Saturday, December 28, 2013

How To Get Their Attention

Recently I have been hearing this question from many young people "How do I get a boys/girls attention" and I have a little insight from reading other blogs and from personal experience. This might sound silly, but don't leave the house everyday thinking today is the day I will get noticed and get a boyfriend/girlfriend. Yes, do make yourself presentable and do put yourself in places and situations where you will be around people, but do your own thing. Napoleon Dynamite wasn't too far off when he said that people like people with great skills.  I have noticed that whenever I go out hoping someone will notice me it never works, but when I go out in public because I am going to do something for myself I seem to get more attention. For example, I was on campus one day trying to chat it up and nothing happened. Another day I was sitting in a hallway with my nose pressed up to my laptop working a storm and some guy just came up to me, we had a great conversation and then we went on a couple dates later. People like people who have their own lives and when they see people having a good time they get curious. Just like girls like guys who go out and do stuff, guys like the same thing. The more you work on yourself, the more people notice your awesomeness and they will just flock to you.  

A reason this tends to happen is because of what I talked about earlier in this blog about the roles of men and women. Men are naturally providers and protectors. Women are tender and nurturing. When a women is out trying to find their man, they are actually taking away the men's role. When a women is using her femininity to her advantage then the male has the opportunity to pursue. Yes, those silly dating rules apply! Trust me, I have tried so many things to try to get around the "rules", but it always works out so much better if we let the men do their job and the women do theirs. It is our responsibility to help the men feel like men and the women feel like women.  

Yes, ladies, we have every right to ask a guy out on a date or to be providers or to do the same things men do, but just because we are equal doesn't mean we are the same. Yes, sometimes we feel like the guys we like won't give us attention, but if you focus on developing yourself and flirt a little instead of coming on too strong by taking action guys will find you more attractive because you are allowing them to feel like men. 

Men, develop yourselves as well. It will make you feel more confident to ask that pretty lady out and it will also help you to deal with and move on from rejection, if it ever happens. 

How do you get that special someone's or any someone's attention? Make yourself presentable, develop your personality and skills so you will be confident in your skin and your countenance will shine and people will be drawn to you. Go to places that you love and where people will be. Have a good time and people will wonder why they aren't in on your fun and they will come. Help each other work on their roles in a partnership. 

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Top Ten

As the semester is coming to a close, I thought I would recap on some of the things I have found beneficial in my life. 
1. Types of love
It is important to know that there are many different kinds of love, which may be why it is so hard to define it. Agape is the kind of love that you extend towards others, not necessarily feeling based. For example wanting to help someone out because it is the right thing to do is agape. Storge is the kind of love a parent show towards a child. However, this doesn't mean that this kind of love is merely between a parent and child. Wanting to nurture a person is storge. Eros is an eratic love, the kind of love we write songs about, the romance and passion and sex. Phillia is a friendly, brotherly love. When looking for a potential mate we of course want eros, but I think that having a balance of philli, storge, and agape is just as important. Gaining a knowledge of all of these has helped me to view my relationships and see what kind of love I show towards them.
2. The Role of Mothers
             Before this class I had many opinions on how women should live their lives and I was very much for women living their lives, procrastinating children if they wanted because they should be able to live their dreams. I wanted to make a difference in the world through medicine or other means and I believed that women had the right to do whatever they wanted with their lives, that no one should look down on them or think that they were selfish because they wanted to do something other than have children. I am very grateful for the women's movement, however, I learned that I will make more of a difference by raising children. Mothers have divine qualities given to them that help them to understand a child in a special way. Learning the divine role of motherhood changed my heart. I still want to do certain things with my life, I still want a career, but understanding the divine role of mothers in a child's life makes me want to be the best mom I can be. We as women have the great opportunity to raise the next generation, let's make it a good one. 
3. Progression of Love
             This lesson really hit home to why we need to follow the prescribed plan the Father has laid out for us. Just like Adam had to fall in order to experience true happiness we have to go through ups and downs in our relationships so we can fully enjoy the happy times. If we go on 3 P dates, communicate issues without blame, get married and have children it makes it so much easier for love to progress in a natural, beautiful way. If we miss any steps or do them out of order our love can’t blossom the way God intended it to. Learning this makes dating the right way and following God’s commands seem so much more meaningful. Listen to this video and notice how the song progresses. This is what our progression of love should be like. It will be intense, then may die down a bit due to the raising of children and family crises, but then it will explode. Love is a beautiful thing. 

