Archive for the ‘Abstinence’ Category

What Can I Do?

In Abortion, Abstinence, Courts, Democracy, Diane Robertson, Education, Free Speech, Government, Marriage, Media, Religion, Same-Sex Marriage, Sanctity of Life, Schools, Sex Education, UFI, Values on April 2, 2014 at 11:10 am


Diane Robertson

There are many people out there that want to help with the fight against radical feminism, the sexualizing of children, and the destruction of religious freedom but do not know what to do. They do not even know where to begin.  If you are that person, you are not alone. Be assured, this fight needs every willing person. You can find your place.

Here are some ideas to get you started:

  1. Educate yourself and those around you. A good way to begin this education is to read daily news articles about family policy and law. Doing this will help you understand how the “sexual liberal” side thinks and will help increase your ability to form meaningful arguments. UFI has a great resource for this: World Family News. The Witherspoon Institute’s Public Discourse has some very educational articles. Mercator net  and Lifesitenews cover a variety of family policy issues worldwide. Alliance Defending Freedom and the Scotus Blog are good ways to keep track of what is happening in the United States courts concerning families and religious freedom.
  2. In order to help curb explicit sexual education, first learn what the term “comprehensive” sexual education means. Find out about the programs that are being promoted in your schools as well as your state laws on sexual education.  Any programs being promoted that come from Planned Parenthood or SEICUS should be considered a red flag.
  3. Review the curriculum being used in your schools.  Ask to be on any review board when a curriculum is being considered.  This may be either at a state or district level. Getting a team of mothers to read the text books being used in the schools will help you know what exactly is being presented. This will be a lot of work for one person. Finding a group of like-minded people can really help.
  4. Know when your state legislature is in session and know what bills the legislature will be considering. Each state has a legislative website which usually lists the bills as well as all the legislatures. Once you know what is being considered for laws in your area, lobby your legislature for or against bills that will help or hurt the family and religion. You can do this at home through phone calls and emails, or you can travel to your state capitol building. Ask your friends and family to do the same.
  5. Become familiar with already organized groups in your area. Get on their email lists. They will help you know when it is important to contact your state and federal senators and representatives. As you familiarize yourself with how legislation and laws work, you will find that there are other people in your state already organized and even on your team.

Currently United Families and other great organizations and people are working on ways to bring more like-minded people together to help in the fight for the family and religious freedom. As more resources become available, we will be sure to let you know what you can do. Everyone is needed.





CSW and Sexual Rights

In Abortion, Abstinence, AIDS, Child Development, Diane Robertson, Education, Families, Feminism, Government, Meet UFI, motherhood, Parental Rights, Parenting, Pedophilia, Sex Education, The Family, UN, Values, Women's Rights on March 26, 2014 at 8:37 pm

UN 2Diane Robertson

The Commission on the Status of Women (CWS) is a functional commission of the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC). Each year delegates from 45 countries meet at the U.N. headquarters in NY to formulate concrete policies on women worldwide.

Volunteers from United Families International just spent the past week in NYC presenting and assisting delegates in formulating the wording in certain “outcome documents”. The language found in these outcome documents gets used everywhere and becomes known as ‘customary international law’. The phrases in the outcome documents have tremendous influence worldwide. United Families is there to help assure that the critical wording in these documents is family friendly. This is clearly a tough job. While the stated purpose of the conference, based on 8millenial goals (MDG’s), are eradicating extreme poverty and hunger, achieve a universal primary education, promote gender equality and empower women, reduce child mortality rates, improve maternal health, combat disease like HIV/AIDS and malaria, ensure environmental sustainability, and develop global partnerships, there are many NGO’s that use these goals to push comprehensive sexual education and sexual rights for children.

Carolina-Kawika Allen attended CSW with other UFI volunteers. She states:

“Certain NGOs have more sway and power at the UN. Many are using this power to create temporary fixes with long term devastation and oppression. Let me explain… While here at this conference it is clear to see how the solutions posed by very influential NGOs, promoting terms like, ‘reproductive health care for women and girls’, ‘child sexual rights’, ‘comprehensive sexual education’, etc. are in reality something else entirely.

Take for example the Goliath-NGO, International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF), with its most recent campaign ‘Exclaim’ for ‘child sexual rights’. Here you find that, and I quote, ‘Young people must be able to explore, experience and express their sexuality. They are entitled to do this in positive, pleasurable and safe ways. To secure young people’s sexual rights we must understand how human rights apply to young people’s sexuality’. Note that they are linking human rights directly with sexual rights, a legal move that is intended to codify sexuality in children, with the intent to eventually become legally binding. This campaign never even specifies how young, and in several places the word ‘child’ is actually used.”

