Read the latest articles from First Things First below:
"Life is Short... Have an Affair!"
That is the tag line for Ashley Madison, a website encouraging married people to have an affair. If you haven't been living under a rock, you know that more than 300,000 people connected to Ashley Madison have been exposed by hackers. Media stories abound, and many of the reporters end their story with a statement like, "Divorce lawyers better get ready for a steep increase in business."
A focus group of millennial women who were currently living with their boyfriends were recently interviewed regarding their relationship, their thoughts about marriage and how cohabitation differs from marriage.
Youth sports can be a wonderful thing. Learning how to take instruction, be a team player, build basic motor skills, win and lose with grace and have fun in the process are a valuable part of a child's growth and development.
Any participant in youth sports, however, also knows there is a downside — and most of the time it isn't the teammates; it's "that parent."
The second week of August means there are many transitions in the making. Kindergartners are attending school for the first time. Last year's fifth-graders are headed to middle school. Eighth-graders who were at the top of the pecking order are moving on to high school and essentially are now the little fish in the big pond. Then there are the seniors, some of whom cannot wait for graduation, while others want to take their sweet time getting there.
Shaunti Feldhahn is a Harvard-educated analyst who wants to enable men and women to have healthy, long-lasting marriages. Feldhahn's research found that in most cases, relationship problems happen when a husband and wife care deeply for each other and are trying really hard, but often in the wrong areas.
July 16, 2015 is a day people in Chattanooga and beyond are not likely forget. It's the day a single gunman opened fire on unarmed military personnel at two different locations; five died.
Most people live as if tomorrow will come for sure. But what if something tragic happened and you were no longer here? Who would inherit your house, your collectibles that have been handed down from one generation to the next or your pictures?
Among the character qualities most parents try to instill in their children, telling the truth is close to the top of the list because they know that dishonesty at any level creates an atmosphere of mistrust within relationships. Yet those same parents who are talking about the importance of telling the truth will turn right around and be dishonest in front of their children.
The Peters family was returning from Yellowstone National Park when their dad spotted some grizzly bears playing by the roadside. Dad decided to stop to watch and get some pictures. One of the bears wandered over to a car and began sniffing, then it crossed the road and came straight for the Peters’ car. The bear sniffed, tried to climb up on the hood and pawed at the windows.
Perhaps after reading the last two weeks’ columns, you believe that you or someone you love is addicted to pornography. While the temptation may be great to keep it quiet, there are resources available to help with recovery.
The U.S. Justice Department believes that nine out of 10 children between 8 and 16 years old have been exposed to porn online. The porn industry preys on young people, understanding the brain’s power and the challenges of forgetting these images once they have been seen.
Many men understand that porn is costing them all they have – in many instances their career and their marriage – but they can’t quit. One man told his counselor he spent $75,000 in one month viewing porn.
Mark Laaser, author of "The Pornography Trap," says research shows that the endorphins released in the brain while looking at pornography are 200 times more potent than morphine and more addictive than cocaine. Because images are stored in the brain and can be recalled at any moment, researchers believe porn addiction may be harder to break than a heroin addiction.
You might be surprised to learn that about 90 percent of child sexual abuse victims know their abuser. In case you have been led to believe that child sexual abusers look like shady characters, think again.
With all that summer brings, parents must be on their toes when it comes to keeping children safe. Whether they are home alone, playing sports, swimming at the pool or lake, gaming or just hanging around the neighborhood with friends, in seconds a family’s world can turn upside down forever.
Young people look forward to Memorial Day because it means the end of school. Many adults eagerly anticipate a long weekend. Characterized as the unofficial kickoff of summer, people celebrate the day with cookouts and pool openings. But what is the real meaning behind Memorial Day and how can families celebrate in a meaningful way?
Last week’s column told of a married couple’s struggle with alcohol and its impact on their marriage. The column ended with Ellen resolving to find David (names changed to protect their privacy), who was drinking heavily, had quit his job and left town. She was going to bring him home and move forward with divorce.