4. Family Systems Theories
             The four family theories are systems theory, exchange theory, symbolic interaction theory, and conflict theory. Through learning these theories I now better understand how the relationships in my life work and why some worked and some didn’t.
Exchange theory can be explained as cost vs. reward or "You owe me" syndrome. I gave a boy I liked gifts, and I wanted something in return. Everyone goes through this. For some people, a smile could be a good enough exchange in return for a gift. For others they need something more substantial to be satisfied. For me, when I did little things a hug or a smile was enough. As our relationship blossomed a bit more, I wanted a little more in return.
Second, symbolic interaction theory. This theory states that we are influenced by our experiences. One important concept in this theory is definition of the situation, which means when we define a situation as real, it has real consequences. In my example, when I wasn't receiving the attention I wanted back, I began to think that he didn't like me. I saw him flirting with other girls and so I thought that he was just leading me on or that he didn't like me. The fact was that he still liked me, but because my emotions got in the way, it hurt the relationship. I was mad and upset with him for awhile.
After learning these I can look at my relationships and others in a better light. If I would have known about the symbolic interaction theory, I may have been able to control my emotions better or talked to him about how I was feeling and clear things up. With this new knowledge, I know that I can be a better companion in my future relationships because I will be able to examine the situation and know how to deal with them better.
5. RAM
             The Relationship Attachment Model (RAM) was a model created by Dr. Van Epp as a guide to a healthy relationship. His theory was that there were 5 key elements that needed to be balanced in order to be happiest in a relationship and if they were not, tension would arise. His elements were: Know, Trust, Rely, Commit, and Touch. If you think about it, it is so true! If I know my partner then I am going to have more trust in him. If I touch too much without any commitment or knowledge of the person that could be dangerous. If I trust my partner and he doesn't touch me then I will be confused. Keeping a steady balance of all the elements is in our best interests.
6. Adjusting to Marriage
             This was one of my favorite sections, just thinking about what my daily morning rituals were, what I do when I get home from work or school, how I sleep and then thinking about putting a lover in the mix. It made me think about coordinating schedules and accommodating to each other because it's no longer just about me. All these things are very tiny, but can add up really quickly and either make or break you. It reminded me that this will be my partner for life and eternity, not a roommate. Working these things out before a problem arises is divine and will help me and my husband grow closer together because we will be practicing communication and problem solving. This could potentially be awkward and definitely requires some work, but avoiding the natural, lazy man now and learning to sacrifice for each other is the divine way to start my forever.
7. Marital Intimacy
             I was really important for me to learn that when having sexual intercourse it is first important to know the different gender's responses. For males they respond much sooner than females and are usually satisfied by the time a female is just beginning. This can be very frustrating to a relationship, but it could also be very beneficial. If you take the time and consideration to figure out how to best support your spouse and best satisfy their needs your bond will be so much stronger and you will be more in love with one another instead of agitated. Another important factor to consider is how each of us enjoy closeness. Females tend to seek the emotional bond while men like the physical. If we learn to work together we can satisfy each other's needs and become one. I loved the metaphor that was shared in class teaching that intimacy is like opening and extravagant, delicate gift. When we open one of these types of gifts we don't attack it or rip the paper off in seconds, but we admire the work and carefully pull the ribbons off. We can compare this to starting marital intimacy in that we want to make sure our partners are comfortable with each other and understanding that slow and steady wins the race. It is ok to take it slow and understand that it is ok to be nervous or even afraid, this is an opportunity for you and your spouse to grow together and teach one another. Marital intimacy is one of the greatest ways we can show affection and love to one another. It is really important that we try to work together and know one another or else misunderstandings in intercourse can produce hurt feelings, avoidance, and possible infidelity.
8. Gottman’s Magic 5 hours
             Though we only talked about this for a few minutes, I thought Gottman’s 5 hour theory was perfect. I am a strong believer of small things bringing about great things and I want a relationship where both my spouse and I are striving to show appreciation for one another. Gottman’s 5 was:
    1. Part thoughtfully (2min x 5days = 10min)
    2. Have meaningful reunions (20min x 5days = 100min)
    3. Admire and appreciate (5min x 7days = 35min)
    4. Show affection (5min x 7days = 35min)  
    5. Have a weekly date (2hrs)
These seem like small things, but over time they will add up. I have seen my parents do some of these things and I can see it working positively for their relationship.
9. Communication
             To me communication is the most important part of any relationship you form. I enjoy being around people that I can communicate well with, so I was very excited for this unit. Communication is much more than just talking and I believe that is why so many people get frustrated when someone doesn't seem to understand what they are trying to convey. Most of us try to convey our thoughts or feeling through words. It is interesting to note that only 14% of communication understanding comes from actual words. Turns out that we interpret a lot more than just words. We seem to trust our eyes more than our ears, 51% of what we gather from our communications with others is all nonverbal. The last 35% goes towards tone. Knowing these things has helped me to really focus on my communication skills and contemplate whether or not I am sending a clear message.
10. Dating
For most Latter Day Saints a date is when a boy and a girl go out and do an activity together to get to know one another better. In society today most people believe that if you go on a date you have to have some sort of romantic interest in them. Because of this new trend many of my female friends complain about not getting any dates. I was so grateful to learn that dating how the church has commanded is actually a good and healthy way to date and that it is good marriage prep. It is experimenting, finding out what you like and don't like in a person, and a time to compile what you want and what you don't want in a future companion. I learned that one of the most common reasons for divorce among young people is that they said they fell in love with someone and then later one began to wonder if they made the right choice or if there was something better out there. Dating is a way to meet lots of different people in lots of different situations so you can make the best decision for you.

