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Archive for the ‘Marriage’ Category

The Yes to Sex App and the Problems of Promiscuity

In Abortion, Abstinence, Birth Rate, Child Development, Choice, Cohabitation, Courts, date rape, Demographic Decline, Diane Robertson, Divorce, Education, Families, Feminism, Free Speech, Government, Grandparents, Health Care, Marriage, Parenting, Population Control, Sanctity of Life, Schools, Sex Education, Sexual Freedom, Single Mothers, Values on May 25, 2016 at 6:57 am

Advise to youngby Diane Robertson

Every now and then I think of my grandparents and great grandparents and what society must have been like for them. Things were different back then. People married younger and the divorce rate was under 15%. Babies born to unwed mothers was under 10%. And while unwed pregnancies were around 20%, 50% of those women married before the baby was born. Premarital sex was taboo and looked down upon. The majority of children were born into a home with their biological married mother and father, the majority of children grew up with both parents.

In today’s society the divorce rate for all marriages is around 50%. More than 40% of children are born to unwed mothers. Additionally, there are approximately 1.2 million abortions each year and 85% are committed by unwed mothers. Today, premarital sex is not at all taboo. Instead it is expected of teens and college students to be sexually active and to explore their sexuality. Today, less than half the children in America will spend their entire childhood with their married biological mother and father. The traditional family has crumbled and sexual morality is considered old fashion and out of date.

The difference of course is what was taught. Before the 1960’s, youth were taught abstinence before marriage. After that youth were taught the mechanics of sex, and now students are taught that whatever they feel and want is ok as long as the other person consents.

Today, I read about another side effect of this very change. A married mother of 3 sons has developed a ‘Yes to Sex’ app for college students. And it is doing well. Probably fearing that her sons could be accused of rape, Wendy Mandell-Geller found a way to get legal consent through smart phones.

The ‘Yes to Sex’ app requires prospective sexual partners to agree to consent for sexual activity, agree on birth control or protection or none, and agree on a safe word. No personal information or photos are required. Rather the app records verbal consent and stores these on the company’s servers for a year along with the date, time, and place of the sexual encounter. Each person must say aloud ‘I’m saying yes!’ followed by the safe words before sexual activity.

Recently an EDU version of the app has been added. This costs $5 a year and is to make consent compliant with Title IX, the same that assures schools and universities won’t discriminate because of sex but also has a lot of say about consent and sexual harassment– making the government a partner in consent.

Of course, the real solution to the rape culture and divorce, and single parent homes, and abortion is not apps and laws but a return to our roots and the morals taught to our grandparents.

 

 

 

Good Begets Good

In Child Development, Choice, Families, Marriage, Parenting, Values on May 23, 2016 at 6:07 am

baby nappingby Erin Weist

There is a saying that my husband and I use regularly in our home that we’ve learned from having kids: sleep begets sleep.   As naive parents we thought that if our baby or toddler missed a nap it would make him extra tired so he’d sleep really, really well that night.  More experienced parents are shaking their heads and smirking about how foolish that sounds.  In reality when a child misses sleep it makes him or her so wired that, not only are they incapable of functioning on a normal level and dealing with normal events, but they also have a harder time going to sleep at a later time.  So no nap = a late night with a lot of tears, not all of those from the child.  Hence, the formula we occasionally remind ourselves: sleep begets sleep.

 

I thought of this the other day as I took time to exercise one evening during the week.  As I finished and returned to my regular schedule I felt motivated beyond my normal activities– Iexercise with weights began making further plans to exercise, to improve myself personally, to work on my hobbies, and to practice skills that have been recently neglected.  And this thought came to mind: good behavior begets good behavior.  Endorphins rushing through my body after physical activity created positive thinking which encouraged more positive thinking, which increased my personal belief that I could engage in these activities and succeed at them.  Likewise, when I am physically inactive, or when drowning in negative thought, my belief in future abilities is diminished.  Good behavior begets good behavior, negative behavior begets negative behavior.

