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MARRIAGE AND FAMILY  (SPRING)  WEEKLY NOTES
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GENERAL INSTRUCTIONS FOR TRACKSTAR PAPERS

1.    Each paper must have a cover page with your name and date as well as the Trackstar number (Trackstar II).  This information should  be centered both vertically and horizontally on the page.

2.    Each paper must be typed with 1 inch margins all around.  You must double space (with no extra spaces between paragraphs) and you must not justify the right margin. The Times New Roman, 12 pt font must be used.

3.    Type the title of each article and type each question before you type the answer. There should be something to differentiate the question from the answer, such as bold print, underlining, or a new line started.

4.    Use complete sentences and full explanations for your opinions.

5.    All arguments or statements must be coherent, logical, relevant and free of generalizations and stereotypes.  Do not preach and do not take scripture out of context.  Do not summarize the material.

6.    Each trackstar should be a minimum of 5 full pages.

7.    Page numbers begin with page two of your text (written material).  The title page is not part of your page count.  Page numbers are placed in the top right corner of the paper where the top one (1) inch margin intersects with the right margin.  The title page and the first page of written material does  not have a number on it.

8.    Staple your paper or put it in a folder. Papers which are paper-clipped together or papers with just the corners folded over will not be accepted.

9.    You must read all of the articles and answer all of the questions.

10.  Your paper will be graded not only on the content but also on the use of the English language (grammar, punctuation, etc.) as well as your adherence to the format listed above.

 

THE WONDERFUL WORLD OF DATING, MARRIAGE AND FAMILY



Dating is neither a mystical experience nor an intuitive experience.


THE WONDERFUL WORLD OF DATING, MARRIAGE AND FAMILY (2)


Marriages are not made in heaven but rather here on earth.


THE WONDERFUL WORLD OF DATING, MARRIAGE AND FAMILY (3)


Christian marriages are never perfect and need a lot of work to make them work.


THE WONDERFUL WORLD OF DATING, MARRIAGE AND FAMILY (4)
Committing everything to God is wonderful unless that commitment is a “cop-out” to keep us from making necessary changes or thinking something through.


THE WONDERFUL WORLD OF DATING, MARRIAGE AND FAMILY (5)


Getting married will neither make you “complete” nor “whole.”


THE WONDERFUL WORLD OF DATING, MARRIAGE AND FAMILY (6)



The person most responsible for your happiness is YOU !


THE WONDERFUL WORLD OF DATING, MARRIAGE AND FAMILY (7)
Children reared in Christian homes do not always turn out perfectly; however, there are some methods which help cut down on the probabilities of a crash.


THE WONDERFUL WORLD OF DATING, MARRIAGE AND FAMILY (8)
A Christian marriage was never meant to be a hierarchy but rather an example of mutual cooperation for the good of all.


THE WONDERFUL WORLD OF DATING, MARRIAGE AND FAMILY (9)
Good relationships do not just “happen” but usually develop with the use of a lot of good sense and the peace of God.

 

 

GOLDEN RULES FOR MATE SELECTION
Choosing your marriage partner should never be based on love alone.
Love alone is not a sufficient basis for getting married. Love is the result of a good marriage. When other ingredients are right, then the love will come.
You can’t build a lifetime relationship on love alone. You need a lot more.


GOLDEN RULES FOR MATE SELECTION (2)
There are five questions you must ask if you are serious about finding and keeping a life-time marriage partner:
1. Do we share a common life purpose?
2. Do I feel safe sharing my feelings and thoughts
with this person?
3. Is this someone who is a refined and sensitive
person?
4. How does he/she treat other people?
5. Is there anything that I am hoping to change about this person after
we are married?


GOLDEN RULES FOR MATE SELECTION (3)
DO WE SHARE A COMMON LIFE PURPOSE?
Two things can happen. You can grow together or you can grow apart.
To make a marriage work, you need to know what you want out of life and marry someone who wants the same thing.


GOLDEN RULES OF MATE SELECTION (4)
DO I FEEL SAFE IN EXPRESSING MY FEELINGS WITH THIS PERSON?
Feeling safe means you can communicate openly with this person.
The basis of good communication is trust.
I won’t get “punished” for being honest.


GOLDEN RULES OF MATE SELECTION (5)
An abusive person makes you afraid to express your thoughts and feelings.
Be honest with yourself. Make sure you feel emotionally safe with the person you plan to marry.


GOLDEN RULES OF MATE SELECTION (6)
IS HE/SHE SOMEONE WHO IS REFINED AND SENSITIVE?
Does this person work on personal growth on a regular basis?
Is this person serious about improving himself/herself?
Is this someone who is always striving to be good and to do the right thing?
What does this person do with his/her time? Is this person materialistic?


GOLDEN RULES FOR MATE SELECTION (7)
A materialistic person is not someone whose top priority is character refinement.
People usually seek personal growth or they are seeking personal comfort.
Someone whose goal in life is to be comfortable will put personal comfort ahead of doing the right thing.


GOLDEN RULES FOR MATE SELECTION (8)
HOW DOES HE/SHE TREAT OTHER PEOPLE?
The one most important thing that makes any relationship work is the the ability to give.
We give another person pleasure.


GOLDEN RULES FOR MATE SELECTION (9)


Is this someone who enjoys giving pleasure to others or is he/she wrapped up in himself/herself and self-absorbed?
How does he/she treat people whom he/she does not have to be nice to such as waiters, taxi drivers, nurses, etc?
How does this person treat parents and siblings? Does he/she have gratitude and appreciation?
Does this individual show respect?
Does he/she gossip and speak badly about others?
You can be sure that someone who treats others poorly will eventually treat you poorly as well.


GOLDEN RULES FOR MATE SELECTION (10)
IS THERE ANYTHING I’M HOPING TO CHANGE ABOUT THIS PERSON AFTER WE’RE MARRIED?
Too many people make the mistake of marrying someone with the intention of trying to “improve” him/her.


GOLDEN RULES FOR MATE SELECTION (11)
You can expect most people to change after marriage …for the worse.
If you cannot fully accept someone the way they are now, then you are not ready to marry them.
The key is to try leading more with your head and less with your emotions.
Falling in love is a great feeling; however, when you wake up married, you don’t want to find yourself in trouble because you didn’t do your homework.
 

WHY IN THE WORLD DO I DATE?
For some, dating is a form of recreation.
Some couples go out simply to relax and have fun.
Dating is a form of entertainment and an end in itself.


WHY IN THE WORLD DO I DATE? (2)
Dating provides companionship and friendship.
A lot of people desire closer relationships with others.
Those who are able to share their feelings in egalitarian (equal) relationships are most likely to be compatible in love.


WHY IN THE WORLD DO I DATE? (3)

For some, dating is a means of socialization.
People learn social skills, gain confidence and poise.
Some learn the art of conversation, and how to cooperate and show consideration for others.


WHY IN THE WORLD DO I DATE? (4)
For some, dating contributes to personality development.
One way people establish their own identity is through their relationships with other people.
Self-concept, in part, comes from successful human associations and relationships.


WHY IN THE WORLD DO I DATE? (5)


Dating also gives people an opportunity to find out about perceived gender roles.
A very strong female might find that many of her dates would prefer someone more traditionally passive.

WHY IN THE WORLD DO I DATE? (6)


For some, dating fulfills the need for affection.
Casual group relationships do not quite meet the need for that affection.
The need for affection is one of the major motives for dating.


WHY IN THE WORLD DO I DATE? (7)
Dating becomes a means of “mate sorting” and selection.
The process involves gradually narrowing the field of eligibles from a pool of many to a specific few and eventually to one individual.
Whether dating results in the selection of the most compatible partners will depend on the total experience.


WHY IN THE WORLD DO I DATE? (8)
The dating process will fail if dating partners are chosen on the basis of superficial traits.


WHY IN THE WORLD DO I DATE? (9)
Dating can actually prepare individuals for marriage as it becomes a means of socialization for marriage.
In the dating process, individuals develop a better understanding of the behavior and attitudes of each other.
The partners learn how to get along and how to discuss and solve problems.


WHY IN THE WORLD DO I DATE? (10)

The longer the dating period before marriage, the more the couple is socialized to be married.

 

WHY IN THE WORLD DO I DATE? II Problems in Dating
Dating may be an important part of the social life of most single people: however, some haven’t learned or developed the self-confidence to be successful. Dating becomes a problem for many young people.
Half of the students in a major state university rated dating situations as “difficult.”
Most young people mention that the problems with dating included: where to go and what to do on dates, shyness, money and honesty/openness.


WHY IN THE WORLD DO I DATE? II Problems with Dating (2)
HONESTY AND OPENNESS
Men and women both look for honesty and openness in relationships.
A certain amount of “playacting” goes on especially in the beginning days of the dating relationship.


WHY IN THE WORLD DO I DATE? II Problems with Dating (3)
Researchers have found that most men tend to deceive dating partners about commitment levels and financial resources.
Most women tend to deceive dating partners about physical attributes.
Research has discovered that overall women expect significantly more deception from men than men expect from women.
Women are especially suspicious of claims made by males who seem to be more sexually interested in them.


WHY IN THE WORLD DO I DATE? II Problems with Dating (4)
Women, who bear the greater cost for procreation and thus the greater corresponding reproductive risk, are more selective and cautious than men are.


WHY IN THE WORLD DO I DATE? II Problems with Dating (5)
Couples who have a more egalitarian (equal) relationship tend to disclose more to each other than those couples with a more traditional male-dominated relationship.


WHY IN THE WORLD DO I DATE? II Problems with Dating (6)

The highest level of self-disclosure was found in couples who had been dating for the longest time.
The usual length of time for high self-disclosure was 8 months of going together.