When David and Ellen* married, Ellen never suspected David might be an alcoholic.
“We had a large time with friends and family,” Ellen says. “I knew he drank a lot, but it didn’t cause issues for us. I never felt unsafe. My life looked very normal to everyone around us. David was a good provider and the good far outweighed the bad in our marriage.”
Just say the word boundaries and watch what happens to people’s faces. Some immediately become suspicious and negative while others believe they are a good thing. Why does this word elicit such opposing responses?
If you currently have a teenager, you probably have some idea about the prom. Things have definitely changed over the last few years. It used to be that someone casually asked if you would like to go to prom. More than likely you said yes, and the search began for the perfect dress. The day of prom, friends would gather at somebody’s house to get ready. Dates arrived, pictures were taken in the front yard, and off everybody went to prom.
“There are lots of sides to the empty nest that are complicated,” said psychologist, Dr. Susan Hickman. “Many experience depression, feelings of sadness, anxiety, identity crisis and significant grief. I remember when our daughter loaded up the van and headed to Oregon. I sat on the curb and sobbed. I was inconsolable for several days.”
Anybody with children has probably thought to themselves, “I can’t wait until they are older and the parenting gets easier.” However, those currently parenting tweens and teens might have a few words to say about the idea of things being easier as the tribe gets older.
Popular talk shows imply that everybody intentionally cheats in marriage.
“In reality, most people don’t cheat,” says Kristina Coop Gordon, co-author of Getting Past the Affair. “Based on research, approximately 40 percent of married people cheat on their spouse. Studies indicate the person most likely to cheat is someone who is dissatisfied with their relationship and/or feels insecure about themselves. They use the relationship outside of their marriage as a way to feel better about themselves.”
You can hardly turn on the television, flip through a magazine or get on the Internet without being bombarded by ads to help you “perfect” some part of your body. In fact, there is so much emphasis on perfection that even the pictures of models are Photoshopped. The ads lead us to believe that the perfect body, hair, clothing, tan, nails, makeup, etc. will lead to a happy and fulfilled life. Yet many who strive to do all these things find happiness and fulfillment elusive.
With wedding season on the horizon, many future brides spend endless amounts of time planning for their special day. In the excitement of wedding showers, choosing the flowers and the cake, and finding the perfect dress, some wonder if they can make it work. It isn’t that they necessarily question their love for each other, although some actually do, it’s more about questioning if they can defy the odds of divorce.
Finally, after what seems like a winter that has gone on forever, there is light at the end of the tunnel. The time has changed and there are signs of new beginnings. The bright yellow daffodils are blooming out. Spring break is only weeks away, so summer can’t be far behind. That very thought should make a lot of young people smile in anticipation and some older people wonder where the time has gone.
Have you ever thought about how today’s amazing technological advances affect relationships?
Prior to her current position as non-resident research associate at the Center for the Study of Religion and Society at the University of Notre Dame, Donna Freitas was a professor. While teaching a dating and spirituality class she became intrigued with the hook up culture on college campuses.
Susan Packard was 25 and working in a sales position at Home Box Office when she saw an opportunity to advance in the organization.
Eight years into their marriage, Richard and Louella Marks were invited to attend a four day marriage intensive experience. Richard is a trained marriage and family therapist and was preparing to lead similar experiences.
Marriage expert and creator of divorcebusting.com, Michele Weiner-Davis, and her husband Jim recently celebrated their 38th anniversary. Since Weiner-Davis is an expert, one might assume being married for almost four decades would be easy.
Of the 76 million children living in the United States, a staggering 60 percent (46 million) of them will experience violence, abuse, crime and psychological trauma before age 18, according to the US Department of Justice.
Did you know that for the first time in history, the life expectancy of the children in Tennessee is less than that of their parents?
Most CEOs know that a satisfied workforce means higher productivity. They also know that it is better and less costly to keep current employees than to deal with turnover issues like finding new people and training them. However, many employees, both men and women, find themselves conflicted when it comes to the number of hours they spend at work versus with family.