 

I imagine there are many areas of life where this principle could be applied.  Is there commonly quarreling in your home, either between spouses or between parents & children?  friendsPerhaps positive or loving speech from one person will beget further positive speech from others.  Does your life lack motivation or direction or even a belief in yourself?  There is something to be said for self-affirmations, talking about good in order to promote good.  Good begets good.  Do you have a difficult neighbor who makes life hard for you or a family member?  If you can start by being a good neighbor, the chances are high it will beget positive results.  
My toddlers often miss naps or don’t sleep well and we all get to live with the super-fun results of that, but it doesn’t have to be compounded by reacting badly to it.  When their screaming gets out of control I’ve found the most effective solution: I hold out my arms and ask if they need a hug.  It doesn’t necessarily work 100% but the majority of the time they will fall into my arms and the tantrum stops instantaneously.  Yes, I’m embarrassed to admit that sometimes I exacerbate the problem with my frustration, but when I can remember that good behavior begets good behavior I always come away pleased with the results (even if those results are just that I stayed patient during a tantrum.)  Whether interacting with work colleagues, peers at school, family members, even facing public detractors, remember that sleep begets sleep…and positive behavior begets positive behavior.  And when tantrums cease, either with toddlers or adults, everyone is happy.

Working with Unreasonable People?

In Education, Families, Free Speech, Marriage, Values on May 20, 2016 at 9:39 am

Paula S. Butterfieldby Annalise Jarman

You have probably heard that every family has at least one crazy person, and if you don’t think your family has one, it’s probably you, right? The saying makes me laugh, but it’s kind of true. At the very least, we will all have to work with someone at some point who we feel is being incredibly unreasonable. Luckily, we live in the Information Age, and there is information out there that can help.

Earlier this month I gathered some such information as I attended a conference called Reasoning with Unreasonable People: Focus on Disorders of Emotional Regulation. The event was put on by the Institute for Brain Potential and Paula S. Butterfield, PhD presented. It was great information, both informative and relevant.

Here are a few main points from the conference:

1. Defining “unreasonable people”

“Unreasonable people” does not include personalities that simply clash with our own, nor does it include everyone who disagrees with you, nor everyone who annoys you. Instead, unreasonable people have some specific characteristics. These characteristics include distorted, negative thinking, an inability to empathize, and incapacity to self-reflect or to learn from experience, an extreme intolerance for negative feedback, a refusal to take responsibility for any unintended consequences of their behavior, and a history of troubled relationships. Doctor Butterfield went on to explain that these people are often blind to the effect that their behavior has on others, and that while they know in their heads that other people have perspectives different from their own, those perspectives are a “magic mystery land” to these people. As a result, they often talk and act as if the way they see things is the only truth out there.

2. Remembering that we cannot control anyone except ourselves

Doctor Butterfield emphasized that the conference was not about changing these people. No one can change who is not willing to do so, and people with the characteristics listed above are usually unwilling to change. One thing we can do, however, is train ourselves to remain calm when we find ourselves in conflict with these people. Ways to remain calm include understanding and taking care of ourselves, meditating, using mindfulness practices regularly as well as in moments of conflict, and mentally distancing ourselves from the situation enough that we don’t take any attacks from the unreasonable person personally.

3. Finding ways to understand the unreasonable person better 

Understanding people helps us to be patient with them and to work with them. Here are some tips on how to keep your mind open to others’ perspectives:

  • Trade judgement for curiosity
  • Judgment is determining whether something (i.e. an idea or an action) is good or bad. Despite what popular culture tells us, judgements are sometimes necessary. However, if you can set aside judgement while talking with people, and instead simply foster the desire to understand what they think and how they see things, that can help your communication with an unreasonable person (and with reasonable people too, really) in a tremendous way.
  • Assume their intentions are good.  As the presenter put it, “We are all heroes in our own stories”. One suggestion she made was to write down the unreasonable person’s story in a way that makes them the hero. The purpose of this exercise is to help you cognitively reframe the situation and help you understand some possible reasons for their actions.
  • Know that unreasonable people are often driven by a basic fear. This might be a fear such as being dominated, being inferior, being abandoned, being ignored, or being imperfect.  These are also the basic fears behind several personality disorders (Antisocial, Narcissism, and  Borderline personality disorders, among others).