 As side event on human sex trafficking of children occurred, language that would have children as young as 5 taught masturbation, children as young as 13 introduced to pornography in the name of “sexual health”, and abortion services provided for every young woman by the age of 15 was being debated. Carolina exclaimed, “I sat in my chair fuming at the idea that the very language being included in these outcome documents were essentially ‘grooming’ children as a sexual predator would groom his victim.”

The term “Family” has become the most controversial word at the U.N.  Countries that still believe that strong families are the solution to the MDG goals such as eradicating poverty, and hunger, educating children and stopping the spread of diseases are few and weak. They are mainly African, Polynesian, and Middle Eastern nations. The delegates from these countries are under extreme pressure to give way to the sexual rights agenda of the powerful NGO’s. They need the help of the few family friendly groups such as United Families International to stand strong in favor of the family.

Carolina concludes by calling upon the good strong women of the world to help fight the sexual right’s agenda in order to secure the safety of the child/parent relationship and the safety of children around the world. She declares:

“What I have found is the TREMENDOUS need for women, faithful, family centered, child-protecting, women–women like you and me who aren’t ashamed to claim and fight for their families–women who proudly claim their faith—strong and mighty women, who will fight for their children and the world’s children.”

Sex Indoctrination and Loss of Childhood Innocence

In Abstinence, Child Development, Cohabitation, Education, Families, Gender, Government, Grandparents, Parenting, Schools, Sex Education, Sexual Orientation, The Family, Values on January 23, 2014 at 1:19 pm

Rachel Allisonteddy bear 2

If there is anyone living on this planet that isn’t aware of the chaos, confusion and even madness that is encroaching nearer and nearer to our homes and families, I would love to know where they are living and how they are keeping it all at bay.

Where is the wholesome value-based environment that I grew up in?  It’s certainly not in the commercials being aired on morning television.  This morning a benign ad for weight loss touted, “And the sex life is great!” Really?  The first thing I thought was, ‘innocent children all over the United States just got a dose of sexual indoctrination.’  Hearing and seeing it repeatedly just might program our children to believe that life is all about sex and self-gratification.  Great values!  That’s just what I want my children and grandchildren to think about every time they are self-disciplined enough to pass on that second donut…’the sex will be great!’

I know many young mothers who wisely won’t allow television programs and their often unforeseen and degenerate commercials to be turned on in their homes.  Instead, they choose wholesome movies to entertain and teach values that are uplifting and positive.  Problem solved? Not if your children attend a progressive public school.

Our openly gay, former member of NAMBLA (North American Man Boy Love Association) and President Obama’s appointed “Safe-School Czar,” Kevin Jennings, has an agenda…And it’s not reading, writing and ‘rithmetic. He is making sure that sexual indoctrination is taking place away from parent’s attentive supervision…in our schools! Our children aren’t just being taught about the ‘birds and the bees.’  They are being taught about expressions of “love” and affection toward the same-gender, and as early as 1st grade!  (See my post 1-9-14) If you are “open-minded” enough to agree with that agenda, you may want to educate yourself to the consequences of such confusing indoctrination.

Fast forward a few years…Studies show that teens of a homosexual orientation are more prone to commit suicide.  Many in the gay world would have us believe that it is solely a result of harassment.  Dr. Gary Remafedi of the University of Minnesota, suggests a different reason. He has discovered that there is an inherent danger in children self-identifying as homosexual too early.

According to Remafedi, there are several contributing factors that lead to suicide among homosexual teens, two of which are gender non-conformity and early childhood sexual experience.  He concludes by saying that “teens that are turned on to homosexuality at an early age end up with the belief that they are born that way and it becomes increasingly difficult to change their behavior.” According to Remafadi the internal conflicts these teens face as they explore homosexuality without being ready to explore sexuality at all are the real reason why gay teens commit suicide.

There is enough chaos and confusion in the world without introducing our innocent children to sexual propaganda.  Parents, be aware of what your children are hearing and seeing…in the media and in their school’s curriculum.  Also, be aware of after-school GLBST (Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Straight, Transsexual) programs.  These are often advertised as programs to teach non-discrimination.  A segment may touch on tolerance, but attending yourself will open your eyes to what your children are being exposed to…a world that is taking away their innocence much too early.