WHY IN THE WORLD DO I DATE? II Problems with Dating (7)
Another dating problem that people face is the situation of one person getting more serious than the other person desires.
Sometimes couples make premature commitments; then, one of them has second thoughts and wants out of the relationship.


WHY IN THE WORLD DO I DATE? II Problems in Dating (8)


People in new romances tend to expect that their relationship will last longer than it actually does.

WHY IN THE WORLD DO I DATE? II Problems with Dating (9)
Individuals who have made the decision to enter a dating relationship may focus on its present strengths and on their positive feelings and fail to consider the potential challenges to the relationship.


WHY IN THE WORLD DO I DATE? II Problems in Dating (10)
Sometimes both people begin to realize that something is wrong in the relationship, but each is afraid to tell the other.
In most cases, each partner needs to express the doubts, inquire about the other person’s feelings and then discuss viewpoints tactfully but openly.
As a rule, women are more likely than men to have “second” thoughts.


WHY IN THE WORLD DO I DATE? II Problems with Dating (11)
For some, dating is a problem with both “closeness” and “distance.”
Dating relationships must have both autonomy and connection. Finding the balance is the hard part.
Although any close relationship requires each individual to give up some autonomy in order to develop a couple identity, giving up too much of one’s own identity can be a problem.

WHY IN THE WORLD DO I DATE? II Problems with Dating (12)
The sometimes contradiction of independence and closeness is called the “me-we pull.”
The individual has a desire both to be true to him or herself and yet be flexible enough to make the relationship work.


WHY IN THE WORLD DO I DATE? II Problems in Dating (13)
Every individual is unique and has different needs for distance and closeness in a relationship.
As a rule, men and women differ in their interaction patterns in dating relationships.
Women tend to want more closeness in a relationship than men do.
Women will also tend to push for active discussion of relationship issues.


WHY IN THE WORLD DO I DATE? II Problems in Dating (14)

Men tend to withdraw from active discussions of relationship issues.
Men also want more distance and independence in a relationship.
These differences have to do with gender-role socialization.


WHY IN THE WORLD DO I DATE? II Problems in Dating (15)
People’s attachment styles developed in early life will affect their need for closeness and distance in dating relationships.
These attachment styles demonstrate themselves in three basic dating relationships.


WHY IN THE WORLD DO I DATE ? II Problems in Dating (16)

Individuals who are comfortable with closeness prefer a balanced type of relationship, characterized by high levels of openness and closeness but also by a certain amount of independence.


WHY IN THE WORLD DO I DATE? II Problems in Dating (17)
Individuals who are highly anxious about their relationships generally seek closeness to the point that the partner feels smothered or “closed in.” Highly anxious people also become over-dependent on the partner for emotional needs.
Avoidant individuals want the most distance in their relationships and so limit closeness, dependence and affection.
 

 

DATING TRAPS
The biggest shift in this generation impacting relationships is a need to be “happy.”
Parents and grandparents were quite satisfied surviving and achieving some measure of comfort and security.
The need for happiness is the primary reason for failed relationships in this generation.
In seeking happiness, many people fall into traps that can only be solved by leaving the relationship.
DATING TRAPS   (2)
The Marketing Trap
Believing that you need to make yourself more appealing to attract a partner and “selling” yourself with attractive packaging and presentation.
DATING TRAPS   (3)
High risk of disappointment and relationship failure as people discover that the excitement and promise of the “sizzle” conflicts with the reality of the actual “steak.”
DATING TRAPS   (4)
The solution is authenticity.  You will attract compatible people when you show them who you really are.
“Birds of a feather flock together so don’t try to look like a prize-winning chicken when you are a specialty breed of duck.”
DATING TRAPS   (5)
The Scarcity Trap
Believing there is a limited supply of possible partners, so you have to take what you can get or be alone. 
Relationship fails because you settle for less and compromise.  A self-fulfilling prophecy when you get less because you expect less.
DATING TRAPS  (6)
The solution is to define your first choice of what you really want and persevere.
Trust that if you apply yourself you can get what you really want in your life.
You have the power to choose who, what, where when, and how and can get what you really want if you make effective choices aligned with your own vision and goals.
COMPATIBILITY TRAP   (7)
Compatibility Trap
You assume that if you have fun together and get along well, you are compatible and a committed relationship will work.
Results in relationship failure when discovering the vast difference between a fun-focused, recreational “dating” and a serious long-term committed relationship.
DATING TRAPS   (8)
The solution is to define your goals and use them to scout, sort and screen potential partners. 
You must not try to convert a recreational relationship into a committed one, unless 100% of your goals are met.
DATING TRAPS   (9)
The Fairytale Trap
Expecting your ideal partner to magically appear and live happily ever after without effort on your part. 
Believing that finding your soul mate will just “happen.”
DATING TRAPS   (10)
The solution is to take personal responsibility for your relationship choices and outcomes.
Have effective screening strategies. 
Initiate contact and be the “Chooser” not simply reacting to people that choose you.
DATING TRAPS   (11)
Date-to-mate Trap
This is becoming an “instant couple” as if giving each person you date an extended test drive.
Believing that if you develop an exclusive relationship with someone you are dating, a successful committed relationship will eventually happen.
The inertia in this trap is pressure to make the relationship work, attempting so solve unsolvable problems and fit the round peg in the square hole because breaking up and being single again is an undesired outcome.
DATING TRAPS   (12)
The solution is to date a variety of people and have fun without being exclusive. 
Make careful relationship choices and consciously use a “pre-commitment” period to determine is this is the right relationship for you.
DATING TRAPS   (13)
The Attraction Trap
Making relationship choices on the feelings of attraction.
Interpreting a strong attraction to someone as a sign that the relationship is a good choice and “meant to be.”
DATING TRAPS   (14)
This approach results in relationship failure when unsolvable problems surface because you ignored the red flags while infatuated.
Unconscious choices usually result in repeating unproductive past patterns.
DATING TRAPS   (15)
The solution is to balance your attractions by remembering your goals and using them to screen potential partners.
What is this person’s past history in relationships?  What is yours?  Have you been attracted to the wrong person before?

 

*DATING TRAPS  II
*The Love Trap
*Interpreting infatuation, attraction, need, and/or attachment as love.
*If it feels good, it must be love.  Love is all you need.  Love conquers all.
*Relationships fail when you discover that love is not enough to meet the relationship needs.
*
*The solution is to make conscious relationship choices by clearly understanding your goals and values and then using them to screen potential partners.
*DATING TRAPS  II    (2)
*The Rescue Trap
*Hoping a relationship will solve your emotional and financial difficulties and bring you happiness and fulfillment, something like winning the lottery.
*You avoid taking responsibility for your life challenges, expecting to be rescued from them.
*DATING TRAPS  II    (3)
*These relationships result in desperation, neediness, and relationship failure when problems multiply instead of disappearing.
*The solution is to again define your goals and values and live you life as a successful single person. 
*Resolve emotional, financial, and other problems prior to seeking a lasing committed relationship.
*Seek to be a position of “choice” and “want” rather than “need.”
*DATING TRAPS  II   (4)
*The Co-Dependent Trap
*
*Expecting someone to love you and give you what you want by giving them what they want.
*Attempting to earn love and happiness by acquiescing, giving and helping.
*DATING TRAPS  II (5)
*Needing to be needed often results in unconsciously attracting and choosing a relationship with a person that needs you, but you later discover is unable to give you what you want.
*If you have clearly defined who and what kind of relationship you want, you can choose a closely aligned partner.  You can also identify and assert boundaries.  You become the “chooser” and are cautious of people that choose you.
*DATING TRAPS  II   (6)
*The Entitlement Trap
*Believing you deserve to be happy and get what you want in your life without effort or changes on your part.
*Results in relationship failure as you rely on your partner to bring happiness and fulfillment.
*DATING TRAPS  II   (7)
*If you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you have always gotten, disappointment.
*Take personal responsibility for you life and relationship.  Define your life purpose and live it while you are still single.
*DATING TRAPS  II   (8)
*The Virtual Reality Trap
*Believing that “what you see is what you get.”  Making hasty long-term relationship decisions based on short-term impressions and inferences instead of actual experience and knowledge.
*Results in seeing what you want to see and relationship failure when later reality doesn’t match.
*Assume “you don’t know what you don’t know” and stay in a precommitted stage until you have solid experience and knowledge that this is the right relationship for you.
*DATING TRAPS  II   (9)
*The Lone Ranger Trap
*Believing that you don’t need anyone’s help in finding your Life Partner.  You evaluate people you meet for their relationship potential and do not take the opportunity to cultivate new friends.
*DATING TRAPS  II   (10)
*Results in isolation, perception of scarcity of potential partners and risk of settling for less because you don’t want to be alone.

 

TEN WORST DATING MISTAKES
These are the kind of mistakes that look obvious when you look back, but are completely invisible when you are in the thick of things.