First Came Love, Then Marriage, Then the Baby Carriage, Now What?

In this blog I have talked about many topics such as dating, communication, engagement, marriage, having children, and all the blessings and challenges coupled with those. What happens once that last child leaves the nest? Is life simply over? Media often portrays empty nesters or the elderly as a marriage between two people just dealing with each other, that are too weak or too detached to show affection for one another when in reality it should be the exact opposite. Once the kids leave parents have to opportunity to start their "second honeymoon" stage. I think it is important for you to know that life can be and should be happy after the kids leave. It will be hard not having little ones around the house and you may feel like you have lost purpose, but your purpose is to continue to learn and grow with your spouse. You still have so much life ahead of you. You will be able to reconnect and learn to love your mate with even more vigor. You may have to opportunity to be a grandparent. If you practice all the theories taught in this blog and strive to make your marriage and family strong you will naturally continue to do those things as you age and those next few decades will be bliss because you understand how to work with one another.
Also, word of caution. Once you hit this stage, especially the grandparent stage, you will be full of knowledge that you may want to share with your children or with others. Be wise as you share and never cross the boundaries of your children's marriages. Just like it will be important for you to make mistakes in your family and learn from them they will have to experience the same. We can give cautions, but remember that it is their family, not your turn to play family again. You are support and encouragement and it might be hard for you to see them struggle at times, but let them work somethings out on their own, they will learn more from enduring and solving the issues themselves then if you were to just step in and fix it.
Make this stage the best of times. :)

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Parenting: A blessing or a curse?

