Growing Up Social – Questions to Ask

Do you know what your children are watching on TV or on-line? I want to share 4 questions that every parent should ask.
(1) What factual data is my child learning from this program?
(2) What kind of character traits is this program seeking to
(3) How does this program treat family members? (does it
denigrade fathers?)
(4) Is this program consistent with our family values?
Remember, you are the gate-keeper of your child’s mind. Parents should set time limits and boundaries on what children view on screens.

Your Marriage is Worth It!

Does divorce seem like the best alternative to you? If so, I hope you’ll read my book – Desperate Marriages. Divorce, unlike death, does not end contact with the other person, especially if you have children. Nor is divorce a pretty picture financially. Research indicates that 73 % of divorced women experience a decline in standard of living. One wife said, “Our marriage was bad, but our divorce is even worse. I still have all the responsibilities I had when we were married, but now I have less time and less money.” The effects of divorce linger for a lifetime. So do yourself a favor, call a counselor, read a book, or reach out to a pastor. Your marriage is worth it.

The Answer is in Learning

There are three radical and negative approaches to a troubled marriage: suicide, homicide, and divorce. The first two are considered unthinkable by intelligent, mentally healthy people. On the other hand, divorce is often seen as a humane way of ending the pain of an unhealthy marriage. Some have divorced two, three or more times and are still in search of a happy marriage. When I did the research for my book: Desperate Marriages, I discovered that divorce does not solve problems; it creates problems. Problems that never go away. The answer is not found in running, but in learning. Learn what is behind your spouse’s bad behavior. Then you can ask God for wisdom on how to respond. You can be a part of the solution.

Growing Up Social

Recently, I teamed up with Arlene Pellicane and wrote a book entitled: “Growing Up Social: Raising Relational Kids in a Screen Driven World”. Our research led us to amazing insights. Did you know that the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that parents avoid television viewing and screen time for children under 2 years of age? That’s right – no screen time! Young children grow by discovering the real world – things they can touch, taste, see, hear, and smell. They are developing motor skills, such as crawling, pulling themselves up and walking. Sitting in front of a screen is detrimental to the mental, physical, and social development of young children. Talking and playing with your young child is much more productive.

You Can Be a “Change Agent”

Do you feel like giving up on your marriage? I’ve been counseling people with marital struggles for over thirty years. And, often they have no hope. They are living in very difficult marriages. I am under no illusion that I can give a magic formula to bring healing to all such marriages, but I do believe that in every troubled marriage, steps can be taken by one partner, that have the potential for changing the emotional climate between the two of them. The first step is to make the decision not to give up. Read a book, talk with a counselor or pastor, share with a trusted friend, but don’t give up. You can be a positive ‘change agent’ in a difficult marriage.

Don’t Ignore Failure!

Many couples are at a stalemate because they have allowed a wall to develop between them. Walls are erected one block at a time. It may be as small as failing to take out the garbage or as large as failing to meet sexual needs. Instead of dealing with the failure, we ignore it. The wall becomes high and thick. We were once “in love” but now only resentment remains. There is only one way to remove a wall. We must tear down the blocks on our side. Someone must take the initiative. Will your spouse forgive you? I don’t know, but it’s worth a try. Confess your past failures and ask God to help you make the future different. The wall is not as thick when you remove the blocks on your side.

It All Begins With You

You can’t create a perfect marriage, but you can have a better marriage. And it all begins with you. Most of us think that if our spouse would change, we would have a better marriage. But that’s the wrong place to start. Begin my identifying your own failures. Confess these to God and then to your spouse. You now have a clear conscience and you are free to change your behavior and become a loving spouse. Nothing impacts your spouse more than loving words and actions. Nagging builds resentment. Love stimulates positive emotions. When your spouse feels genuinely loved by you, they are more open to your requests for change. You can have The Marriage You’ve Always Wanted.

“Ever notice how we interpret things differently?”

Ever notice how we interpret things differently? A husband walks in and sees the sink filled with dirty dishes. He reads a note on the table: “Darling, I am attending a program at church. May be late. Love you.” He may say to himself “lazy woman, she’s taking advantage of me – expecting me to wash the dishes.” And he walks out of the room. Another husband might say, “She must have had a busy day. The least I can do is to wash the dishes.” And he rolls up his sleeves. The difference, was interpretation. Love ‘thinks the best’ and always looks for an opportunity to serve. The first husband was self-centered. The second was a lover. Lovers, always have better marriages.

Mutual Respect & Mutual Love

Hear the words of Paul the apostle, “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only
to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.” Put that concept into your marriage and you will be well on the road to success. Two selfish people will never have a good marriage. Two people who are looking out for the well-being of each other, will find harmony. Decisions will not end in a battle if your attitude is “What would be best for you?” Of course, if this is one-sided, where one does all the giving, it will lead to resentment. Mutual respect and mutual love are the keys to a successful marriage.

Compromise is not a negative word.

Some couples have never learned how to make decisions together. So, they make decisions independently and try to force their decision on the spouse. This will never create a healthy marriage. We all have personal thoughts, feelings, and desires. Sometimes these clash with those of our spouse. Welcome to the human race. There is nothing wrong with disagreements. However, we must learn to listen to each other in order to understand their thoughts, feelings and desires. Once we understand each other, then we can look for a solution. Compromise is not a negative word. Webster says, a compromise is ‘a settlement by consent reached by mutual concession.’That is healthy decision making.