Separation of Sex and State

In Abstinence, Child Development, Cohabitation, Education, Homosexuality, Sex Education, The Family, Values on January 21, 2014 at 12:53 pm

Matt WalshWe at United Families appreciate all who advocate for the traditional family. The more voices, the more we like it.  Blogger Matt Walsh is one of those advocates.  Some of his blogs ring so true to our cause we at United Families pass them around and make comments…most of them lamenting the fact that we didn’t have his particular perception on the topic of the day.  This is one of those blogs.  Great insight Matt!  We at UFI agree completely.

May I Teach My Children to Be Wise

In Abstinence, Child Development, Education, Families, Free Speech, Gender, Government, Grandparents, Homosexuality, Marriage, motherhood, Parenting, Religion, Religious Freedom, Same-Sex Marriage, The Family, Values on December 27, 2013 at 8:53 am

mother teaching small childTara Holladay

It was just another day.  My daughter was at preschool, my mother was watching my toddler son, and I was sitting in a clean, generic waiting room, hoping that when it was my turn in the dentist chair I wouldn’t be hearing any expensive news.   A mother and her son, 7 years old at most, sat across from me thumbing through an old National Geographic magazine.  “Mom,” the son asked, “why are those people wearing blankets over their heads?”

My eyes widened in curiosity.  I knew what he was referring to; I had heard his questions about the previous page.  How would this mother explain a picture of women in burqas to her son?   It could go many ways: a to-the-point, factual explanation; a showing of pity, an awkward garble from a mother caught off-guard, an underhanded and subtly bigoted commentary, even an apathetic toss of a response before changing the subject.

Without any hesitation, the mom replied, “They are women wearing burqas because it is part of their religion.”  She let him look and read what little he wanted to read while she waited patiently for possible follow-up questions.  But he turned the page, moving on to the next photo spread.

I bowed my head and thought to myself about the questions and curiosities my own children would ask me in the days, weeks, and years to come.  Religious differences, cultural differences, abstinence, homosexuality, premarital sex, questions of lifestyle or morals…I sighed.  Some would be easy explanations and some would be—for lack of a better word—doozies.  Would I answer in such a way that teaches my children tolerance and reasoning without undercutting our own beliefs?  Or would I answer in such a way that might drag my children into to realms of uninformed soap-boxing before they are old enough to wisely sift through the relevant vs. irrelevant or bigoted vs. properly standing for a personal belief?

There may come a time when my daughter asks how I can believe that homosexuality is detrimental to the institution of family (and society as a whole), and that acting on homosexual urges is a sin when a homosexual uncle or family friend is welcomed and loved in our home.

What does one say when his or her religious or moral beliefs are twisted into a type of hate, bigotry, hypocrisy, or the like, simply by the way in which the questions are asked?  By the way in which their answers are unfairly—even intentionally—misinterpreted?  Insert Phil Robertson sympathies here.

My hope is that my children know what I believe in and know that those beliefs stand alongside love and tolerance.  I hope that I can teach them that just because I don’t agree with everything that someone else believes in does not mean that I “hate” that person.  I hope that they know that we can love people without encouraging the choices they make which we don’t personally support.  I hope that they will understand that just because I fight for legislation that supports traditional families does not mean that I think the same-sex parents down the street are awful parents.   I hope that I can explain that just because I cherish my religious beliefs as truth does not necessarily mean that I think Islamic, Jewish, Buddhist, or any other religious beliefs are invalid.  I hope that I can be an example of respect, love, tact, and decency.  I pray that my children will know that courageously standing up for what they believe does not mean putting down others, nor does it mean that they are “haters.”

As I followed the dental assistant back to the big vinyl chair, she asked me how my babies were doing.  Babies, I thought and smiled.  They are babies… just toddlers.  How do I teach these values to such young minds? 

And so for now, I start with simple answers supported by love.  I remind my daughter and my son to try to see people the way God sees them: as His children whom He loves dearly.  And I show them by example how to be understanding and kind without putting aside personal convictions.

Today’s questions from curious children might be about vegetables, or Grandpa’s airplane, or even why their friend and schoolmate, Muhammed, has a long name.  Tomorrow’s questions will be harder.  Here’s to being a wise enough parent to handle those questions with prudence, that my children will grow up even wiser than I.

The TV is Teaching My Children What!?