Paul Smith spent the first 24 years after college following a typical corporate career path. In the variety of positions Smith held, studying and learning about the art of leadership, communication, influence and character has been part of his passion.
... doesn’t always stay in Vegas when it comes to premarital experiences and future marital quality among today’s young adults.
Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me. Many will recognize this rhyme as one taught to them when they were a child, but is it true?
It’s less than four days until Christmas! Some are uttering a sigh of relief because the Christmas pageants are over, the shopping is complete and the house is neat. Others are in a serious frenzy because there is little time left to prepare.
It’s beginning to feel a lot like Christmas! There is a briskness in the air. The malls are bustling with holiday shoppers. Recipes are circulating to help you make the best holiday meals; Pinterest has lots of good gift giving ideas and folks are busy planning their annual holiday gatherings with friends and family. In spite of the hustle and bustle, some people, for one reason or another, might be struggling to get in the spirit of things. According to a 2006 survey conducted for the American Psychological Association, one in four Americans report experiencing loneliness during the holiday season.
Have you ever agreed as a couple not to buy each other Christmas gifts? Yet, when Christmas day arrived, one of you (usually the wife) actually bought a little something because it wouldn't be Christmas without being able to give at least one gift to your sweetie.
Many families will be faced with a new normal when their college students arrive home for their first extended break of their college career. The thought of sleeping in their own bed, eating good food and resting for about a month sounds really good.
Four days from today, many will be gathering with loved ones to celebrate Thanksgiving. You know, it’s the holiday between Halloween and Christmas that gets lost in the pre-Christmas shopping frenzy. It’s kind of interesting that the holiday originally designated as a day where all could take time out to give thanks for their many blessings has been high-jacked by the retail industry. Who has time to give thanks much less eat turkey when stores are open and fantastic sales are happening?
On any given day, many parents are in a perpetual state of exhaustion trying to keep up with their children. Imagine trying to keep up with 12! That is exactly what Toby and Brenda Willis do on a daily basis.
Does marriage matter? That question has been bantered around for decades. Recent research (For Richer, For Poorer: How Family Structures Economic Success in America) released by Dr. Brad Wilcox, senior fellow at the Institute for Family Studies and Robert Lerman, professor of economics at American University examined how family structure impacts the economic fortunes of Americans and their families. Their conclusion: the institution of marriage is key to productive adulthood, a cornerstone of a stable family and the basic unit of a healthy community.
Imagine being 13 years old and driving through Florida with your mom and step-father. Your step-father pulls into a bus station in Pensacola and tells you to get out of the car. You get out of the car and you see your mom crying as she is digging through the truck. Your step-father tells you to get your clothes. You get them out of the trunk. Your mom and step-father get back in the car and drive off leaving you alone with nothing.
As Randal Olson approaches 30 he’s been thinking more about marriage so when one of his friends posted a study on Facebook that said expensive wedding rings lead to more divorce, it caught his eye.
By now many have heard about the Sayreville, New Jersey high school football team whose entire season was suspended after the school superintendent learned of hazing incidents in the team locker room. Seven teens were arrested and charged with participating in hazing rituals that allegedly included raping freshman players.
Amy Boulware walks alongside caregivers as part of her job. When she found herself caregiving for her grandmother and mother, she thought she had the tools she needed.
A new PEW Research Center analysis of census data reveals that the number of Americans who have never married is at an all time high. In 2012, one in 5 adults age 25 and above had never been married compared to one in 10 in 1960.
The family is supposed to be headed to an extended family gathering. Dad is waiting impatiently in the car. Mother is running through the house yelling at the kids to hurry up because they are running late.
There has been enormous outcry recently over a video showing Ray Rice knocking his wife Janay unconscious, then dragging her off an elevator. In the midst of the coverage, Ray and Janay appear at a press conference side by side, and it became clear she seemed to have no intention of leaving him, which set off a whole new barrage on social media asking why in the world she would stay.