Over the past 100 years or so trends of parenting have been changing. We are delaying having children, having fewer of them, or none at all. For those who do have children we are raising them in dual parent homes, single parent homes, homosexual homes, or even having childcare or nannies raise them.
Why are so many people turning away from parenting? Finances, feelings of inadequacy, just don't want one, inability to have one, wanting to live your own life, or fear are just a few reasons. 
We have heard many statistics on how much a child costs, just a little under $250,000 or 1 million if you put them through college, and the numbers can be quite frightening, but does a child REALLY cost that much? Do you plan on spending extravagantly or giving your child everything on a silver platter? If so, then maybe that number is accurate. However, if we do this we rob our children of growing experiences and they won't have the opportunity to learn about working for what they want. 
Also, are their any benefits to being a parent? You are giving up everything to raise a child, how could that be worth while? Parenting can teach the parents how to socialize, guide others, show love, grow confidence, learn sacrifice, gain eternal perspective, develop selflessness, and understand God more fully.
Of course parenting isn't a walk in the park, there are many fears and stresses that come along with that, but when we see all the ways being a parent can bless us, why wouldn't we want to be one? It is work, for sure, but bringing a mini you into the world is something special and it can bring you so much happiness.

The Father's Role

            I read an interesting article last week by  Ralph LaRossa entitled “Fatherhood and Social Change”. He argued whether or not the role of the father had changed as a result of the social movement and economic crisis.
He talked about society demanding a change in the father’s role. Instead of being just the breadwinner they want him to be a nurturer as well, or even just a nurturer. He believes that this desire for change came about because the role of mothers changed. The women’s revolution gave women the power work outside the home, and they took advantage of the opportunity. Because the nurturer wants to leave the home, there needs to be someone to take her place, and if women can both nurture and work, why can’t the men?
 The main issue brought up in the article was how the father involved himself with the child and whether or not the involvement was beneficial or effective. One observation made in the article was that the father’s involvement is indeed changing, but not necessarily their conduct. They may be with their child more often physically, but not necessarily spiritually.
Because of the high expectations women, society, or even imagination are setting on fathers, they often feel guilt. They work hard outside of the home, but then when something tells them that their efforts aren't good enough sometimes instead of becoming more involved in the child’s life they separate themselves and make excuses for it such as “I’m not good at changing diapers”. If we put too much pressure and expect the fathers to act just like mothers would we would never be satisfied.
 It was observed that fathers are more play dominated while mothers are caretakers. Men and women are just different. Of course that is no excuse for the men to not help around the house. It was stated that we need men to be responsible, but we can’t expect perfection or else there will be conflict. One solution to relieving conflict was that the father could have a more flextime job. 
I think that the article had some great key points. I believe that the role of the father is crucial in the family and and plays a large part in the development of the child. A child needs to see a man who takes charge and provides and protects the family. They need to see someone who works hard and plays hard. They need to see their father treating their mother with love and respect. Children learn must through observation and if a provider, protector, and presider are not there, they will learn their behaviors and values someplace other than the home, which isn't always a good thing. 
I loved the observation of fathers having flextime jobs and how that increased interaction with their children. If a father is constantly away from home, the child will never see them or when they do see them the father is tired and wants to rest, so they may interact with the kids physically, but not be all there spiritually or mentally. When a father goes to work and then has time to come home for dinner and spend the night with the kids there are more opportunities of more meaningful interaction because they are their not only physically but also spiritually and mentally. 
I am a women who finds great joy in working and providing. In order to help my future husband fulfill his roles as a father, however, I have decided that I will stay home with the children while he works and I will work if financial assistance is needed or wait until after the children are older. 
I wholeheartedly agree that a father can be a nurturer and that that should be part of his role as a father. However, the think their is something divine about a mother being the caretaker and the father being the provider and the both of them helping each other and supporting each other in their specific roles. When you are in a play you want to have your specific part because then you feel needed and important and you tend to do a good job because it is yours and it is up to you to help the show go smoothly by doing your part. The same is with the family. If we confuse roles or try to make the spouses roles exactly the same they may not feel like their job is important or that they are contributing in a large way. They will just feel like they are simply there.
In a marriage we need to be supporting each other and thanking one another for the important roles we each play. A fathers role should be to preside over the home and to protect the wife and children as well as provide for them.  Women, decide how you can best support your husbands so he can fulfill his roles and help benefit the family. Men, don't be afraid. If you try your best, your children will notice and they will learn to be grateful for all that you do for them. Communication and interaction will increase and so will your love.