In Abstinence, Cohabitation, Divorce, Families, Marriage, Media on December 23, 2013 at 6:46 pm

BacheloretteAlicia Johnson and Hailey Welch

Over the past 85 years, millions of individuals and families have had the opportunity to watch shows on television and have experienced the rapid growth of many forms of media. Many individuals have experienced the excitement of watching a favorite TV show throughout childhood while developing fond memories of characters and values instilled within the shows viewed. When we look back at the shows viewed in the 80s and 90s, we see shows such as Full House and The Cosby Show which instill high moral values and the importance of the family. It was easy to sit down during the evening with family members and watch a show that everyone in the family was comfortable watching. As we think back on some of our favorite childhood shows and the values of the traditional family instilled in the shows, were we exposed to the threats that can now be seen on TV with the flick of a remote?

The media content that we now are so easily exposed to is posing a serious threat to the family with 84.7% of all households in the United States having at least one TV in their homes. From our own personal experiences, it can be very difficult at times to find TV shows and movies that promote the importance of families and living high moral standards. With the traditional family being mocked and alternative lifestyles becoming the popular norm, it is important to understand the impact that the media can have on our society. You may be thinking, “What’s the big deal? These are just shows.” However contrary to these thoughts, there is strong evidence that what we watch influences how we act. If we are supporting shows that degrade the family or depict such issues as cohabitation, divorce, or that are down playing the importance of marriage, this can have a serious impact on not only our own relationships but society as a whole.

The Bachelor/Bachelorette

This show has a bachelor or a bachelorette and they have to choose from 25 men or women in which they will propose to at the end of the show. The concept of finding true love through these dates is blissful and romantic, catching most eyes in America to believe these couples are meant for each other. Nearing the end dates (around 5 weeks after meeting each other) the different couples are asked if they wish to stay overnight in the “Fantasy Suite”. Most of the couples take the offer and have the next scene of them closing the doors to the bedroom. Are these the values we wish to instill in our children, especially our teenage girls? Does one need to “stay in the Fantasy Suite” to see if they are fit to marry each other? Marriage here is based upon temporal beauty and sexual needs. The traditional view of marriage is a love in which you serve one another and work hard to keep the relationship alive within the marriage.

The Fosters

This new ABC Family premiered on June 3, 2013. The Fosters are also foster parents to multiple children that are going through the system. The controversial value in this show is the definition of marriage and family because the heads of this family are both females. Lena and Stef are raising Stef’s biological son from a previous marriage, adopted twins, and multiple foster children. Within the first few minutes of the show, Callie, an abusive close minded girl, calls Stef and Lena a derogatory word used as a description for a lesbian relationship. This girl is meant to represent the traditional view of family and what is believed to be rude and unloving towards those with alternative lifestyles. We wish that they may understand the love and compassion we have with those struggling with same-sex attraction, but still believe that the best place for a child is in a home with a mother and a father.


Friends premiered in 1994 and had a very successful career that lasted ten years. About 51.1 Million American viewers watched the season finale in 2004. What made this show about six unique friends and their lives in Manhattan so popular? The light hearted comedy brought entertainment to the hardship that people are faced with in life. What kinds of family values are placed in the show though? All three girls, Rachel, Phoebe, and Monica, had babies with only one of them having children within the protective frame of marriage. Cohabitation was born through this show watching the different friends live together while dating. It was glamorized and accepted by American culture as a good option instead of the bad connotations as it has had before.


The red headed country icon showed Americans that being divorced was freeing and does not have a huge impact on the individuals involved (children, parents, friends, etc.). Reba has three kids, two girls and one boy, which have relationships not only with their mom but a close relationship with their dad as well. With constant visits from the father and step mom it eludes that divorce will not change the relationships between family members. Another controversial idea would be that having a baby during high school with your high school sweetheart will all work out with marriage, healthy baby, and a high school diploma. About 50% of teen mothers receive a high school diploma by 22 years of age, versus approximately 90 percent of women who had not given birth during adolescence. This show is a great example of the changing ideals, expectations, and acceptance of alternative “family” views.

These are only a few examples of what television has to offer the traditional family views. The more we support these shows with nontraditional views of the family, the more our society will grow to accept such views as norms. Without the consequences of those actions shown, those actions will ultimately disintegrate the traditional family.  Please carefully review the media that is being watched in your home and look for what kind of standards are being taught to you and your family. It is important that we not only look after what our family is watching but share with our extended family and community members the lack of values that are being instilled within the viewers.

Hailey WelchHailey Welch is a senior at Brigham Young University- Idaho studying Marriage and Family Studies. She understands the importance of families and hopes to help others strengthen their relationships.

Alicia JohnsonAlicia Johnson is a senior at Brigham Young University-Idaho studying Marriage and Family Studies.  Alicia is originally from El Dorado Hills, CA and married her sweetheart, Garett Johnson, on August 19, 2011.