Have you ever thought about the kind of legacy you want to leave?
“Jacob was 10 months old when I went with my mom and a friend to high tea,” said Joy Groblebe. “My mom barely dipped her finger in pistachio ice cream and put her finger in Jacob’s mouth. I went ballistic because kids can’t have dairy until they are a year old. When baby number two came along, she was eating strawberry popsicles at six months.”
Talk with just about any mom or dad about being a first time parent, and most of them laugh out loud as they think back to those early years.
Shaunti Feldhahn is a Harvard educated, ground-breaking social researcher who has spent time working on Capitol Hill and Wall Street. Presently, she is focused on using her analytical skills to investigate changes impacting relationships, families, and workplace relationships.
In an interview with Rolling Stone magazine, Katy Perry discusses wanting a baby someday. She says, “...but I need to really be able to focus 100 percent of my attention on it. I don't really want to take the child on tour. Not until, like, birth through five is over." She then adds that it doesn’t really matter if there is a guy in the picture or not. “I don’t need a dude…..It’s 2014! We are living in the future; we don’t need anything….I’m not anti-men. I love men. But there is an option if someone doesn’t present himself.”
Thousands of young people from Little Leaguers to college sports will hit the fields this fall. Some will be there because they love the sport; others because their parents want them to experience being part of a team.
It’s coming and you know it’s coming, but you are doing everything in your power not to think about that day when your youngest heads out the door and you are left with a deafeningly silent house.
A college freshman working as a summer camp counselor called her parents to vent about how bad things were with her supervisor. It was halfway through the summer camp program and six other counselors quit because they were unhappy and not having fun. As the parents talked with their daughter, it was clear she was looking for them to give her an out so she could quit as well. Although the parents realized their daughter was in a pretty tough situation, they actually told her she needed to finish her commitment.
If you could have paradise however you imagine it, what would it look like? If you could have that kind of paradise, do whatever you wanted to do there and be in charge of it, would you go there? If you could have that kind of paradise, but nobody is allowed to be with you, would you still go?
Do you remember when the only television in the home was in the family room or when your family traveled in the car everybody tried to find license plates from all 50 states? Now practically every car is equipped with a DVD player and every home has multiple televisions.
In less than a month children across the region will be headed to school, many of them for the first time. Along with the excitement of a new adventure, there are some children and probably a lot of parents who are feeling a bit nervous.
According to marriage experts, there are probably more fireworks going on this weekend outside the bedroom than inside.
Over the past decade there has been a shift in the sequence of marriage and having babies. Remember the rhyme, “First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes baby in the baby carriage”. Not so anymore. New research indicates 57 percent of mothers between the age of 26 and 31 are unmarried when their child is born.
Think back to summers when you were a kid. Many will recall getting up, doing a few chores and then heading outside to play, only taking a break for lunch. Your mom or dad’s call for dinner was followed by complaints asking if you had to come inside.
Today will be the first time Jeff* (Name changed) celebrates Father’s Day. His daughter is nine months old and he is thankful he will be celebrating this day with her. Jeff is a single father who shares custody of his daughter with his Ex.
More than 2.3 million couples will say “I do” in the United States this year, and 391,000 of these weddings will take place in June. The average cost of each wedding is $28,000, an all-time high since the economic downturn in 2008.
Admiral William McRaven delivered this year’s commencement address at his alma mater, The University of Texas. Standing in front of 8,000 graduates, he shared that after graduation he went straight to be commissioned in the Navy and on to SEAL training. He has been a Navy SEAL for 36 years. This accomplishment was not easy. He recounted six months of grueling exercise, sleepless nights, and being harassed by professionally trained warriors seeking to weed out those not capable of leading in an environment of constant stress, chaos and hardships.