4. Learning to keep our conversations functional 

Doctor Butterfield taught us a little process to help keep things functional when conversing with unreasonable people about issues that may lead to conflict. First, set any boundaries that you’ve been needing to set with the person early on in the conversation. Then, listen to their side with Empathy, Attention, and Respect (EAR). If you would like to offer your own input or perspective, ask for permission first and proceed only if permission is granted. If you sincerely change your mind on any boundaries you have set, that is fine, but remember that it is good to hold your ground when it comes to the boundaries and values that are really important to you.

5. Practice applying these concepts

Doctor Butterfield also emphasized that while these concepts may be easy to understand, they are very difficult to apply! They take a lot of practice. She recommended determining what kind of person we would like to be, and then thinking of conflicts with unreasonable people as opportunities to practice becoming that type of person.

The conference was six hours long, so as you might imagine, this is a very, very high-level overview of the information presented. I have skipped over large sections of information, and some of the information I have reorganized in order to simplify and condense it. The content, however, is all from Doctor Butterfield’s conference. If you get the chance to attend one of her conferences, I would recommend it. I thought the information was both interesting and useful. I’m glad I took the opportunity to attend.

Give me that Old Time Religion

In Abstinence, Birth Rate, Child Abuse, Child Development, Choice, Cohabitation, Divorce, Domestic Violence, Families, father, Freedom, Marriage, motherhood, Parenting, Pornography, Religion, Religious Freedom, Sanctity of Life, Sexual Freedom, Single Mothers, Values on May 19, 2016 at 5:32 am
Sturbuck Community Church. Address: 113 Front St. Starbuck, Washington 99359. Taken by Steven Pavlov.

by Mekelle Tenney

The other day my mom and I came across an old applique pattern from 1905. The pattern was for dish clothes and there was a girl performing a different chore for each day of the week. One day was washing, one was ironing, another dusting and so on. What caught my attention was Sunday. There was no house work for Sunday the pattern simply showed a girl going to church. The book shared a little bit of background on each pattern and on this particular one it said that this was the typical household schedule. I couldn’t help but think how things have changed. A product that suggested the average household went to church on Sunday would cause great problems today. Social media would explode with angry posts and tweets from people who were hurt, offended, and emotionally injured by such an insensitive product. We would see hundreds of blogs written about it and eventually several lawsuits.

In the past several decades our society has turned hostile towards religion. Special interest groups see it as a threat to what they believe is progress. More and more religious liberties are taking a back seat to the bigoted agenda of small minority groups. There was a time when society believed in marriages that last, spouses who were faithful, men who didn’t feed their selfish desires with degenerate pornography, and women who wanted to be mothers. We understood that children need a father and a mother and that gender is biological and nonnegotiable. We knew that there is right and there is wrong and they are nonnegotiable as well. Many will argue that we are fine without religion. The truth is society benefits from religion, society needs religion. The following information comes from a report published by the Heritage foundation. It offers strong support for the benefits of and need for religion.

  • Numerous sociological studies have shown that valuing Religion and regularly practicing it are associated with greater marital stability, higher levels of marital satisfaction, and an increased likelihood that an individual will be inclined to marry.
  • Couples who acknowledge a divine purpose in their marriage are more likely to collaborate, to have greater marital adjustment, and to perceive more benefits from marriage and are less likely to use aggression or to come to a stalemate in their disagreements.
  • Earlier research found that couples whose marriages lasted 30 years or more reported older married couplethat their faith helped them to deal with difficult times, was a source of moral guidance in making decisions and dealing with conflict, and encouraged them to maintain their commitment to their marriages.
  • Religious attendance is the most important predictor of marital stability.
  • During the 1980s and 1990s, when religious practice decreased overall,the association between regular religious attendance and marital stability became even more apparent. Those who had ceased religious practice divorced 2.5 times more frequently than those who continued to attend religious services
  • Compared with mothers who did not consider Religion important, those who deemed Religion to be very important rated their relationship with their child significantly higher.
  • Greater religious practice of fathers is associated with better relationships with their
    Little Girl Helping Father with His Tie ca. 2003

    Little Girl Helping Father with His Tie ca. 2003

    children, higher expectations for good relationships in the future, a greater investment in their relationships with their children, a greater sense of obligation to stay in regular contact with their children, and a greater likelihood of supporting their children and grandchildren.