Don’t Turn Your Child’s Sex Education Over to the School

In Abstinence, Cohabitation, date rape, Education, Families, Parenting on December 16, 2013 at 2:14 pm

Sex Education is...Christina Toliver and Emily Dewitt

The rise in sexually transmitted diseases should make us question what is being taught today about sex.  It is very unfortunate that in this 21st century, where there is vast medical knowledge and new technology literally at our fingertips, there is still a high volume of sexually transmitted diseases. There was a 10 percent increase of AIDS from 2000 to 2003 and half of the new sexually transmitted diseases are more likely to be diagnosed among those between the ages of 15- 24 (1).

Many teenagers do not talk with their parents about any aspect of sex, relying instead on sources outside the home. Teens information about sex most often comes from school, the media, and their friends.  Children develop who they are through their parent or guardian. Parents and guardians today are less likely to take on responsibility of teaching their children about sex. Instead, they have abandoned these important conversations and given over the teaching to the media and the school system.

Television and other types of media do teach teenagers about sex. Media teaches that physical pleasure and sex are just a natural step in a pre-marital relationship. It also teaches about the acceptance of homosexual relationships. The education system is not just teaching academics, but they are teaching students how to have sex, the acceptance of gay or lesbian relationships, birth control options and abortion.  Schools do not necessarily teach about abstinence or the role that sex plays in a matrimonial union. As parents allow the school system and media to teach their children about sex they are allowing their children to learn things that their family may not value. If you are not involved in your child’s education you may not know what is actually being taught to them.

Most would agree that the topic of sex is not considered an everyday topic of discussion. Rather, sex is something whispered about or talked about behind closed doors. More than half of students surveyed in a recent study said that they did not have a meaningful conversation with their parents about sex.  Sixty percent of parents, in this same survey, said that they have talked to their children about sex (3).  It is more probable that the parents and their children do not feel the same about what a ‘meaningful conversation’ entails.

Doctor Miriam Kaufman, a Pediatrician and public educator at the Sick Kids organization, believes that when parents talk to their children they become less likely to participate in risky sexual behavior. By educating children early it allows parents and children to have more open communication about sex. Children need to feel confident going to and be able to trust their parents when they are in need of guidance (4).  Parents, not schools, are the best way for children to learn about sexual matters.

sex and violenceIn our current culture, it is hard to get away from what the media has chosen to expose us to. Sexual content is all over; in the news, on the internet, in magazines, the movies, and almost all sitcoms are based on sexual relationships and situations. Children spend, on average, about 6.5 hours of their day exposed to some type of media (5­). Research shows that 83% of the media content is related to sex in some way (6). According to Doctor Kaufman there is a link between younger children exposed to sexual content in the media and increased sexual behavior (4). Television perpetuates and glamorizes sex within relationships instead of the reality of what sex entails. Viewing media with sexual content is often a precursor to sexual activity, especially by youth who are easily impacted by the things that they see.

A group of white adolescents, who were exposed to music, movies, television, and magazines with high levels of sexual content, were found to have high frequency of sexual activity and sexual intercourse. Exposure to sexual media in white Americans increased sexual intercourse among teens by 50 percent (5­). Images seen in media peaks interest or curiosity about sex during puberty because it is often unknown and glamorized. It is natural to be interested in sex, but media has diluted its purpose and its meaning. Parents can have some control over most of the media children are exposed to through vigilant monitoring and adding filters.

Many states (37) offer opportunities for parental involvement in sex education programs provided by schools (2).  Through carefully asked questions and research parents can become more knowledgeable about what is being taught about sex in their children’s schools. Parents can work to ensure that there is not a conflicting message coming from the media and the schools in opposition to what the family chooses as its values. When there is open communication between parents and their children about sex, it can increase how frequently other conversations occur between parent and child (4). With open communication, not only will the child benefit, but so will society.


Bleakley, A., Hennessy, M., Fishbein, M., (2006, November).  Public opinion on sex education in US schools. http://archpedi.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=205706#References

Bleakley, A., Hennessy, M., Fishbein, M., & Jordan, A. (2008). It works both ways: The relationship between exposure to sexual content in the media and adolescent sexual behavior. 11 (4). 443-461.