Colonel Jeffrey T. Sims, Commander of the 207 Regional Support Group operating out of Fort Jackson, South Carolina, returned home April 11th from a nine month deployment . Stationed in Kandahar Airfield in Kandahar, Afghanistan, Col. Sims and a team of 50 were responsible for taking care of 30,000 troops.
Latisha Simmons was 14 and pregnant. She actually kept her pregnancy a secret until the morning she went into labor when she told her mother her stomach hurt and she needed to go to the hospital.
There are approximately four million children in the United States in a home where grandparents or other relatives take primary responsibility for raising them.
Most mothers, whether they are a stay at home mom or work outside the home, feel like the work of a mom is never done. In addition to constantly feeling like the job is never ending, there are the comparisons that moms do while looking at the highlights on Facebook or Pinterest. In an informal survey, a group of women were asked how many of them compare what they do for their children with what other moms are doing. Every hand in the room went up.
If you are the parent of a graduating senior, you have probably heard more than once, ‘I can’t wait until I don’t have to listen to your rules and I can do whatever I want.’
There are 1.4 million married couples in the United States who not only live together, they work together.
Arielle Kuperberg, a sociologist at the University of North Carolina- Greensboro claims that her findings in a study on premarital cohabitation debunk 30 years of research. According to Kuperberg, her study shows that couples who cohabit before they marry are no more likely to divorce that anyone else.
Have you ever awakened in the middle of the night and checked for new email or text messages? Chances are, if you have done this, your kids have too.
LeBron James recently posted a picture of himself on Instagram along with an open letter to his father:
“Like wow dad, you know what, I don’t know you, I have no idea who you are but because of you is part of the reason who I am today. The fuel that I use – you not being there- it’s part of the reason I grew up to become who I am. It’s part of the reason why I want to be hands on with my endeavors…So me in a position allowing people around me to grow that maybe wouldn’t have happened if I had two parents, two sisters, a dog and a picket fence, you know?”
According to Michael and Amy, they could not have been more in love than they were when they walked down the aisle. Their relationship was filled with passion and romance. In their own words, ‘they were completely blinded by chemistry.’
The Winter Olympics are in full swing and stories abound about the athletes and what it has taken for them to have the opportunity to participate in the winter games. From Katie Summerhayes to Sage Kotsenburg to Bode Miller: whether they actually won a medal or not, they still put in thousands of hours of training to become the best in their sport.
If your marriage was in trouble, with whom would you be most likely to confide in:
Is it possible that a skinned knee, failure on a test and not having your child’s life completely planned out is really a good thing? Dr. Wendy Mogel, clinical psychologist, and author of The Blessing of the Skinned Knee and The Blessing of a B Minus would say yes!
You started out with such great intentions, but today your marriage is floundering. The emotional pain runs deep and both of you struggle with a sense of bewilderment, wondering how your relationship could be in such turmoil when you started out so strong.
Have you ever asked your daughter for her definition of beauty? From the thigh gap and bikini bridge to pictures of photo shopped models, confusing and deceiving messages bombard young girls on a daily basis trying to tell them the definition of true beauty.
If you have looked at the latest issue of Seventeen magazine or tried to find a girly girl outfit for your young daughter that didn't look too grown up, then you know some of the challenges faced by girls today. The pressure to fit in, and be beautiful according to the world’s standards is huge.
There is nothing that compares to a father’s love. Ask any kid. Out of 20,000 essays submitted about what their father means to them by children elementary age all the way through high school, the common theme, whether their father was present in the home or not, was they wanted time with their father.
In the movie Elf, there is a scene early in the movie where Buddy is in class with the other elves and they are reciting the Code of the Elves which says:
T’was four days before Christmas when all through the house, no one was stirring, not even your spouse. Stockings were hung by the chimney with care. What should you get her? Buyer beware!
Melissa and Bryan Laseter have been married eight years and have two small children. Early on in their marriage, they would agree to Christmas gift giving limits for each other, and every year they would blow it. Christmas Day arrived and both of them had gone above and beyond the limit.
