Thursday, July 16, 2015

Family in Crisis, That Only Grows Older

There are so many different types of families; traditional, step families, blended families, etc. When there is trouble in the family, it causes a strain on everyone. Crisis within the family can be especially hard on the children. Life brings many challenges with it and we must be willing to make the best of it. The only way to stop a family crisis that just keeps getting worse is to become a transitional character. This is defined as one who, in a single generation, changes the entire course of a lineage. This person can be the one to piece the family back together and the one to make the best of a bad situation. 

Thursday, July 9, 2015

We May Be a Thousand Miles Apart, But I'll Be With You Wherever You Are

What is the purpose behind parenting? As Michael Popkin mentioned that the purpose of parenting is, "To protect and prepare children to survive and thrive in the world in which they will live." This is a very important task, and a difficult on at that. After this week in class I've gained such a greater appreciation for my own parents. I have seen how hard they have worked for my family.

One of the main things that I have been reminded of this week was to parent your children with love. We live in a chaotic world today. We don't need more chaos in this world. As the Beetles said, "All you need is love." We shouldn't restrict our children from doing something just because we 'said so'. If you are going to say no, have a logical reason for it. In class we learned that the more that parents try to control their children, the less they will be able to influence them for good. We should give our children a choice in our decisions. This will show them that you are still the parent, but they still have some say in what is going on.

My appreciation for my own parents has grown so much, especially since I came to college. I know that they are always there for me. College isn't easy. Knowing that I can call them whenever I need is so comforting and I am extremely grateful for that.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Go Hard When the Going's Tough

Name a few aspects that you remember about your dad. My dad is funny, caring, laid back, smart, but, most of all, he is such a hard worker. My dad has this shirt that says "Mr. Fix It" on it, and that definitely suits him. He always was working on something around the house. I learned the value of working hard from him.
 In class we talked about a lot of different ways to teach good work ethic to your children. Some include:
-As a parent, work/ do the chores with your children
-Encourage your children
-Don't micromanage your children
-Show that money isn't related to work 
I have seen my parents model these for me in my life. They taught me the value of hard work. I have had to work for the things that I have, and I am grateful for that. It has helped me to grow up and see the importance of working and saving money. 

Thursday, June 25, 2015

It's So Easy To Communicate, How Come You're Not Hearin' Me?

We live in a world that is filled with technology. This can be a blessing and a curse. There are so many great things that have come from technology. It can be very detriment though; especially to our relationships. How many times have you been talking to a friend and then noticed that they weren't paying attention because they had their attention toward their phone? I'm pretty sure everyone has been through this situation. I don't know about you but I get so aggravated when this happens. I feel like the youth of today need to pay more attention to the people that are physically there with them. We get so caught up in how many Facebook friends we have that we forget who our real friends are. There was a very popular video about this very topic a few years that really opened up my eyes.It is entitled Look Up
Look Up
This shows the power of face to face relationships. So many things we say can be misinterpreted because of technology. An interesting fact that we learned in class is that when we text we lose 86% of communication. When you text, you lose the tone of your comment and the non-verbal gestures you send. These are both responsible for 86% of our communication.Technology can ruin our relationships, even in our family. When you are spending time with your families, put down your phone and put your computer away. Turn off the TV and play a game or just talk with one another. You can build such a strong relationship when you try you put effort into your face to face relationships.    

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Starting Right Now I'll Be Strong...Because I've Still Got a Lot of Fight Left In Me

Every family goes through so many different experiences; some good and some bad. Crisis within the family can bring unwanted stress that can potentially be detrimental. I have always had the philosophy that everything happens for a reason. We might not know why something is happening, but there is a reason for it. As time goes on, we may finally see why we went through that trial. With other trials, we may never find out why it happened. 
I remember when I was in high school my family was very stressed at the potential of my dad losing his job. My mom was working, but it would have been harder to get by with just her salary. He ended up not losing his job, but a few years later he decided to retire and peruse teaching. This was a big change for my family, because now we had to live off my mom's salary, while my dad went to school to get a teaching license. During that time I remember noticing several differences within our home, and a little more caution on financial decisions. This is when you need to stop and think, "Is this really worth stressing over?". I believe that life is a beautiful thing and we need to make the best of what we have. In that time of financial strain my family could have looked at it with a negative attitude, but they decided not to. Today I see all the good that has come out of this drastic change. My dad is working on becoming a math or science teacher. This is wonderful news for the school he is teaching at, because their math and science departments need work. I went to that high school and the only reason I passed my junior year math class is because of my dad. He is such a great teacher and he will be such a wonderful addition to the high school. Another positive aspect that I've seen is that it has brought him and my little brother even closer. My family has always been close to start off with, but it seems like the two have bonded over science projects. I will call over the weekend and hear about all the cool science projects they built together. Everything in our lives happens for a reason, and we have the power to decide how we are going to view a certain trial.  
My mind revolves around song lyrics (If you haven't been able to tell yet). A great song about fighting and overcoming trials is Fight Song by Rachel Platten. It shows that if you have the dedication, you can overcome anything.
Fight Song    

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Take My Heart, But Please Don't Break It

Fidelity...what does it mean? In class we came up with a few synonyms; faithfulness, loyalty, and consistency. Fidelity in marriage is such a vital aspect. Your spouse should be your number one, your best friend, your world! In Genesis 2:24 it says that man should cleave unto his wife, and nothing else. Does this mean that if you are faithful in your marriage, everything will be peachy? Definitely not, but take a look around you; what is perfect? The best marriages have flaws; you have to work together with your spouse to accept your flaws and try to improve them. My teacher Michael Williams, a marriage family therapist, gave us some valuable advice during class; "Go to great, great lengths to protect your marriage." This is your soulmate; someone who you should love! You must remember to be mindful. Put yourself in their shoes when things go wrong. Be engaged in their life and in your conversations with them. Remember why you decided to marry your sweetheart in the first place. Show them your love!