Saturday, November 23, 2013


Communication is critical in any relationship you form. We usually like to be around people that we can communicate well with. Notice that I didn't say talk to. Communication is much more than just talking and I believe that is why so many people get frustrated when someone doesn't seem to understand what they are trying to convey.
Most of us try to convey our thoughts or feeling through words. It is interesting to note that only 14% of communication understanding comes from actual words. Turns out that we interpret a lot more than just words. In "The Little Mermaid" Ursula wasn't too far off when she said "don't underestimate the power of body language".

We seem to trust our eyes more than our ears, so it may not be surprising to you that 51% of what we gather from our communications with others is all nonverbal. If someone tells you that they love you without a smile, eye contact or some kind of physical interaction, are you really going to believe what they say? Like the old saying "actions speak louder than words", our nonverbal communication is extremely important when we are trying to convey a message. The last 35% goes towards your tone. Imagine that you got tickets to go see your favorite band. You run over to your best friend and tell them the news and ask if they would like to join. Imagine if they said "Yeah! That sounds like fun!" in a very excited tone. Now imagine if they said the same thing, but monotone. In the first case it sounds like they want to go, but in the second their words say they want to go, but with the tone she replied with you may think she really isn't that interested.

Knowing these things can help you be a better communicator. If you want a certain special someone to know that you are interested you may adjust your words, tone, and nonverbal communication to help them understand more clearly. Here are some other tips for being a great communicator:
1. LISTEN LISTEN LISTEN! Most everyone enjoys talking about themselves, but listening, I believe, is one of the best ways we can show love and respect to a person. Plus, if we are listening WELL we can better respond to them (yes, there are bad forms of listening, such as faking, only listening so you can respond in a way that pleases the person or in a way that makes you look good, or interrupting).
2. Check for understanding. This goes along with listening. When you check with a person, it solidifies to them that you are paying attention, shows that you care, and gives them an opportunity to either say yes or no and clarify their message.
3. Learn to adjust and accommodate to others. Once you have been around a person for a little while you begin to know what their communication style is. Some people are loud and some are soft. If we can learn to adjust to them we can understand them better.

As a final note, avoid corrupt communication such as blaming others, criticizing them, or using sarcasm. These things are hurtful and tear people down instead of building them up. I can guarantee that if you avoid those things, practice communication by focusing on your verbal, nonverbal, and tone as well as listening, checking for understanding and adjusting to others needs you will become a better communicator, you will be less frustrated, and people will want to communicate with you.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Coping with Family Crisis... Easy as ABC

When we think of crisis we normally think of some undesirable danger or stress to our lives. The dictionary confirms this thought: a crisis is a dramatic or emotional circumstantial upheaval in someone's life. However, it is also defined as a stage in a sequence of events at which the trend of all future events, ESPECIALLY FOR BETTER OR FOR WORSE, is determined and a condition of instability or danger, LEADING TO A DECISIVE CHANGE. A synonym they gave was a TURNING POINT. In Chinese it is interesting to note that the two symbols combined to make up the word Crisis are Danger and Opportunity. 

If we remember these definitions when facing and coping with a crisis it will help remind us that it won't ruin us if we take it as an opportunity for growth and change. Coping is the way we deal with the crisis and the stresses associated with them. Having a knowledge of the ABCX model can help us cope.
A stands for Actual Events
B stands for Both Resources and the Application of those Resources
C stands for Cognition
add all those together and we get our
X for the Total Experience

Let me give an example to help illustrate
Let's say you have a family and you or your spouse loses their job (A). You may define this situation as undesirable (C) so as a family you decide that each member will each try to find new employment and do something about saving money (B). All these components acting together produce your X, and with this example you could say you averted alot of unneeded stressors. But what if we were to change our C and say that this loss is a disaster and change our B into the father being responsible for finding work, but maybe instead resorting to alcohol consumption. Our X will be very different and this is now a much more serious crisis situation.

With a knowledge of the ABCX model, we may be better able to take a crisis and evaluate it and decide how we will think and react to it so we can have a positive outcome instead of a negative one. Using this model and coping won't necessarily fix your problem, but it will help you deal with it more effectively.