TEN WORST DATING MISTAKES (2)
Hiding who you are to fit into a relationship. Hiding who you are takes a ton of energy to maintain.
You can only suppress your emotions, reactions and needs for so long.
TEN WORST DATING MISTAKES (3)
Eventually, and sooner rather than later, who you are will start showing up and shocking the person you are with.
Looking back, you started to attract your ideal partners when you decided you were good enough to never hide again.
TEN WORST DATING MISTAKES (4)
Confusing the trappings of love for real love.
Trappings can be frequent phone calls, wanting to see you and be with you, flowers, cards, compliments poems, over the top attention, etc.
TEN WORST DATING MISTAKES (5)
All of these are the stuff associated with love. All of these may make you feel loved and wanted, as if you found the right mate.
Looking back, these trappings did not necessarily mean that the person was in love with you.
Real love shows itself in more powerful ways, such as friendship, support, acceptance and communications.
TEN WORST DATING MISTAKES (6)
Blaming relationship mishaps on the other person.
The relationship goes south and all you can see is the other person caused the problem.
TEN WORST DATING MISTAKES (7)
Looking back, you realize that you play a 50% or more role in everything that happens in the relationship.
You play this role either actively by choices you make or passively by choices you fail to make.
TEN WORST DATING MISTAKES (8)
Not allowing time to heal between relationships.
You hate being alone and you hurt.
You hate not having someone to share your life with.
TEN WORST DATING MISTAKES (9)
Looking back you realize that love deserves grieving and you deserve time to learn from a failed relationship.
You realize that being alone is not a punishment nor is it torture.
It is a gift of getting to know yourself and you will realize your ability to be alone is what gives you the strength to create a loving relationship.
TEN WORST DATING MISTAKES (10)
Attraction means that you are meant to be together.
The relationship is obviously meant to be especially as there are many commonalties and you were brought together in an unusual, meant to be sort of way.
TEN WORST DATING MISTAKES (11)
Looking back, you realize that these encounters were meant to be alright, but not necessarily in a way you thought.
Most of the time, such encounters bring lessons, not loving relationships.
True love more often than not reveals the meant to be aspect when you no longer need the evidence.

TEN WORST DATING MISTAKES II



Giving too much personal information too soon.
TEN WORST DATING MISTAKES II (2)
Too much information too fast is likely to leave both of you feeling awkward, with one or both of you wanting to leave the situation.
Looking back, you realize that the reason for keeping deep personal information private is to allow the other person time to build a relationship
TEN WORST DATING MISTAKES II (3)
Seeing people for whom you wanted them to be instead of who they are.
You excuse them or you try to change them into your perfect image.
TEN WORST DATING MISTAKES II (4)
Looking back you realize that the people who want to grow and change will be the first to tell you what they are working on to grow and change.
They don’t need you to be the agent of change
If you try to move someone in a direction they are not interested in going, it will take all of your energy to move them and even then you will likely fail because it is your direction, not theirs.
TEN WORST DATING MISTAKES II (5)


A relationship is all you need to be happy and to have a complete life.
TEN WORST DATING MISTAKES II (6)
Looking back you realize that although love is extremely important, it is not the one thing that will fulfill you.
The minute you really do create a truly fulfilling life, you will attract love.

WHAT HAS LOVE GOT TO DO WITH IT?
Love and infatuation can feel identical in the early stages.
nBoth produce strong feelings of pleasurable excitement.
nBoth produce a strong desire to be with that person.
WHAT HAS LOVE GOT TO DO WITH IT?  (2)
The primary difference between love and infatuation is that with love, the feelings not only last, but also deepen over time.
Theodore Rubin (1983) says that the most significant aspect of infatuation is the lack of caring for the other person as a real person, rather than just as an image of your “perfect” person.
WHAT HAS LOVE GOT TO DO WITH IT?  (3)
Infatuated people will project an idealized version of themselves onto the other person and become so “in love” with those idealizations that they can’t see straight.
WHAT HAS LOVE GOT TO DO WITH IT?  (4)
 
Individuals can also become infatuated by people who remind them of earlier “loves.”
People get “crushes” on those who seem to be the prime example of a culturally accepted image such as good looks, money, fame, power and educational achievement.
WHAT HAS LOVE GOT TO DO WITH IT?  (5)

 

 

WHAT HAS LOVE GOT TO DO WITH IT?  (6)

 

WHAT HAS LOVE GOT TO DO WITH IT?  (7)
 Relationships as expressed by friendship are very similar to the relationships as expressed by love with two added clusters of characteristics:
nFriends enjoy each other’s company most of the time, although there may be temporary states of anger, disappointment or mutual annoyance.
nFriends accept one another as they are without trying to change or make the other into a new or different person.
WHAT HAS LOVE GOT TO DO WITH IT?  (8)
Friends share mutual trust in the sense that each assumes that the other will act in light of his or her friend’s best interest.
Friends respect each other in the sense of assuming that each exercises good judgment in making life choices.
WHAT HAS LOVE GOT TO DO WITH IT?  (9)
Friends are inclined to assist and support one another and specifically, they can count on each other in times of need, trouble and personal distress.
Friends share experiences and feelings with each other that they do not share with anyone else.
WHAT HAS LOVE GOT TO DO WITH IT?  (10)
Friends have a sense of what is important to each other and why the friend does what he or she does.  Friends are not usually puzzled by each other’s behavior.
In friendship, each feels free to be himself or herself in the relationship rather than feeling required to play a role, wear a mask or inhibit revealing personal traits.
WHAT HAS LOVE GOT TO DO WITH IT?  (11)
All of the characteristics of friendships also apply to love relationships.
Researchers have found that two additional broad categories can also be identified as part of a love relationship:
nPassion Cluster
nCaring Cluster
WHAT HAS LOVE GOT TO DO WITH IT?  (12)
The passion cluster consists of  fascination, exclusiveness, and  sexual desire.
Fascination:  “lovers” tend to pay attention to the other person even when they should be involved in other activities.  They are preoccupied with the other person and tend to think about, look at, want to talk to, or merely be with the other.  This behavior is usually interpreted as anyone worthy of this kind of attention is worthy of devotion.
WHAT HAS LOVE GOT TO DO WITH IT?  (13)
Exclusiveness:  “lovers”  have a special relationship that precludes having the same relationship with a third party.  Thus, a romantic love relationship is given priority over other relationships in one’s life.
Sexual desire:  “lovers” want physical intimacy with the partner, wanting to touch and be touched as well as engage in more intimate behavior.  They may not always act on the desire, even when both couples share that desire, since it may be overridden by moral, religious or practical considerations.
WHAT HAS LOVE GOT TO DO WITH IT?  (14)
The caring cluster consists of  giving the utmost and  being a champion/advocate.
Giving the utmost:  “lovers” care enough to give the utmost when the other is in need even to the point of sacrifice.
Being a champion/advocate:  the depth of a “lover’s” caring shows up also in active championing of each other’s interests and in a positive attempt to make sure that the partner succeeds.

 

BECOMING “ONE” WITH TWO DIFFERENT CULTURES

There are no physical impediments to an interracial marriage.
Any factors that help or hinder the success of the marriage are taught and learned by individuals living in a community.
BECOMING “ONE” WITH TWO DIFFERENT CULTURES (2)

Groups and individuals “speak” through implied and usually unwritten statements that become cultural pressures—”shoulds” and “should nots”—that can affect the potential partners’ decisions before marriage and the quality of marriage afterwards.

BECOMING “ONE” WITH TWO DIFFERENT CULTURES (3)


Different cultures have different rules and different ways of defining roles such as independence, adulthood, gender responsibility and individual responsibility.
BECOMING “ONE” WITH TWO DIFFERENT CULTURES (4)

Each marriage partner brings to the marital union a list (in their minds from their cultures) of what to do or not to do, what to say and not to say in a marriage.
These individual “lists” which each has learned in a different cultural or racial environment can differ so much that misunderstanding and conflict become unavoidable.
BECOMING “ONE” WITH TWO DIFFERENT CULTURES (5)
When racial or cultural differences are added to familial, regional and class differences, the potential for problems increases.
Minor cultural differences can cause major misunderstandings.
BECOMING “ONE” WITH TWO DIFFERENT CULTURES (6)
There are some major areas of culture conflict in marriage:
Disclosure: Your culture often dictates what kind of, and how much personal information should be disclosed between partners and to those outside of the marriage.
Display of affection: How much affection and what forms of affection are permissible between marriage partners in private or in public? What display of affection is appropriate between a marital partner and a friend outside of the marriage?
BECOMING “ONE” WITH TWO DIFFERENT CULTURES (7)


Gender roles: How rigid is the division between “masculine” and “feminine” activities within and outside of the home is largely determined by the individual’s culture.
BECOMING “ONE” WITH TWO DIFFERENT CULTURES (8)
Leisure activities: how do partners share leisure time? How much leisure should be enjoyed apart from the spouse?
Is it appropriate to wear special leisure clothing?
Are leisure activities considered to be just “lazy”?
What would be inappropriate activity for one spouse or the other?
BECOMING “ONE” WITH TWO DIFFERENT CULTURES (9)
Most of us are ethnocentric: we look at our own culture of origin as not only the right way of doing things but as the only way of doing things.
What one partner may consider to be “normal” may not only be abnormal in the other’s culture, it may also be considered taboo.
BECOMING “ONE” WITH TWO DIFFERENT CULTURES (10)
All of your relationships with others have been determined by your culture including your relationship with your parents and your in-laws.
BECOMING “ONE” WITH TWO DIFFERENT CULTURES (11)

Any decision-making has been guided by a culture, including the decision-making between the partners and the rearing and discipline of the children.
BECOMING “ONE” WITH TWO DIFFERENT CULTURES (12)
In the United States, the greater the perceived differences between the dominant racial group and any of the other racial groups, and the greater the prejudice and discrimination that group has experienced, the more negatively will the dominant society view intermarriage with members of that group.
In practical terms, there would be a less negative reaction to an “Anglo” marrying a Latino and more negativity to a White marrying a Black.
BECOMING “ONE” WITH TWO DIFFERENT CULTURES (13)
Marrying someone from another culture means you are marrying that culture as well.
If you do not understand how connected your spouse is to his/or her culture or understand how connected you are to your culture, you have made a grave mistake.
BECOMING ‘ONE’ WITH TWO DIFFERENT CULTURES (14)

It is also important to know the structure of an individual’s family.
The family interprets and transmits culture which means it significantly influences and may even determine family roles and responsibilities in marriage.
BECOMING ‘ONE’ WITH TWO DIFFERENT CULTURES (15)

Many interracial marriage partners may be able to handle most problems that arise in marriage, but their children may have difficulties.
Mixed-race children are often perceived as belonging to a “minority” race.
Practically, the children are part of the racial group represented in the marriage that has less power and status.
BECOMING ‘ONE’ WITH TWO DIFFERENT CULTURES (16)


Children bring immense changes in the family.
Parents from divergent backgrounds may be “talking” two different languages in communicating about child-rearing.
BECOMING ‘ONE’ WITH TWO DIFFERENT CULTURES (17)
Successful interracial marriages usually have the following characteristics:
The marriage partners have married when they are older than those who marry same-race partners.
The partners have probably had a longer time of dating and engagement.
Both partners have demonstrated a capacity for independence.
Both partners tend to be middle-class with higher levels of education than average.
They both have been exposed to cross-cultural experiences.
They tend to live in large cosmopolitan areas after they marry.
BECOMING ‘ONE’ WITH TWO DIFFERENT CULTURES (18)


The more two partners have in common, the more likely their marriage will succeed including values, faith systems, and lifestyle practices.