  • For example, men who attended religious services at least weekly were more than 50 percent less likely to commit an act of violence against their partners than were peers who attended only once a year or less.
  • Compared with those who viewed themselves as being “very religious,” those who were “not at all religious” were far more likely to bear a child out of wedlock (among whites, three times as likely; among Hispanics, 2.5 times as likely; and among blacks, twice as likely).
  • Individuals with higher levels of religious involvement have lower rates of abuse and addiction and are more likely to find long-lasting success if they ever struggled with any of these behaviors.

These are just a few of the many findings listed in the report. What is scary about our world today is that many will argue that these are not benefits, they are an outdated way of life. And that stability in marriages, families, and individual behavior does not matter. We are stuck in a grey zone where everything goes, good and bad are objective, and society is shaped by selfish individual desires. We need religion to get us out of the grey and back to right and wrong, good and bad. The decisions that our society is making right now will only harm families and individuals. Maybe it’s time we gave that “old time religion” a try.

Watch Therefore…

In Child Development, Choice, Families, father, Freedom, Marriage, motherhood, Parenting, Religion, Values on May 9, 2016 at 7:59 am

children praying at homeby Erin Weist

This morning my husband made an interesting observation.  We were busy in the bustle of trying to get ready to leave the house to go to church (someday I’m sure I’ll understand why this is such a Herculean effort that takes an inordinate amount of time!) and reminding our children to stay on task and get ready before they got distracted with other play.  Of course, as children sometimes do, they ignored our encouragement so that when it was time to leave they ran disheveled from their play still needing to find their shoes, ask for help untying their laces, comb their hair, find their jackets, find the socks of the little ones, etc.  Obviously it was time to leave and we couldn’t leave as a family because they had left things undone.  We all stayed together and found our missing items, which, as usual, made us late to church.  

 

Sometimes this happens on other days when a little one is promised a trip to the store with mom or dad, but their preparation is put off; they are too busy playing to find their shoes or jacket or money or whatever it is they need, but in this case they find themselves left behind because they weren’t ready.  My husband wisely observed that this is like our Christian faith, the belief that Christ will return to earth and, as He says in Matthew: “But as the days of (Noah)… so shall also the coming of the Son of man be… they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage… and knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.  Then shall two be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left.  Two women shall be grinding at the mill; the one shall be taken, and the other left.” (Matt. 24:37-41)  Basically my husband was saying we needed to remember to not be like our children and be busy doing what God asks instead of waiting until it is too late.

 

It made me think of other things in my life that I am always putting off until later.  I really need to finish this Netflix series, then I’ll work on writing that novel.  Or, I know I need to reach out and get to know this neighbor but there’s never a good time, I’ll try this weekend.  Or how about I know there are refugees needing assistance but I’m too busy right now, I’ll look into it next month.Parenting, help with school  And one I’m sure we’ve all done, Saving for retirement is super important, we’re putting a little away, we’ll take care of that when things settle down for us financially.  What I realized when I looked at our kids playing the morning away instead of being prepared is that later, or next week or next month never seem to come, they just get pushed out exponentially.  Later, next week, next month or next year turn into nothing more than excuses to delay what we KNOW we should be doing.  And ultimately, in one way or another, a reckoning comes, when it’s go-time and we’re not ready.  So what things are you delaying that could ultimately be too late?  Preparing for a rainy day?  You could lose your job next week, what would you do?  Mending a relationship?  Providing restitution for someone you’ve wronged?  Just telling someone ‘I love you’ because you know you need to say it?  
Everyone has something they delay, I have a laundry list of them, but watching my kids is teaching me to work first and be prepared.  (They’re also teaching me to play more because they get so much more joy out of life just by being and moving and experiencing, but that’s a post for another day.)  I don’t want to put something important off only to find I’ve wasted time with things I thought made me happy when what will really make me happy is to be ready: to mend that relationship, to say ‘I love you,’ to save for a rainy day, to help my community.  Even though I instinctively fight against it, WORKING actually makes me happy, it’s a universal principle.  And thank goodness it’s not too late… right???