Kaufman, M. (October, 2011). Sex education for children: Why parents should talk to their kids  about sex.  About Kids Health.  http://www.aboutkidshealth.ca/En/HealthAZ/ FamilyandPeerRelations/Sexuality/Pages/Sex-Education-for-Children-Why-Parents-Should-Talk-to-their-Kids-About-Sex.aspx

King, B, M., Lorusso, J. (1997).  Discussions in the home about sex: Different recollections by parents and children. Journal of Sex and Marital Therapy, 23 (1). DOI:10.1080/00926239708404417 NCSL, (2013, June 13).  State policies on sex education in schools. http://www.ncsl.org/issuesresearch/health/state-policies-on-sex-education-in-schools.aspx

Ward, L. M., Day, K. M., & Epstein, M. (2006). Uncommonly good: Exploring how mass media may be a positive influence on young women’s sexual health and development. New Directions for Child & Adolescent Development. 2006 (112). 57-70.

Christina ToliverChristina Toliver is a recent graduate of Brigham Young University–Idaho with a degree in Child Development and a minor in Psychology. She is from Oregon and is part of a large family. Christina’s had many opportunities to work with children of all ages.

Emily DeWittEmily Dewitt is currently a student at Brigham Young University-Idaho and is studying Child Development with a minor in Marriage and Family Studies. She will graduate from BYU-Idaho in April 2014.  She is from Illinois and most of her family still resides there. 

An Easy way to Mess up your Life: Become a Single Parent

In Abstinence, Child Development, Divorce, Marriage on November 26, 2013 at 3:23 pm

Single momMonica Nicholas & Taylor Evans

“Living apart from natural fathers can be associated with poverty and negative outcomes for children.”  Lisa Calderwood, London University, Institute of Education

Scotty was a happy little four year old boy when his parents were divorced.  He stayed with his mom in Arizona while his father became a part of the Navy.   Scotty’s dad was on ships and overseas for a long time, missing so much of his son’s life.  Overtime, Scotty had behavioral problems at home and at school, his grades were slipping, and his once stable environment was taken away and replaced many times.  Through the years, his mom was married and divorced numerous times.  As Scotty got older, he became the father figure to his younger siblings.  Throughout all this time, Scotty’s mom started breaking down emotionally and he was in the middle.    His mom married again and again to fill a void.  There were men who abused Scotty and threw him down flights of stairs and there were men who also took him in and loved him like he was their own.

When he was getting to his sophomore year in high school, he decided that he had had enough and he moved to Utah to live with Grandma and Grandpa Pulham.   Scotty now had a blank slate to start again.  He started his new high school, made new friends, was going to church services, and seemed to find some of the structure he was missing in his life.  However, soon after he started school his grades were drastically dropping.  He was failing every class, he was having behavioral problems like he had before, as well as having problems at home.  Grandma and Grandpa as well as two of his aunts who live there did everything that they could think of to help him and to deal with his behavioral problems and emotional distress.  It eventually led to him dropping out of school.  He recently moved back to Arizona and is living with his other grandparents and working.

In respect to the family you will notice that all too often this is the life of children born to broken and single-parent homes. All too often you will find that the child suffers much like Scotty, and can sometimes have his or hers development dramatically hindered. The Telegraph reported that, “12% of children brought up by one parent displayed a series of behavioral problems by the age of seven whereas  six percent when you are raised by both parents.”  These statistics show the crucial importance of children being raised in a two-parent household.

Throughout school, Scotty had several behavioral problems.  He was disruptive during class, got in fights, sloughed class, as well as multiple other behavioral issues, not only in school but also with family.   A mother’s role is very important when it comes to raising a child, as is a fathers, but it needs to be done together.  Whether you are a father or mother, being a single parent will put a strain on a child’s development; cognitively, physically, emotionally, and socially.

Factors that play a role in single-parent homes

Single-parent households are often compromised in the area of economic well-being. McLanahan states, “Indicators of economic conditions account for as much as one-half of the single mother ‘effect’ on children’s educational  performance.”    Single mothers often reside, of necessity, in lower income neighborhoods. When the family lives in these lower socioeconomic neighborhoods, it results in the child experiencing higher rates of crime and violence and having to go to a lower income school.   This can affect their future by lowering their chance at receiving a good secondary education, and their future in gaining post-high school education, and thus receiving good employment and becoming a highly functioning and contributing member of society.

Another factor that comes into play from low economic status  is families  do not have the means to provide for their children with many of life’s basic necessities let alone books, classes, tutors, computers and other important aids to help them grow and develop.

Whether you’re male or female, your family structure is more prone to suffer if you are a single parent.  Your child’s emotional and social needs might not be met due to lack of consistency in the home because of work or other circumstances. A fluctuating work schedule and other reasons may cause the parent to be absent while the child is home and that can result in rules to be broken, grades to drop and supervision to be left to the child. This can in turn cause emotional stress on your child and take a toll on their development and education achievements.