 

THE PRE-MARRIAGE CHECK LIST
Getting married is one of the most significant decisions that you will make.
Trying to “make it work” with the wrong person will be extremely difficult.
Before you make that life-long commitment, there are some items you must review and deal with honestly.
THE PRE-MARRIAGE CHECK LIST  (2)
Make sure the decision is your own.
Only the two persons directly involved will have to live daily with the consequences of this choice.
It must be a fully informed decision about the rightness of the relationship.
THE PRE-MARRIAGE CHECK LIST  (3)
Verify Your Partner’s Emotional Health
If either partner has any concern about the personality or behavior of the other, they never should expect that this concern will simply dissolve over time.
When you choose to marry, you are implicitly stating that you are willing to live happily with the other person for as long as you both shall live—even if nothing about the other person ever improves.
THE PRE-MARRIAGE CHECK LIST  (4)
Consider the advice of friends and family.
If anyone who knows you well, has a real concern about your match with a particular person, listen to these concerns with extreme care.
THE PRE-MARRIAGE CHECK LIST  (5)
Sometimes we have blind spots that can only be seen by others.  When another person knows us well, they often can bring a new and meaningful perspective about us and our relationships.
This perspective may be more accurate than we  think it is.
THE PRE-MARRIAGE CHECK LIST  (6)
 
Don’t Rush To The Altar
Do not be overly eager to get married.
We are sometimes in too much of a rush to achieve the full expression of our love.
PRE-MARRIAGE CHECK LIST  (7)
WATCH FOR CHANGES
These changes become more obvious when the initial excitement has worn off some.
Do you find your partner listening less and talking more, being more selfish about money and time instead of generous and giving?
Is your partner trying to take more control over the development of your relationship?
 

TEST I ENDS HERE

 

WHAT DEFINES A SUCCESSFUL MARRIAGE?

 

Four Criteria seem to be listed by most people as the reasons for a successful marriage:

 

1.    Durability

2.    Approximation of ideals

3.    Fulfillment of needs

4.    Satisfaction

 

In most cases marital durability and success go together; however, that is not always the case.

 

Marital success in each spouse’s view is determined by the extent to which idealistic expectations are fulfilled.

 

Fulfillment of needs assumes that each partner is aware of the other partner’s needs and at least is partly able to fulfill them:

1.    Love, affection, approval and self-fulfillment

2.    Friendship, companionship and new experiences

3.    Physical maintenance

4.    Physical and psychic sexual fulfillment

 

Most researchers agree that communication, admiration and respect, companionship, spirituality and values, commitment, ability to deal with crises and stress, responsibility, unselfishness, empathy and sensitivity, honesty, trust and fidelity were the major components of a “successful” marriage.

1.    Successful couples usually share spiritual activities with both partners having a high degree of religious orientation as well as similar beliefs and values that are demonstrated in religious behavior.

2.    Commitment in a successful marriage requires a high degree of motivation: the desire to make the marriage work and a willingness to expend time and effort to make sure it does.

3.    Personal dedication is the desire of the individual to maintain or improve the quality of the relationship for the joint benefit of the couple.

4.    Both physical and verbal affection are important in a successful marriage.  Strong romantic love is not a requirement.

5.    Spouses in successful marriages are able to solve their problems and manage stress in a creative way.

6.    A successful marriage depends on the mutual assumption, sharing and division of responsibility in the family.

7.    “Selfism” in a marriage lessens each partner’s responsibility for the success of the relationship.

8.    Developing empathy begins with contact and interaction during which someone picks up on the feelings/thoughts of another and the emotional tones that go with them.

9.    Partners need to know that they can accept each other’s word, believe in each other and depend on each other to keep promises and to be faithful to commitments that are made.

10.Spouses whose marriages are successful recognize that

     people differ in their attitudes, values, habits, thought

     processes and ways of doing things.

         11.Adaptability and flexibility require a high degree of

               emotional maturity.

 

BASIC DIFFERENCES OF SOCIALIZATION BETWEEN WOMEN AND MEN

 

Independence vs. Consensus

Men are more socialized for independence and superiority. 

Women are more programmed for consensus and inferiority and at best, equality.

Society is getting better, but this programming has been part of our socialization make-up for thousands of years and it’s not going to go away anytime soon.

BASIC DIFFERENCES OF SOCIALIZATION BETWEEN WOMEN AND MEN       (2)

Competition vs. Harmony

Men are programmed more for status and competition than women, whereas women are socialized more for connection and harmony.

Men view conversations as “negotiations” in which they try to achieve status while women tend to see conversation as a way to connect.

BASIC DIFFERENCES OF SOCIALIZATION BETWEEN WOMEN AND MEN  (3)

 

Stress:  Withdrawn vs. Talk

Men tend to withdraw under stress.  They have been programmed for independence and superiority which leads them to believe that they should solve their own problems.

Women tend to talk under stress for two reasons:  they bond through sharing feelings and problems and they tend to be more verbal, so talking through issues helps them process and understand.

BASIC DIFFERENCES OF SOCIALIZATION BETWEEN WOMEN AND MEN   (4)

Bonding Styles

Men bond through tasks and activities.  When and if they do talk, they discuss sports and politics (non-personal items).

Women bond through talking.  Women talk about more personal topics such as relationships, children and feelings.

BASIC DIFFERENCES OF SOCIALIZATION BETWEEN WOMEN AND MEN   (5)

Anger vs. Tears

It is socially more acceptable for men to show anger and aggression.

When a man loses his temper and yells, it’s viewed as taking control.

When a women loses her temper and yells, it’s viewed as losing control.

BASIC DIFFERENCES OF SOCIALIZATION BETWEEN WOMEN AND MEN   (6)

Asking for help

Men are socialized to be independent and self-sufficient.

Women are socialized to work in groups and cooperation is valued.  Asking someone to help is another way of establishing relationships.

BASIC DIFFERENCES OF SOCIALIZATION BETWEEN WOMEN AND MEN   (7)

Conflict:  Direct vs. Avoidance

Men tend to handle conflict directly.

Women often avoid and fear conflict.  Women will still engage in conflict but only when they are threatened and see no other alternative.  They still feel fearful and apprehensive about it.

BASIC DIFFERENCES OF SOCIALIZATION BETWEEN WOMEN AND MEN  (8)

Brief vs. Detailed

Men are socialized to communicate only to keep people alive and to keep the species going.

Men communicate to solve problems and to figure things out (understand).

Women communicate to bond, relate, and to be understood; therefore, women discuss things in more detail.

BASIC DIFFERENCES OF SOCIALIZATION BETWEEN WOMEN AND MEN  (9)

We view the opposite sex through our own style.

We judge and make assumptions that others are intentionally trying to be difficult or withholding information, being over-emotional rather than simply exhibiting more emotion.

 

BASIC DIFFERENCES OF SOCIALIZATIONS BETWEEN WOMEN AND MEN   (10)

 

 

LISTENING AS PART OF COMMUNICATION


One of the main reasons couples divorce is that they have lost the ability to communicate with one another or never had the skills to communicate with one another.
Poor listening skills lead to the breakdown in communication in a marriage.
LISTENING AS PART OF COMMUNICATION (2)



Don’t Interrupt
Let your spouse finish what he/she is saying.
LISTENING AS PART OF COMMUNICATION (3)

Keep An Open Mind
Don’t judge or jump to conclusions.
Looking for the right or wrong in what is being said prevents you from listening.
LISTENING AS PART OF COMMUNICATION (4)


Make Listening A Priority
Listen without planning on what you are going to say in response.
LISTENING AS PART OF COMMUNICATION (5)
Use Feedback Techniques
Let your partner know that you heard what he/she said by restating what was said.
Be open to the possibility that you didn’t hear clearly what your spouse was saying.
LISTENING AS PART OF COMMUNICATION (6)

Watch Your Non-Verbal Language
Be aware of non-verbal signs and clues.
Sixty percent (60%) of a message is delivered through non-verbal signs.
LISTENING AS PART OF COMMUNICATION (7)
Avoid Blocks
Blocks to listening include:
Mind reading
Rehearsing
Filtering
Judging
Daydreaming
Advising
Sparring
Being right
Changing the subject
Stonewalling
Placating

LISTENING AS PART OF COMMUNICATION (8)


Stay Focused
It’s ok to ask questions to clarify what you thought you heard.
LISTENING AS PART OF COMMUNICATION (9)


Gender Differences
You are different
Recognize the difference
Celebrate the difference
LISTENING AS PART OF COMMUNICATION (10)


Show Respect
You don’t have to agree with what is being said to show respect to the person who is speaking.
LISTENING AS PART OF COMMUNICATION (11)


Advice Giving
Good advice is only given when requested.
You can’t listen and talk at the same time.