Do You Have on Your Perspectacles?

In Child Development, Choice, Families, Marriage, motherhood, Parenting, Religion, Values on May 2, 2016 at 7:17 am

spectaclesby Erin Weist

I have 5 young children and my life revolves around them.  It is a beautiful, wonderful life that I never even imagined and I am continually struck by these blessings in my life.  But sometimes, it’s hard.  Sometimes, it’s stressful.  Sometimes (ok, most of the time) it’s loud and chaotic.  And those times I need to remember to put on my perspectacles.  I don’t remember where I first heard this term floating around the internet (like this blog post here) but I love it.  Spectacles is a colloquial word we use to refer to eyeglasses.  People need spectacles because their vision is flawed.  They have a fault which, when corrected, allows them to better navigate the world.  Perspectacles refers to “perspective spectacles,” a metaphorical vision correction that changes one’s perspective or outlook on life, allowing for smoother, happier navigation through a tough world.  Sometimes being a mother requires this type of perspective correction.

 

Often, when I look at my children, I only see what needs to be done.  Chores need to be done, kids need to learn certain principles, faults need correcting, character needs sculpting…and so I focus on the faults in order to improve them.  It can be overwhelming, to say the least.  But putting on my perspectacles usually comes in the form of viewing my children from another person’s point of view.  If I look at them without looking at how far we still have to go and instead look at how far they’ve come I am bewildered at their maturity, their learning, their manners, their cuteness and their light.  They shine like fireflies in the dark!

 

How much is life like this?  Do you look at a neighborhood full of faulty people who need to learn lessons?  Do you look at your job with despair or disdain?  Do you look at all of the fixing needed to be done on your house, yard, marriage, family, career, love life, or faith and only see how far there is still to go?  Try putting on your perspectacles!  You have neighbors, a potential support system, maybe you’ll be the one to pull them together.  You have a job, a way to support yourself on a daily basis.  You have a house or apartment with a space to live where you can have a refuge from the world.  

 

And some reading this may not have those things, but you can still look with perspectacles on the beauty of the world God created for you, that He knows your name and loves you more than you can imagine.  You have learned so much in your short time on earth and have come so far!  If you were looking at yourself or your life from someone else’s perspective, or from yourself 5, 10, or 20 years ago, you would probably see more positively.

 

Having an appreciative perspective is a way of expressing gratitude, of acknowledging progress and blessings in your life.  If you are feeling overwhelmed or you can’t quite keep a grasp on what or why you love, grab some perspectacles and you’ll realize how good things really are.

SEX sells– are YOU buying?

In Abstinence, Child Development, Choice, Cohabitation, Divorce, Education, Families, Marriage, Media, Parental Rights, Parenting, Planned Parenthood, Pornography, Schools, Sex Education, Sexual Freedom, Technology, Values on April 21, 2016 at 10:46 am

reforming-sexby Mekelle Tenney

What happened to your standards America? What happened to your morality? I am both amazed and disgusted at our entertainment today. Amazed that we can’t find anything other than sex to write and joke about and disgusted that we are entertained by it. Whenever I have the radio on I have to flip through five or six stations before I can find a song that isn’t about sex. Of course there is the occasional song about a woman’s “smokin hot body” or about the abusive cheating boyfriend. TV is the same way. You can hardly find a comedy that doesn’t use sex as the main source of its humor. And of course it doesn’t stop there.

We use sex to sell everything from cars to dog food to hamburgers. You might say that we have turned it into nothing more than a selling point for entertainment and marketing. But we have done a lot more than that. We have normalized and rationalized immorality and infidelity. We no longer expect high moral standards from our leaders or our families. In our society premarital sex is acceptable. Teenage sex is also acceptable. I would argue that it is even encouraged. Kids go to school and their health teachers tell them “everyone is doing it”.

Government funded organizations such as Planned Parenthood encourage teens to explore their sexuality and to learn what feels good through masturbation. They teach teens that as long as they use protection it’s okay and perfectly natural. Natural? Really? Let’s look at some of the results of our corrupt morality.