Friday, May 29, 2015

What is Love? Baby Don't Hurt Me!

What is love? How would you define it? It is one of those words we use a lot, but find it hard to define. Love to me is when your liking for someone or something grows into a stronger emotion. How do we begin to love a certain individual? The most common way of falling in love is to start dating. Dating standards have changed so much throughout history. Today a date is usually defined as going out with someone you have an interest in. The date is usually planned and paid for. If you get to know each other and the date goes well, you usually end up going on another date. How do you get to know someone? We learned in class that is is a combination of time spent together, the amount of talking you do, and how often you are together. As you get to know someone better, you might tend to begin to have stronger feelings for them; maybe even love!

Sunday, May 17, 2015

We Are One!

Upper class, lower class, different cultures.... what do these all have in common? A lot more than you would probably think! Take different cultures for example. There are so many different customs and traditions in today's world. What can be a similarity between all of these you ask? Easy, everyone has their own culture, traditions, or customs. That's what makes this world so exciting! How boring would it be to travel to foreign places and experience the exact same customs everywhere you went? Does this mean that certain cultures or even classes are better than one another? The answer is a resounding no! Despite a few cultures that are clearly inhumane and not civil, all cultures should be treated with equal respect. Just because someone is different from you doesn't mean that you are superior to them. It makes me think of the second Lion King movie where Simba is singing to Kiara and he states, "We are one, you and I, We are like the earth and sky, One family under the sun..." We all are equal and we should respect different cultures.

Saturday, May 9, 2015

You Raise Me Up

We've all heard the phrase, "A chain is only as strong as its weakest link". Did you ever think to apply it to families? Families are a delicate system of parts that work together. If one of the parts decides to not do its task, the whole system can come crashing down. It's like a car; it runs smoothly and properly when all the pieces are working correctly. Once one part stops working, it takes its toll on the car and it can be catastrophic! We can help prevent these catastrophes in our homes by simply being aware. If you see a family member struggling, go out of your way to raise their spirits. Try to see what's wrong with them or just simply try to brighten their day. Khalil Gibran brings up an interesting insight when he states, "You have been told that, even like a chain, you are as weak as your weakest link. This is but half the truth. You are also as strong as your strongest link. To measure you by your smallest deed is to reckon the power of ocean by the frailty of its foam. To judge you by your failures is to cast blame upon the seasons for their inconstancy." We need to do all we can to be sure all the links in our families are as strong as they can be!

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Who Needs Kids, Right? Oh Wait... We Do!

Think back to a time when you were in grade school and a friend found out you were crushing on a cute kid in your class. Their natural reaction was to sing the rhyme, "(Name) and (Name), sitting in a tree. K-I-S-S-I-N-G! First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes a baby in a baby carriage." Let's focus on the last part of the rhyme; then comes baby! When you were younger did you ever have an ideal number of kids you wanted? I come from a larger family, and so I've always wanted a bigger family. I grew up hearing that the population is growing exponentially, and if it continues to rise like this, then the world will run out of resources. This rumor needs to be put to rest!

Yes, it is true that the population is growing at an exponential rate; for now. Recently, parents have been having few and fewer children, yet the population keeps rising. How is this possible? Modern medicine! Thanks to the efforts of modern medicine and science, elderly people are living longer. As wonderful as this is, it creates a major issue. With less people being born, and more people living longer, it will eventually cause a dramatic decrease in the world's population. This issue brings along a lot more problems with it. One major one is social security. Who is supposed to support social security, when we have more elderly people than younger working citizens? In order to maintain a population (fertility rate), couples need to have an average of 2.13 children. The United States averages around 2.01 children ( This doesn't seem like a huge problem, but in other countries (whose rates are significantly lower than the needed 2.13 children) they will  suffer from a major decrease in their population. If the fertility rate doesn't increase, those countries will eventually run out of people!

Interesting fact: If every couple decided to have only one child, you would have no extended family within four generations. What if your parents and grandparent die? You'd be all alone. A very depressing thought, huh? It reminds me of the scene in Megamind when he has defeated Metro Man and supposedly has everything he ever wanted. With nobody else to try and defeat him, he finds himself lonely and wanting a new challenge. Megamind asks, "Without him [Metro Man], what's the point? Nothing!". 
Without any family, what's the point? Children are essential to our lives and our futures. It is a very personal decision that couples need to discuss together. Being able to have children is a beautiful gift, don't squander it!

“Making the decision to have a child - it's momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking outside your body”- Elizabeth Stone

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Tuesday, April 21, 2015

A Little About Me

Hello! My name is Cyan Reuel and I am a sophomore at Brigham Young University-Idaho. I am a child development major and I plan to become a child life specialist when I graduate. I have created this blog for my family relations course to share insights and thoughts about marriage and the family life. Hope you enjoy!