GOOD COMMUNICATION  (1)
 
Try to be specific about how you feel.
Consistently using only one or two words to describe how you are feeling is too vague and general.
GOOD COMMUNICATION (2)
Don’t use “always”, “never”, “should”, or other words that can imply judgment.
As much as possible, talk about “I” not “You.”
Touch when you talk.
There are no wrong answers; just different ones.
Nobody is stupid, crazy or wrong.
Listen; don’t fix.
GOOD COMMUNICATION  (3)
Specify the degree of feelings and you will reduce the chances of being misunderstood.
GOOD COMMUNICATION  (4)

 

If you have mixed feelings, express each feeling and explain what each feeling is.
GOOD COMMUNICATION  (5)
“I feel” statements and “I” messages will help you:
Express feelings productively.
Respectfully confront someone when you are bothered by his or her behavior.
Express difficult feelings without attacking the self-esteem of the other person.
Clarify for you and the other person precisely what you feel.
Prevent feelings from building up and festering into a bigger problem.
Communicate difficult feelings in a manner that increases the likelihood that the person will listen.
 
GOOD COMMUNICATION  (6)
“I feel” statements are used in situations that are clear and fairly simple, when you want to express yourself and avoid a buildup of feelings without attacking or hurting the self-esteem of the other person.
GOOD COMMUNICATION  (7)
“I” MESSAGES ARE USED IN MORE COMPLEX SITUATIONS TO CLARIFY FOR YOURSELF AND THAT OTHER PERSON JUST WHAT YOU ARE FEELING WHEN:
You have difficult negative feelings
You confront someone and want them to change his/her behavior
It is very sensitive and important that the other person accurately understand
GOOD COMMUNICATION  (8)

 

“I feel” statements  go something like this:
I felt embarrassed when you told our friends how we are pinching pennies.
I like it when you helped with the dishes without being asked.
I feel hurt and I am disappointed that you forgot our anniversary.
GOOD COMMUNICATION  (9)
“I” messages  communicate the “I have a problem” not that YOU HAVE A PROBLEM
1.    When…describe the person’s behavior you are reacting     to in an objective, non-blameful and non-judgmental       manner
2.  The effects are…describe the concrete or tangible      effects of that behavior
3.  I feel…Say how you feel
4.  I’d prefer…Tell the person what you want or what you      prefer they do
GOOD COMMUNICATION  (10)
“It is very hard for me to keep our place neat and clean when you leave your clothes and other stuff laying around.  It creates a lot more work for me and it takes a lot longer, and I get resentful about it.  I’d prefer that you put your clothes away and put your trash in the basket.”

 

REASONS FOR COMMUNICATION DIFFICULTY
Failure to understand the message
Different perceptions concerning the meaning of the message
Poor timing
Competing messages
Cultural differences between the sender and the receiver
Emotional mind reading
REASONS FOR COMMUNICATION DIFFICULTY (2)

One partner assumes, “if you really cared you would know how I feel without asking.”
Non-verbal signals that conflict with verbal messages
Threats and ultimatums

REASONS FOR COMMUNICATION DIFFICULTY (3)


Do we really work as hard at being tactful with our spouses as we do with being tactful with the public world?
REASONS FOR COMMUNICATION DIFFICULTY (4)
Are you making charges and accusations?
Are you over-generalizing?
Are you accusing your spouse of sinister motives?
Are you name-calling?

 

TEST II ENDS HERE

 

BECOMING ONE, FINANCIALLY
Learning to listen to and respect your mate’s money perspective is one way to invest in a valuable commodity—your marriage.
Without self-criticism or self-justification, identify your own relationship with money:
What does money mean to you?
Does it make you feel powerful?
Does it make you feel anxious, guilty, loved, responsible or secure?
What assumptions and values about money did you develop while you were growing up?

BECOMING ONE, FINANCIALLY (2)
Avoid labeling your spouse’s attitudes as right or wrong.
Try to understand one another’s money history. Listen for hurts, fears, wishes and hopes.
Try to empathize rather than criticize.
Remember, respect breeds trust.
BECOMING ONE, FINANCIALLY (3)
Learn from each other.
Temporarily suspend your own beliefs and see what your spouse has to teach you.
A saver can learn a new kind of security when stretched by a spouse who exchanges money for present enjoyment or who finds satisfaction in giving.
BECOMING ONE, FINANCIALLY (4)

Together, list your priorities:
What is valuable to you?
Identify the top priorities you share and what this means to your budget.
Get sound advice. Some conflicts over money come from simply not being aware of your options.



FINANCIAL INTEGRITY
When your financial life is all messed up, every area of life is affected. Even your basic value system is vulnerable and open to attack.
There are few areas that challenge your integrity as much as financial pressure. That is why such phrases as the following have come into being:
“The check’s in the mail.”
“There must be some mistake; I paid my account in full just last week.”
“My check bounced? Oh, the bank screwed up my account. Just redeposit it.”
FINANCIAL INTEGRITY (2)
You must develop an attitude of honesty and integrity.
Make a pact between God and yourself that you are going to approach your finances with complete and brutal honesty.
If you are already in financial trouble, let creditors, with whom you’ve been less than honest in the past, know that you are embarking on a recovery plan.
FINANCIAL INTEGRITY (3)
STOP DEBTING:
Debting has come to mean the act of owing money to another.
To debt is the action of incurring a debt.
Debting sounds wrong and it is wrong without the funds with which to pay the money that is owed.
FINANCIAL INTEGRITY (4)
Debting can involve a personal loan from a parent or child
Debting can be unpaid rent or an installment purchase that does not involve collateral
Consumer credit is plentiful, available in just about every retail store in the country
It has become the norm to spend what we do not have
FINANCIAL INTEGRITY (5)
Every where we turn we are encouraged to buy what we want now, regardless of whether or not we have enough in cash or savings to pay for it.
We are constantly encouraged to “buy now and pay later.”
FINANCIAL INTEGRITY (6)
Compulsive debting is more than just an occasional meal charged on a bank card.
It is the repeated use of credit, first by choice and later by necessity.
In time, a big chunk of discretionary income is required to pay the minimum payments.
FINANCIAL INTEGRITY (7)
Our aversion to accountability financially is our worst enemy.
How much do you spend on food each month?
What was the total amount you spent last month to service your debts?
What percentage of the amount spent to service debts actually go toward debt reduction?
How much did you spend on coffee and fast food last week?
FINANCIAL INTEGRITY (8)
You cannot overestimate the value and importance of recording your spending.

KNOWING THE TRUTH WILL SET YOU FREE!!!
FINANCIAL INTEGRITY (9)
HONESTLY RECORD EVERYTHING THAT YOU SPEND IN ONE DAY AND THAT MEANS EVERYTHING.
From your daily spending records, form a weekly expense record and then use those weekly records to honestly see what a total month’s expenditures are.
From these you can start to honestly address spending habits and see areas where money can be saved or better used. You can also develop a budget from these records.
FINANCIAL INTEGRITY (10)
Starbucks $3.50
Coke and candy 2.50
Deli 4.50
Gas 20.00
Pizza (your share) 5.00
Java Stop 3.50
Total 39.00

FINANCIAL INTEGRITY (11)
In seven days the daily spending record is developed into a weekly record and from there a monthly record is developed.
When the spending is compared to the income, a monthly budget can be made and it is clear where money is “slipping through the cracks.”
FINANCIAL INTEGRITY (12)
Never having enough money to pay all of the bills, postdating a check or two, writing checks in hopes they won’t clear until your next paycheck is deposited, committing next week’s paycheck for this week’s expenses, wondering how you would pay your bills if you lost your job tomorrow—all of these things keep you living on the edge.
FINANCIAL INTEGRITY (13)

You don’t have to live month after month feeling that if you come one inch closer, you will fall and be swallowed up by the jaws of financial ruin.
FINANCIAL INTEGRITY (14)
Be a person of financial integrity and character.
Be honest
Plan ahead
Don’t spend money that you don’t have
Give to God
Pay your bills
Save $$$

 

FINANCIAL PLANS FOR NEWLYWEDS
There are two things people argue about in a marriage: money and sex. And people argue a lot more about money than sex.
Finance can represent one of the biggest stumbling blocks in a marriage relationship.
It’s important that couples get a sense of each other’s spending styles and how they were raised to spend money before they get married.
FINANCIAL PLANS FOR NEWLYWEDS (2)
Gather all of your financial records, including tax returns, bank statements and investment receipts and get ready to reveal it all.
You need to discuss not just your debts and assets, but your financial goals and priorities.
FINANCIAL PLANS FOR NEWLYWEDS (3)
Do you prefer fancy dinners over regular weekends away?
Does he consider new clothes frivolous, but he thinks a loaded sports car every two years is OK?
Were you hoping for your own home right away while he is thinking that a 2-room apartment is where you begin?
FINANCIAL PLANS FOR NEWLYWEDS (4)
Debt surprises are not healthy for a new marriage.
If serious credit problems exist, special security deposits may be required or the spouse with the good credit may need to keep his or her credit cards separate until the problems have been corrected.
FINANCIAL PLANS FOR NEWLYWEDS (5)
One of the most common mistakes that newlyweds make is accumulating too much debt in the first year of marriage.
The temptations of throwing an elaborate wedding or taking an exotic honeymoon put many couples in the “red” before they can actually cross the threshold.