  • Every year 1,600,000 children are born to unwed mothers (that is 40% of all live births in America)
  • In 56% of divorce cases infidelity is cited as a major cause
  • Every second 28,258 people are viewing pornography
  • Every minute $184,500 is spent on pornography
  • 38% of adults say that pornography is morally acceptable
  • Every day there are 116,000 internet searches for child pornography
  • 46% of high school students admit to having sex at least once
  • More than half of all American’s will have an STD at least once in their life

This is not natural.  This is obsessive and destructive. There is nothing natural about people who allow their obsessions to destroy their health and their family.

The callous attitude toward morality in our society must change. I believe that the influence of the family will have the most powerful effect for change. We need to stop allowing the media and public schools to set the standard for morality in America. Our children’s understanding of physical intimacy and morality is our responsibility. We can reverse the moral decay of America simply by choosing to teach our children. The standard of morality in America should be set and protected by the family.

Don’t Want Family? Fine. Just Deal With Loneliness Instead.

In Birth Rate, Child Development, Choice, Demographic Decline, Elder Care, Families, Family Planning, Freedom, Grandparents, Health Care, Marriage, motherhood, Parenting, Population Control, Values on April 20, 2016 at 7:18 am

man sadby Elise Ellsworth

Family life can be a burden. A proliferation of more articles have been written about those who forego marriage in favor of unconnected lifestyles: “I Just Don’t Want a Child.” “The Child-free Life.” “10 Reasons You Don’t Have to Get Married.” “Why Marriage is a Raw Deal for Men.” And many, many more.

The advantages of not having a family or of limiting one’s family life have been well-documented: Time. Lots of uncluttered free time. Time to devote to career. Time to devote to personal advancement. And even time to devote to other noble causes not related to family. The deforestation of the planet. AIDS in Africa. And Money. Money to travel. Money to buy nicer food. Money to buy nicer clothing. A nicer home. A nicer car. And no one to mess up the clothing, the home, and the car once you have them.

Am I the only person who has noticed the big, huge elephant in the room. Don’t all of these lifestyles sound extremely lonely? Yes, lonely?

When I was younger my mom would take us to nursing homes to visit an “adopted Grandma” or “Grandpa” at Christmas time. These were people who had no one else to visit them to whom we would bring treats and a little Christmas cheer. My husband and I have over the years done similar visits with our own children. And I can tell you that our children are the most welcome visitors ever. Ever. They are loved, doted on, given gifts of candy, toys, anything that these people have, they share. These lonely, elderly people love having our children around. And they are so proud to have them there.

Interestingly, the same magazine to publish “The Childfree Life” has more recently published an article entitled “Why Loneliness May be the Next Big Public Health Issue.” The article laments the fact that “more and more people are living alone than ever before.” The author points out that lonely people suffer from a variety of illnesses and have an increased mortality risk of 29 to 32 percent.   And then the solution that the article gives? Policy changes. Re-thinking the way neighborhoods are designed.man alone

Hmmm. I could think of a solution that has been proven over centuries to yield proven and real results in the loneliness problem. Family.

Yep, it’s a little bit messy. You are going to have to work with in-laws and out-laws and a number of other not-so perfect people according to you. And dirty carpets. And sick kids and big arguments. And your home, your life, and your body are never going to look quite like the magazine covers. And it’s true that you may never ever have the picture perfect family you always wanted. That’s true for all of us. But try for family. Invest in family. Work at family.

It was C.S. Lewis who once reminded us:Love anything, and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly be broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must give your heart to no one, not even to an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements; lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket – safe, dark, motionless, airless – it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, and irredeemable.”

family forgivenessYes, family is inconvenient, it is difficult, it is costly. But it is deliciously, deliciously alive. It is living, breathing, noisy, full of love, full of anger, full of tragedy, full of talking and breathing and messes and hugs and ups and downs. It is full. Not lonely. Family life is full. Full. Full. And isn’t that delicious fullness what we really really want? You decide.

