lastly, after the child is born, I need his help with the child. He can’t just provide for it and let me do all the work. It needs to be a mutual love and caring for the child. If I need a nap then he should be willing to watch the child if he is able to. Overall, there will be strain and hard times but if we work together then there is a great gate to success.