Amid the euphoria of building a new life together, splurging tends to run rampant, as the costs of new furniture, romantic dinners and weekends add up.
FINANCIAL PLANS FOR NEWLYWEDS (6)

New couples have to fight immediate gratification or their debt will exceed their abilities to pay and this will affect their marriage.
FINANCIAL PLANS FOR NEWLYWEDS (7)
Instead of charging excessively on high-rate credit cards, couples should sit down and discuss what perks are reasonable.
They also should begin a long-term savings plan.
They should, early in the marriage, commit to a retirement plan.
They should understand the power of compounding and how their savings relate to their goals of buying a house or a new car.
FINANCIAL PLANS FOR NEWLYWEDS (8)
One bank account or two?
Whether or not you combine your checking accounts, or any other assets, is primarily a matter of personal preference.
FINANCIAL PLANS FOR NEWLYWEDS (9)
If both parties are going to be regularly withdrawing money from the account, it may be difficult to keep track of the balance, making bounced checks and associated fees more likely.
You must check in with each other regularly about spending or you may want to put one person in charge of the bills who also doles out a cash “allowance” to the other.
In many marriages one spouse naturally assumes that role, simply because he or she is better at numbers or is more frugal.
FINANCIAL PLANS FOR NEWLYWEDS (10)
Couples must work together in making a budget and reconciling the budget to their spending each month.
If you opt for multiple accounts, you should make clear how much each of you will contribute each month to the joint account.
FINANCIAL PLANS FOR NEWLYWEDS (11)
Combining Assets
Any time you combine assets, those assets become part of the marital income and may be interpreted as a “gift to the marriage” in the event of a divorce.
At minimum, you will want to ensure that your long-term investments do not overlap significantly and that your combined retirement funds are properly diversified.
Aside from your assets, you will want to evaluate each other’s employee benefits and decide which ones best match your joint needs.
FINANCIAL PLANS FOR NEWLYWEDS (12)

If you both work for large corporations, it may be cheaper for each of you to maintain your current individual health benefits as employee plan rates are almost always cheaper than dependent rates.
FINANCIAL PLANS FOR NEWLYWEDS (13)
Most newly married couples do not think that either of them will ever die.
Planning for life after the death of a loved one is one of the most important steps newlyweds should take.
The cost of a funeral as well as other legal and personal expenses that arise can be quite high.
The cost of making up for a lost salary can be even higher if you are forced to maintain a jointly established lifestyle alone.
FINANCIAL PLANS FOR NEWLYWEDS (14)
Spouses need to be named as the primary beneficiary on all bank accounts, insurance policies and investment funds.
Life insurance should be another consideration. Life insurance will help the surviving spouse continue mortgage payments, etc.
No matter the financial situation, a simple will can prevent legal complications.
A power of attorney and a health care directive can also make life easier for a surviving spouse.

 

THE LEARNING TASKS OF THE NEWLY MARRIED
The happiness and romance attached to the wedding and honeymoon do not last forever.
Reality comes quickly into the lives of the newly married.
Partners discover that living together on a permanent basis can cause problems.
“Ups” and “Downs” will begin to punctuate the relationship.
Most newly marrieds forget that the people who have lived together for a long time have forged solutions and adaptations to many of their problems.


THE LEARNING TASKS OF THE NEWLY MARRIED (2)
Many couples have an idealistic image attached to the early phases of marriage.
Romantic bliss and being perfectly attuned to each other doesn’t happen immediately.


THE LEARNING TASKS OF THE NEWLY MARRIED (3)

Most young couples really believe in “marital myths” which in reality are un-true, deceptive and, unfortunately, very destructive.


THE LEARNING TASKS OF THE NEWLY MARRIED (4)

           


THE LEARNING TASKS OF THE NEWLY MARRIED (5)


THE LEARNING TASKS OF THE NEWLY MARRIED (6)

 


THE LEARNING TASKS OF THE NEWLY MARRIED (7)

 


THE LEARNING TASKS OF THE NEWLY MARRIED (8)
Rather than continuing the search for an idealistic and unattainable relationship, couples learn that they must focus, instead, on the many adjustments that characterize day-to-day married life.


THE LEARNING TASKS OF THE NEWLY MARRIED (9)
No single type of personality causes a failure in marriage; instead, two individual personalities, through interaction with one another can fail or succeed in marriage.
As a consequence, the successful marriage relies on the desire of the husband and wife to make their relationship work.


THE LEARNING TASKS OF THE NEWLY MARRIED (10)

Many couples find that marriage brings new levels of commitment and a need to redefine expectations for one another.


THE LEARNING TASKS OF THE NEWLY MARRIED (11)
Couples may need to honestly examine and “fine-tune” their mutual expectations.
Unfulfilled expectations lead to disenchantment, disappointment, and unhappiness.
Couples also have to define who is performing what roles and tasks within a relationship.
These roles are clearly identified, and in the best interest of the relationship, mutually agreed upon.


THE LEARNING TASKS OF THE NEWLY MARRIED (12)


More and more American marriages are moving toward an egalitarian relationship; however, the majority of the role-sharing in marriage is based on the traditional sex-typed expectations.


THE LEARNING TASKS OF THE NEWLY MARRIED (13)
The typical family roles in marriage are:
The breadwinner role (who earns the income)
The domestic role (who is responsible for performing housekeeping chores)
The handyman role (who does that yard work, repairs in/on the house, and handles car maintenance)
The kinship role (who writes the letters, buys the gifts and stays in touch with family)
The childcare role (who does the childcare, rears and disciplines the children)
The major/minor decision-maker role (who makes the major decisions)


THE LEARNING TASKS OF THE NEWLY MARRIED (14)
In an egalitarian marriage the different roles would be shared equally.
The equal sharing of the roles becomes especially important in dual-earning families.


THE LEARNING TASKS OF THE NEWLY MARRIED (15)
Well-educated husbands and wives earn more when they work, and they are also more likely to work.
Seventy percent of couples with two college graduates have two working spouses (2005).
Educational attainment increases the probability of the couple’s decisions likely being made together.


THE LEARNING TASKS OF THE NEWLY MARRIED (16)
Research shows that wives who did not have a college degree were more likely to say that their husbands decide on what car to buy and whether the couple will even make “big-ticket” purchases.
College-degreed women usually report that big-ticket purchases are made by mutual agreement.


THE LEARNING TASKS OF NEWLY MARRIED COUPLES (17)
In marriages where neither couple has a college degree or in marriages where the husband is more educated, the men tend to pay the bills and manage the money.
Wives with college degrees report that the money management and planning is shared equally.

 

THE LEARNING TASKS OF THE NEWLY MARRIED II
There are many challenges faced in the dual-earner marriage:
The household division of labor poses a problem. Most of the traditional sex-roles attached to household chores are still assigned to the female even if both partners are full-time earners.
The problem comes that in addition to the vocational demands, working women still carry the brunt of household chores.


THE LEARNING TASKS OF THE NEWLY MARRIED II (2)
The high level of time in household and paid work by women has negative consequences for the marital relationship.
Low participation by the husband typically leads the wife to be dissatisfied with the division of labor and dissatisfaction with the relationship.


THE LEARNING TASKS OF THE NEWLY MARRIED II (3)
Another problem associated with dual-earner marriages is the pressure and competition it often creates.


THE LEARNING TASKS OF THE NEWLY MARRIED II (4)
A lot of pressure in a dual-earner marriage stems from the husband’s psychological identity with his work.
Some men feel threatened because traditional sex-typed boundaries have been crossed.
These problems are magnified when wives are earning close to or even more than their partners.


THE LEARNING TASKS OF THE NEWLY MARRIED II (5)
Men have traditionally been socialized to view money translated as power.
Men, as a social group, have been unaccustomed to “yielding” power to women.


THE LEARNING TASKS OF THE NEWLY MARRIED II (6)
Even with the changes in current culture, many men are not accustomed to women having prestigious jobs.
Many husbands take pleasure in their wives’ successes but only as long as it does not challenge their own.


THE LEARNING TASKS OF THE NEWLY MARRIED II (7)

Immense conflict occurs unless the husband learns how to accept his wife’s achievement without feeling threatened.


THE LEARNING TASKS OF THE NEWLY MARRIED II (8)

Many couples have worked through these “competition” issues by the following:
Telling each other what happened in the work day
Really listening and caring about what has happened to each other on the job
Sharing in the “asking” and the “telling”


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Other questions that a couple can ask, honestly answer and work on are:
Do you refuse to share your concerns about your job because you think your spouse wouldn’t understand?


Are you too embarrassed to tell your spouse that your boss reprimanded you?
Do you tell your spouse that you are terrified about making a presentation?
Do you try to put yourself in your spouse’s place and understand that what you think is “no problem” might be a big problem for him/her?


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Do you admire your spouse’s strengths in his/her job and do you tell him/her?
Do you feel you are entitled to a greater say in family economic decisions and in household management because you are earning more money than your spouse?


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The degree to which couples share vulnerabilities and strengths as well as empathy and the willingness to care about one another’s welfare are indicators of healthy and satisfactory modes of adjustment.


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Money is a powerful influence on human behavior and it creates its share of pressure on the marital structure.
For many, money is closely related to status and to self-esteem.
Many times couples who are disappointed with the amount of money they have often find their relationships less satisfying.


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Couples must be able to deal realistically and competently with money matters.
They must learn how to manage both love and finances through mutual planning and open communication.


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All couples have to:
Establish a financial plan
Keep informed about finances
Be realistic about finances
Communicate on a regular basis about finances


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The impact of sex on the marital relationship is varied.
Couples who enjoy a stable and harmonious relationship are more apt to also share a satisfactory sexual relationship.
Important features in this adjustment are: an open and honest communication, concern for the partner, shared emotional intimacy and freedom from hostilities (such as a struggle for dominance).


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There are many misconceptions that the newly marrieds have about their sexual relationships:
Sex in marriage comes easy
Sexual frequency is a prime indicator of sexual compatibility and marital happiness
Poor sex leads to unhappy marriages
Sex in marriage creates intimacy
Happily married couples do not have sex problems
Marital sex is always exciting


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When newlyweds fall into the typical misconceptions about marital sex, they set themselves up for failure and disappointment.