 

Families are Struggling–Symptoms are Worldwide

In Abstinence, Birth Rate, Child Development, Cohabitation, Demographic Decline, Divorce, Families, Marriage, Media, Parenting, Pornography, Religion, Sexual Freedom, Values on April 15, 2016 at 9:25 am

families around the worldThe following is taken from the UFI Alert dated April 6, 2016.

http://unitedfamilies.org/default.asp?contentID=773

The following questions were asked a German couple who are well acquainted with what is happening to family values in Germany/Austria and Switzerland. Reading their responses to the following questions, it is apparent that families throughout the world are facing the same struggles.  Because these issues are so prevalent in our culture have we become numb to them?   What can we be doing to help our spouses, children and grandchildren to stand strong against the forces that would destroy our families.


Q – What are some of the biggest problems families are facing in Switzerland?
•    The politically-correct view of our society on divorce as something that is a pretty normal part of life in relationships;
•    Occupational and financial prosperity as key success indicators;
•    The rapid, even dramatic loss of religious interest and faith in God in our society in the past couple of years/decades.
Technology.jpg•    The biggest problems deal with the consequences of digital media usage (focus/distraction/addiction; anytime/anyplace availability, pornography everywhere, easy access, gaming habits/time consumption, continuing interaction with former friends/partners; media usage by children/youth and unprepared, overwhelmed parents). 

 

Perception of people and relationships as well as rhythms in life change dramatically (e.g., last thing in the evening and first thing in the morning is a cooperative computer game and not the spouse, children, etc.).

Q – Are parents having fewer children?
•    In the past 5 years the birth rate has been rather stable with on the average 1.5 children, with 20% of those stemming from unwed mothers (Switzerland). It has to be added that this considers the childbirth rate of foreigners as well, which is often higher than the one of Swiss couples. For many young couples the goal is two children at most.

Q – Do many couples live together without getting married?
•    Here, marriage definitely is not the standard “framework” for intimate relationships; cohabitation is mostly not even a topic anymore. It increasingly becomes the generally accepted and expected norm, with couples choosing marriage some time later in life or not at all (with less and less legal/fiscal reasons for marriage, if at all; in Switzerland it is fiscally more attractive to cohabit). The average marriage age is 30 – 31 in Switzerland.

Q – Is pornography impacting families?
•    Yes, young couples as well as older relationships. Although pornography is mostly not viewed as a “bad thing” in the Swiss public, people are slowly but surely starting to see that it can still be (and often is) destructive for people and in relationships. But many still live in denial and judge pornography “politically correct” as something that just has to be dealt with wisely, as is the case with legal drugs such as alcohol and tobacco (publicly widely accepted vices here in our area).

We appreciate the Gappmaiers for teaming up with United Families International, and we look forward to continuing to work together to strengthen families.

Importance of Rituals

In Child Development, Families, father, Grandparents, Marriage, motherhood, Parenting, Values on April 11, 2016 at 7:50 am

family birthdayby Keely Tanner

Is there a birthday, an anniversary or a meaningful day coming up between you and your significant other? Some of us look forward to these celebrations.  But if the truth were made know, we would realize that there are many who dread them!  Why?  Perhaps because of expectations not realized? Too often time, creativity, or financial restraints make it difficult to meet the expectations of a loved one? These celebrations are not intended to make anyone’s life miserable. In fact there is more meaning behind the reason we have celebrations?  They are ritualistic.  And there is purpose in rituals.

What defines a ritual?

First, it needs to be repeated.

Second, it needs to be coordinated.

And finally it needs to be significant to both parties.

If you have an event or something that is reoccurring in your dating, marriage or family, this is a ritual. Rituals have meaning.  Rituals have the power to bond couples and families emotionally.  But the main thing to remember is that it needs to be meaningful to both parties, or there is little value to the effort.

If you are one of those people who just can’t seem to catch the vision of weekly, monthly and annual “ritualistic” celebrations, choose to make an attitude change. These rituals are important events that are supposed to happen in relationships. In the long run, these rituals will benefit you and your loved ones. Make the effort. Get your creative juices flowing…or do as I do, and get ideas from others who seem to thrive on such creativity.  Surprisingly many of the most meaningful rituals just seem to evolve. For those that take more thought or research, it’s surprising how creativity doesn’t need a big price tag.

 

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