Many educators can see the type of stress that single parent households are under, not only from the child’s standpoint but also from the parent’s stand point. Often the community is able to help the single parents by creating opportunities for the child to spend their time while their parent is away at work. If a single mom or dad is having a hard time trying to find a safe place for their child to go they should look into their local schools to find different aids that are there for them. There are opportunities for your child to continue to grow developmentally be means of after school programs along with clubs and sports, provided for your child to make sure they have a safe place to go to after school and can continue to excel in every way developmentally.

How do we avoid these problems for ourselves and our children?

Researchers tell us that it is really quite simple and if you do these three things your chances of having a successful marriage and life are dramatically increased:

1.  Finish High School

2.  Marry BEFORE having children

3.  Marry after age 20

Only eight percent of people who do all three are poor, while 79 percent  who fail to do so are impoverished.   Seems pretty simple and you owe it to yourself, and most importantly, to your children.

MoMonica Nicholasnica Nicholas attends Brigham Young University-Idaho and is majoring in child development.  She is from Preston, Idaho.




Taylor Evans is a recent graduate of BYU-Idaho Taylor Evanswith a bachelors in Child Development.  She plans to go on to receive a master’s degree in social work.  She grew up in Henderson Nevada.

“Get Me to the Church on Time:” Does waiting to marry make us any happier?

In Abstinence, Divorce, Families, Marriage, Research on November 13, 2013 at 9:59 am

Get me to the churchElise Ellsworth

When Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney spoke at a college commencement this past year he chose an interesting topic to address – marriage.  He urged young people to actively pursue marriage: “Combining your life with another person … is tremendously challenging and enormously rewarding … Some people could get married but choose to take more time, they say, for themselves.  Others plan to wait until they’re well into their 30s or 40s before they think about getting married. They’re going to miss so much of living, I’m afraid.”  Romney’s interesting advice to marry younger may sound foreign to twenty-somethings – increasing numbers of whom are no longer actively pursuing marriage as a life goal, and many of whose parents, according to a recent study conducted at Brigham Young University are also showering them with anti-marriage advice.  However, recent research indicates that Romney’s advice may not be too far from the mark:

I.             Later marriages appear to have a bit better survival rates but “The greatest indicated likelihood of being in an intact marriage of the highest quality is among those who marry from ages 22-25.”  This is the conclusion from a study by sociologists Norval Glenn, Robert Love and Jeremy Uecker of Baylor University who found that those who marry later have poorer quality marriages than those who marry earlier in their twenties.    The study also suggests that couples who marry in their twenties have more frequent sex and are more likely to hold a common faith and traditions than those who marry later.

II.            Unmarried twenty-somethings reported higher rates of depression and drinking, and lower life satisfaction than their married peers.  This information is from the “Knot Yet” report  released earlier this year by the University of Virginia’s National Marriage Council.

III.           Men who marry in their mid-twenties make more money.  This statistic also comes from the “Knot Yet” marriage report issued by the University of Virginia.  Interestingly, the report shows that men who never marry make the least amount of money, in most cases even less than men who marry in their teens.

IV.          Although women who marry in their mid-twenties do make less money, they are actually happier than women who marry later in life. Married women often have the financial freedom to make other valuable contributions in nurturing children and in community service and volunteer work which are also very beneficial to society and to their own personal well-being.

V.            Those who don’t marry by their mid-twenties are often now choosing to engage in premarital relationships that research has identified will put them and their children at risk for a plethora of other problems.  It seems pretty evident that with the U.S. marriage rate for adults at a record low 51% and cohabitation rates on the rise that more and more young adults are choosing pre-marital sexual relations and are often foregoing marriage altogether.  A recent Wall Street Journal essay points out that this is a losing situation for both adults and children.  The adults miss out on the financial and emotional benefits of marriage and often get trapped in a cycle of unstable relationships and multiple partners.  As a great deal of research has shown, such instability is one of the greatest risks to children’s well-being – greatly increasing the likelihood that they will experience academic, social and emotional problems like poor grades, drug abuse and (perpetuating the cycle) unmarried childbearing.

Given the foregoing data it appears that Romney may be right on target.  The rewards and challenges of marriage may be the very thing that young adults need to lead fulfilling lives.  As he put it, “When you are living to the fullest, beyond yourself, beyond comfort, life is most full and exhilarating.” Perhaps forthright parents’ best advice could be to encourage youth to follow the path that has been proven to lead to happiness and well-being since the beginning of civilization – “get married, stay married” – four simple words of advice that could become extremely meaningful to the quality of their lives.