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One major adjustment that each newly married person must come to terms with is the addition of each other’s families into the emotional mix.
What does she do about her mother-in-law and what does he do about his father-in-law?


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Many destructive myths exist about the perception of the relationships with the future in-laws:
After marriage, my relationship with his/her parents will be the same as when we were dating.


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Once we get married, my wife/husband and I will be free of our parents’ control.
Even though I don’t like my in-laws now, I’ll feel more like loving them after the marriage.
I won’t have to deal with my in-laws much after the wedding.
My in-laws will be totally annoying, intrusive people who will attempt to ruin my marriage.


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There are some important things to remember about in-laws:
Parents still need concern and attention.
Parents may fear rejection by the new son-in-law or daughter-in-law.


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Sometimes the newly married will direct their anger over what a spouse has done or not done towards his/her family.
Confront your own problems with honesty and open communication.

 

 FROM BEING A COUPLE TO BEING A FAMILY
Having a baby is one of the most stressful stages in a married couple’s life.
The normal stress of becoming parents can become extreme distress when parents are unaware of the key adjustments inherent in the transition from couple to family.
The first year of a child’s life is a significant one in a family’s adjustment.
A new balance in meeting one’s own and a partner’s needs has to be achieved.
 FROM BEING A COUPLE TO BEING A FAMILY  (2)

 

Identity as a mother

  With the birth of a new baby comes the birth of a new identity for a woman, motherhood.

 FROM BEING A COUPLE TO BEING A FAMILY  (3)
It is necessary for the new mother to sort through her childhood experience of her own mother, incorporating the things she finds to be positive and changing in herself the ways she disagrees with her mother’s parenting.
 FROM BEING A COUPLE TO BEING A FAMILY  (4)
Many women in the process of becoming a parent feel that to do anything differently from their own mothers is in fact saying that they did not love nor cherish their mothers.
However, each “mother” must discriminate in her own parenting values and raise her child accordingly.
 FROM BEING A COUPLE TO BEING A FAMILY  (5)
Identity as a father
The father identity has changed for males considerably over the past generation.
The fathers of the 1950’s and 1960’s were not the nurturers that today’s fathers are expected to be.
 FROM BEING A COUPLE TO BEING A FAMILY  (6)
Sorting through the fathering relationship can be particularly painful for many contemporary men as many of them did not experience a nurturing bond with their own fathers and had little emotional closeness with those fathers.
For a contemporary father to embrace the role of a nurturer, he must be able to develop that identity from scratch.
 FROM BEING A COUPLE TO BEING A FAMILY (7)
Both men’s and women’s roles change in very different ways when partners become parents.
Both partners have to make major adjustments of time and energy as individuals at a time when they are getting less sleep and fewer opportunities to be together.
FROM BEING A COUPLE TO BEING A FAMILY  (8)
The popular egalitarian couple (all things are equally divided and shared) suddenly find labor divided along gender lines.
Each feels that he/she is doing more than the other gives him/her credit for doing and neither feels appreciated for what he/she is doing.
FROM BEING A COUPLE TO BEING A FAMILY  (9)
Even if parents have equally shared the housework before the baby’s arrival, the mother takes on more responsibility for childcare and household chores after the baby is born.
FROM BEING A COUPLE TO BEING A FAMILY  (10)
Most new parents are unprepared for all of the other aspects of “self” to get smaller as their parent “piece of the pie” keeps getting larger.
Huge changes come about in how caring  and intimacy get expressed and also how  the couple manages the conflict and disagreement that is normal in any relationship.
FROM BEING A COUPLE TO BEING A FAMILY  (11)
After having a baby, time becomes the most precious commodity for the couple.
Even if a couple can manage a little time together, the effort seems to require a major mobilization of forces.
They feel none of the spontaneity that kept their relationship alive before the baby was born.
FROM BEING A COUPLE TO BEING A FAMILY  (12)
 
In the parents’ natural preoccupation with caring for the baby, they seem less able to care for each other.
lFROM BEING A COUPLE TO BEING A FAMILY  (13)
The most common elements of the transition into parenthood are:
Irreversibility—you cannot easily leave parenthood without incurring significant social or legal repercussions.
Lack of preparation—there is not a way to “practice” parenting. You can read books, attend classes, or baby-sit for children; however, these pale in comparison to the reality you face when you have a child.
FROM BEING A COUPLE TO BEING A FAMILY  (14)
Idealization and romanticization--related to lack of preparation is the fact that the expectations we have about what parenthood will be like are often unrealistic and overly idealized.  When reality turns out to be less than ideal, we become frustrated and disappointed.
Suddenness—Despite what might be several months of awareness of impending parenthood, the actual transition is sudden.  There is no opportunity for expectant parents to ease into the role.  You go from non-parent to parent in the moment of childbirth.
FROM BEING A COUPLE TO BEING A FAMILY  (15)
Role conflict—the parental role affects all of the other roles one plays, encroaching upon time one can spend with one’s spouse or partner and complicating paid employment.
FROM BEING A COUPLE TO BEING A FAMILY  (16) 
Identity and inner-life changes—new parents discover that they no longer think of themselves the same way they did before their children were born.  Their priorities and personal values also change.  Issues that previously seemed remote, unimportant, or abstract become very personal, meaningful and real.
Shifts within the marital roles and relationship—parenthood alters how couples divide tasks or allocate responsibilities.  From reduced sleep and more work, their relationship quality may diminish.
FROM BEING A COUPLE TO BEING A FAMILY  (17)
Shifts in intergenerational relationships—becoming parents alters, often improving and intensifying, sometimes straining, the relationship between the new parents and their own parents.
Changes in roles and relationships outside the family—new parenthood, especially new motherhood, may force changes in other non-family roles and relationships, such as work or friendships.  Some of these changes may be temporary; however, they compound other things to which new parents are adjusting.
FROM BEING A COUPLE TO BEING A FAMILY  (18)
New parenting roles and relationships– arriving at an agreeable division of child care can be a problem.
One parent may feel put upon or taken advantage of in the way the couple allocates their individual time and energy to the child-care tasks.
FROM BEING A COUPLE TO BEING A FAMILY  (19)
Most contemporary parenthood is discretionary or optional, making the decision about whether to and when to have children subject to more discussion, negotiation and potential dispute.
Most new parents, especially middle-class parents are relatively isolated, geographically, from their extended families.
FROM BEING A COUPLE TO BEING A FAMILY  (20)
Changes in women’s roles have introduced more role conflict for new mothers and have increased women’s needs and legitimate demands for more sharing by their partners.
There are few enviable or attractive role models for effective parenting.  Many media portrayals of the family are either unrealistic or depressing. 
FROM BEING A COUPLE TO BEING A FAMILY  (21)
Contemporary families are supposed to fulfill all of our emotional needs.
Parenting is stressful and requires mutual effort and sacrifice but effort and sacrifice don’t fit compatibly with individual emotional fulfillment.
Difficulties may become sources of resentment and estrangement in the marriage.

 

 

 NOW THAT I HAVE THEM, WHAT DO I DO WITH THEM: A REALISTIC LOOK AT PARENTING
Now you have your first child. You will wonder, “Is this really what I signed up for when I decided to have children”?
You may even wish that there were an escape clause to your contract as a parent, especially after 5 days straight with little to no sleep and a baby who will just not be comforted.


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If you have ever wanted to run away from home and you are the parent, then you are very normal and probably your children are very normal.
Being a parent is a 24/7 job that seems to never end.


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Being a parent is hard work. Most children are still in the learning process of understanding that their needs are not the only needs in the universe.
Children can be demanding, frustrating, irritating, costly (you might as well give them all of your money now) and at many times, exhausting.
So with all of this in mind, why do we have children and put up with everything?


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Believe it or not, children bring out the best in us. They are a source of positive change in most parents’ lives.
Children keep you on your best behavior.
Children keep you from thinking that your needs are the only ones in the universe.
Children keep you in touch with your sense of humor.
Children keep you honest.


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Children can help you keep your priorities straight.
The most important thing that children teach you are the lessons of love.
When our children love us, we have a sense that “all is right with the world.”
Our love for our children also teaches valuable lessons in that love is worth any and all of the hard work.


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When a parent hears a cry piercing the night, staggers down the hall to where his/her 5 month old baby is trying to wake up God with his/her screams, that parent is likely to ask “What is wrong with me? What is wrong with my baby?”
The answer is “nothing” on both accounts.


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Too many adults don’t have a clue about how normal children develop “normally.”
Many parents do not know that children do not tend sleep for more than 3-6 hours at a time until their digestive systems are mature enough to take in enough nourishment to last that period of time. This happens between the 6th and 8th month.


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There are certain “milestone” developments which happen pretty much on schedule with the majority of children.
Life becomes a lot easier when parents are aware of the timing of these “milestones.”


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NOW THAT I HAVE THEM, WHAT DO I DO WITH THEM: A REALISTIC VIEW OF PARENTING (13)

 


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Toddlers are very unique people. They are loving, enjoyable, funny, frustrating and nerve-racking.
Every parent needs to be aware that a toddler is still developing mentally and emotionally even though his/her body and motor skills have developed well.


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Toddlers begin to develop their individual personalities which some parents interpret as rebellion. Sometimes parents become unnecessarily rigid with their children at this point.
Toddlers also do not have all of the verbal skills with which to express anger, frustration, etc. Their only way of expressing themselves sometimes is by screaming or crying. Again, parents will tend to interpret this behavior as a problem not understanding that if the toddler had the ability, he/she would say, “I am so frustrated that I cannot reach the cookie jar” or “You have made me angry because you have told me I couldn’t have what I wanted.”


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Dr. James Dobson published a list called “Ten Things Toddlers Wished They Could Tell You” which is a small reminder of where a toddler is developmentally.


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Walk in my small shoes:
Toddlers may be walking; however, they cannot move as quickly as you can. If you want to get anything done, plan on some extra time so that they can keep up with you or take a stroller.
My attention span is limited:
A child who reaches for things on shelves is not necessarily destructive—just inquisitive. Your toddlers aren’t interested in catching up on all the latest news in the supermarket aisle. They would rather wander, explore, touch. Neither can they handle a long list of “don’t do this.”


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I’m afraid of strangers:
Few children appreciate being passed from person to person. Most prefer getting to know new people a little at a time—and on their terms. Don’t force your toddler to accept strangers and new baby-sitters immediately.
I am not a trained seal:
Performance-on-demand statements place your toddler in a tough spot. Some small children delight in showing off. Others shrink away, risking a reprimand. If your child is a “shrinker” don’t push it. Let them be themselves.


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Don’t be embarrassed if I don’t respond the way you hope I will:
You never need to apologize if you toddler cries when someone new picks him/her up, hides behind you during introductions, or refuses to sit on Grandpa’s lap when he hasn’t visited in a long time.
These toddlers are not terrible kids. They are just shy, frightened and unsure of themselves in new situations.


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Please don’t compare me with others:
Every child is unique. Toddler development isn’t a race (who talks first gets a gold crown); however, most parents act as if toddler development is a race that their child must win.


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I can’t like everything you think I should:
Children need a variety of food, toys, etc. They will not like everything equally well. Forcing toddlers to eat foods that they actively dislike, or to force their interests in a specific way can develop into bigger problems later and even be harmful. If a toddler doesn’t like carrots, choose another vegetable and try it again later on. Most children will develop a “taste” for most foods given an opportunity.
Provide choices for foods, toys and learning activities.


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Handle with care:
Toddlers may look sturdy, but they are still fragile. Overdone roughhousing, tossing babies in the air and jerking their little arms and legs can damage young, growing bodies.
Toddlers also need careful emotional handling. They can’t always tell you if they are sick, cold, lonely or overly tired. Fussing or crying is often a symptom of something else needing attention.


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Let me be my own age:
Some toddlers behave so well on occasion that parents forget that they aren’t little adults. Toddlers are just past babyhood.
Lead—not push your toddlers into each new stage of their childhood.
Remember that are not miniature adults.

 

NOW THAT I HAVE THEM, WHAT DO I DO WITH THEM: A REALISTIC LOOK AT PARENTING II
There are some major milestones in a child’s life which tend to be worrisome for parents if they are not prepared for when and how these milestones happen:
Talking
Separation and Independence
Self-care
Toilet training


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Talking: What to expect
Talking is linked to hearing and understanding speech. Usually by the time a child is a year old he/she is trying hard to imitate the sounds around him/her.
Between the 1st and 2nd years, children are saying words and simple sentences, most of which is understandable.


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Between the ages of 2-3, your child’s working vocabulary will increase to about 300 words (they may actually understand up to 900 words that you say).
They begin to get an idea of time and use such expressions as “yesterday night.”


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As children develop words, they also begin to experiment with modulation. They may yell when they actually think they are speaking normally.
They also start to get the hang of pronouns around age 3.
Children are also capable of answering simple questions at this time such as “who” and “where” questions.

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Reading to a child is one of the best ways to boost his/her language skills.
Books help a child add words to his/her vocabulary, make sense of grammar and link meanings to pictures.
Talking to your child a lot also helps that child develop great skills at communication.


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Some things to watch out for and check with your pediatrician:
If by age two your child rarely attempts to speak or imitate others
Doesn’t react when you call his /her name
Seems totally uninterested in talking


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If by age three:
Your child can’t say vowels
Your child talks only or mostly in vowels
Your child avoids eye contact
Your child has difficulty naming most common household objects
Your child hasn’t started to use two-word and three-word phrases


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By age 3 your child should have a vocabulary of around 300-500 words.
By age 4 your child will probably have 1,500 words.


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At age four a child should be able to speak in sentences of six to eight words and mimic most adult sounds.
A preschooler’s speech should be clear enough that strangers can make sense of most of what he/she says, even though he/she may still mispronounce many words.
At this stage he/she should be able to understand a two or three-part directive such as “go find your sister, tell her I need her, and come back here.”


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It is normal for a preschooler to talk nonstop and it is crucial that a parent allow this child to talk since this is how he/she is learning new words, getting comfortable using those words and thinking with them.
A good grasp of the language allows your child to express his/her feelings, needs and desires.


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At age 3 your child may still struggle with certain consonant sounds such as using a w sound for an r sound.
They may also use a d sound for the th sound saying “dis,” “dat,” and “den” instead of this, that and then.


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A three year old child may also lisp or pronounce the s sound like a th. My sister is seven becomes My thithter ith theven.
Many children lisp and most outgrow it with no intervention by the age of 7.


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Sometimes, children at this age stutter which really concerns parents; however, stuttering is a normal developmental phase that many children go through.
The child’s rapidly developing brain may have difficulty pulling up the right words in the right order. Most children will outgrow this stage by ages 5-6.


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Most parents fall into the trap of constantly “correcting” their child’s speech.
The best thing for parents to do is just restate the word in a sentence and say it correctly.


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By the time your child is in school, he/she will make great strides in pronunciation, sentence structure and word use.
His/her attention span for listening and memory for complex directions will increase noticeably as well.
At this point, you may well get more detail than you really wanted to hear.


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At age 8 a child may still mangle three and four syllable words; however, the majority of the pronunciation is correct.
If a child is still lisping at the age of eight, you may want to check with your pediatrician.


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Children will tend to stutter when they are upset, uncomfortable, angry or even just very excited.
If a child is only stuttering at these times and the stuttering is mild, don’t hurry into an evaluation.
True stuttering affects only 5% of the population and is different than stumbling over words.


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You should probably be concerned if:
At ages 7-8 your child says only a few words, doesn’t spontaneously initiate conversation or doesn’t seem interested in talking with peers.
Your child has difficulty pronouncing a lot of sounds (which could also affect his/her ability to read and spell).
Your child truly stutters. An example would be the dragging out of the first sound in a word such as saying “sssssoda.”


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A child who stutters will also:
Repeat the first sound such as “Sh-sh-sh-she’s nice.”
May open his/her mouth to say something and then get stuck before anything comes out.
Clench his/her fist, blink repeatedly, grimace, or stomp his/her foot from the tension of trying to get the words out.
At this point, a child does need professional help.

 

NOW THAT I HAVE THEM, WHAT DO I DO WITH THEM: A REALISTIC LOOK AT PARENTING III
A major milestone in any child’s development is separation and independence.
Your newborn has no sense of himself/herself as an individual; he/she thinks that you and he/she are one and he/she doesn’t even realize that the tiny hands and feet waving before him/her are his/her own.


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Over time this child will figure out that he/she is a separate person with his/her own body, thoughts, and feelings.
At this point, he/she will want to do everything his/her own way.

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This is how the program works with the “average” child:
From months 1-6 your child will completely identify with his/her primary caregiver. At this point your child spends most of the time gaining control over basic movements and reflexes. The child’s primary concern is filling immediate needs for food, love and attention. Parents may notice the first evidences of growing independence at about 4 months when your child realizes that he/she can cry to get your attention.


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When your child has learned that he/she can get your attention by crying, he/she has taken the first steps in learning that he/she has an independent will and that how he/she behaves can have an impact on others—namely you.


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At around 7 months your baby will realize that he/she is independent of you.
This new understanding of separateness may make him/her anxious.
He/she knows that you can leave him/her but doesn’t know that you will always come back.
At this point the child is likely to burst into tears when you leave, even for a minute.


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Between 12-24 months your child is making more progress of differentiating himself/herself from you and from the world around him/her.
At this point, the child will understand that a reflection in the mirror is actually a reflection of himself/herself.
A two-year old will probably still cry when left with a babysitter or in daycare; however, he/she will recover more quickly now because he/she is more secure that he/she knows you will return.


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Your two-year-old’s insistence on wearing the purple pajamas for the sixth night in a row, eating only pasta and pickles and climbing into his/her car seat by himself/herself are all signs of the child’s growing independence and separation.


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Between the ages of 2-3 your toddler will continue to struggle for independence. The child will wander farther away from you as he/she goes exploring and will continue to test the limits. “I can do it myself” is probably one of the most common things you will hear from your toddler.


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Most kids conquer separation anxiety by their third birthday. However, it is normal for children to have temporary episodes of separation anxiety recur from time to time.
Children at this age also still flip-flop between wanting to be independent and needing to run back to the comfort and security of Mom or Dad.


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At age three children become less dependent on their parents which is a good sign.
A child who is secure and has a sense of personal identity is stronger and more independent.


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Parenting at this stage gets a little “edgy” since there is a fine balance between encouraging your child’s independence and not making tasks so challenging that the child becomes discouraged.
Like adolescence, it is hard to decide what is protecting your child and what is really “over-protecting and smothering.”


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If your four year old child routinely clings, cries, or otherwise displays a major protest when you or your spouse leaves him/her, now is the time to talk to your pediatrician.
It may be that he/she has a tendency to this behavior because of temperament, which he/she will probably grow out of around age 6.


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Your child may also be stressed about a change, such as going to preschool, moving to a new house, or the unexpected absence of a parent.


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A persistent problem with separating that lasts four weeks or more and negatively affects the quality of your child’s life such as skipping play dates because he/she is so anxious, should be discussed with his/her doctor.


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Usually a child’s anxiety is simply a reflection of other things that are going on within the family.