The Night My Husband and I Went to a Strip Club

In Abstinence, Families, Media, Parenting, Pornography on November 8, 2013 at 3:27 pm

Movie nightAlexxus Kochel                                                     

After a long week, I was very excited for a date night with my husband. Something about a stress free Friday night to unwind is soothing to me. My husband picked me up from work, and we headed to a movie. We had heard some great reviews, and were glad we could see it in the theater, since it had already been out for several weeks. When we got there, the girl who sold us our tickets said we had got there just in time, that it was a few seats away from being sold out. A sold out show is typically indicative of a great movie, so we were excited.

It was definitely a comedy, and we laughed and laughed. The audience was enamored. A funny scene led to one right after another, until out of the blue the characters entered a strip club, and people were being peer pressured into drinking for the first time. Immediately I looked over and saw that my husband had looked away. I figured that the scene would quickly end, so I also looked away. As I did so I looked around the theater and saw lots of children, numerous young teenagers, and handfuls of adults all watching this risqué scene.

Each of us, no matter our age can look back and evaluate what media was like when we were kids. My great-grandparents were shocked when the movie Gone with The Wind had the first “use of profanity in its script” [1]. My grandparents were disturbed by the introduction of what they thought was promiscuous dancing in pop culture. My parents were taken back when society began accepting television shows that were sexually suggestive and featured foul-mouthed characters.   I am appalled that I see media everywhere that works to influence us to do things which we normally would never do.

What we as individuals, families and collectively as a society are willing to accept from media is increasing in its’ promiscuity and inappropriateness. Historically, we see that society is ever changing and influenced by media content. What was unacceptable even a mere thirty years ago is now the norm for our children. This can give each one of us cause to be concerned.

Friends 1Some may say that we ought to be open-minded in what we view, listen to, allow in and accept. To some extent we would agree that yes, we should be cultured, but we should all draw an appropriate line as to what is and is not acceptable. This is not only for our own benefit, but also for the rising generation. “Children and adolescents spend more time with media than they do in any other activity except for sleeping—an average of [over] 7 hours [per day]” [2]. What are our children seeing during this astronomically large portion of their time? What views, ideologies and beliefs are they being exposed to? We cannot allow the world to jostle its way in and teach our children, and ourselves ideas that are contrary to our fundamental beliefs.

“In the USA an average of 20–25 violent acts are shown in children’s television programs each hour” [3].Through this evidence, how can we in good conscience allow our children to be exposed to the media of today without monitoring it? The answer is that we absolutely cannot. This is a societal problem that is becoming more and more common. Children learn more from our actions than our words. If we say one thing, yet do another we can expect that they will follow suit. Sherry Turkle, a professor of Social Studies of Science and Technology at MIT stated: “those little devices in our pockets, are so psychologically powerful that they don’t only change what we do, they change who we are” [4]. With this knowledge, we must make a strong resolve to be responsible in our media content intake.

How are we to fight against improper forms of media and what they would have us not only believe, but incorporate into our daily behavior?

It must be done on an individual level. We must make our judgments wisely as to what is and is not acceptable for our own viewing enjoyment. Questions we might ask ourselves might include:

  • Does this add to or take away from my intelligence?
  • Is this making me a stronger and better person?
  • Am I changing my views for the worse because of this?
  • Am I becoming desensitized?

Any and all of these questions will help us guide our decisions in regards to what media we will allow ourselves and our children to be exposed to.

With our eyes averted from the strip club right in front of us, I saw teenagers, children and adults all watching intently. After more than two minutes of not even watching the movie that we had paid to see, we got up and walked out of the theater. We were mocked by others in the theater as we left. This really got me thinking.  I would venture to say that only a very small percentage of the people in that theater would have actually entered a real strip club in person. Yet that night we were all in one, we hadn’t set foot inside, but we were there.

Why would we ever view images, or listen to songs which depict places and events that we would never go to or engage in if it were real? Media that is taking us to places that we would never enter in “real life” is not worthy of our time. We each need to take a step back and evaluate what we are watching and what our children are watching. We cannot allow ourselves to be desensitized in the least bit. So, what will you choose? Will you stay in that Strip Club, or will you happily walk out?

The choice is yours.

Alexxus KochelAlexxus Kochel is a senior at Brigham Young University-Idaho studying Child Development. She is the oldest of six children and loves working with children.  She has a passion for empowering families and has a great desire to help them strengthen their relationships. She plans to enter the Child Care Profession upon completion of her degree where she hopes to make a difference in the education and care of children.


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