It was June of 2010 when Cathy Brown unexpectedly lost her mother. In the midst of grieving and anticipating the holidays without her mom, Brown’s son passed away.
Do you remember those holiday disasters that at the moment seemed like an epic failure, but years later at another family holiday gathering the conversation starts, “Remember when?” What follows is belly laughter and fond memories as you recall those tense moments? Several people were willing to share their disaster – turned - memory stories in an effort to help all of us remember not to take life too seriously….even the holiday disasters.
Every year it seems like stores try to get the jump on holiday sales by decorating earlier. This year, one could stroll down an aisle looking at Halloween costumes and just one aisle over check out the latest in Christmas decorations, candy and gifts.
“It won’t be the holidays without you,” said many a parent to their grown adult child.
“It’s already started,” said the father of three young children. “The competition between the in-laws for how much time they will get with us over Thanksgiving and Christmas. This is why I hate the holidays.”
Research conducted by Gallup from January to September 2013 tracking 130,000 adults reveals that married Americans tend to have an above average income, which leads to more spending, which in turn stimulates the economy. In fact, married Americans spend more than those in any other marital status category across age groups. Americans who have never married spend significantly less, particularly those younger than 50. The study suggests that if marriage rates increase, overall spending in the United States may increase.
Many couples consider “Date Night” a luxury they cannot afford. And, if they can afford it, they are frequently found across from each other gazing into their phone rather than into each other’s eyes. Just like Steve Carell and Tina Fey’s characters in the movie Date Night, couples get so caught up in work, children, and community commitments, they totally forget the fun dates that actually brought them together in the first place.
Many marriages have been rocked by an extra-marital affair. Listening to those interviewed by the media could lead one to believe that if you are married, it is inevitable someone is going to cheat. According to psychiatrist and author Dr. Scott Haltzman, that is just not true.
If you owned a home and you discovered pictures online of 300 teens partying in your home without your permission, what would you do? The pictures show teens breaking out windows, dancing on top of your dining room table, spilling beer on your carpet, spray painting graffiti on your walls, punching holes in your ceilings, stealing your property and more.
Work, carpool, laundry, grocery shopping, menu planning, PTA meeting, dinner with the in-laws, school festival, clean the house… The list of things that need time and attention seems endless.
Scott Mackintosh headed out the door for family night wearing a “Best. Dad. Ever.” t-shirt and a pair of Daisy Dukes which he had just made out of an old pair of jeans. He was only planning to wear this outfit out to the car to make a point to his teenage daughter who refused to change into a longer pair of shorts for their family outing.
At a recent relationship and marriage education conference, distinguished professor and author Dr. Pat Love challenged the audience to consider their beliefs about the permanence of marriage.
Vulgar, pornographic and nasty are only three of the words that have been used to describe Miley Cyrus’s performance at the Video Music Awards.
To many, the beginning of the school year actually feels more like a new year than January 1. Children and parents alike are getting acquainted with new schools, new teachers and new schedules, not to mention a buffet line of new opportunities for extracurricular activities. If parents aren't careful, they will have kids involved in three different activities, going in opposite directions and what little family time there was is now non-existent.
Sam and Karen Elliott found themselves home alone for the first time in 21 years. “It was definitely quieter around the house,” said Mr. Elliott. “We didn’t have someone coming and going, it was just us. We missed our daughter, but it was time for her to move on to the next phase of life.”
Imagine walking out of your bedroom on the second floor of your home and seeing your two-year-old climbing the outside of the staircase. That’s exactly what happened to Hal Runkel, marriage and family therapist and bestselling author of ScreamFree Parenting.
Perhaps you have seen the video “It’s Not about the Nail” that has almost five million views on You Tube.
“I was excited about going away to college,” said Grace Hopkins. “I have basically done everything my entire life with my sister. This will be the first time for both of us to be on our own for an extended period of time.”
Jessica* was a junior in college when she started dating Jason*. She had her eye on him for a while thinking he was cute. When he finally asked her out, she was very excited. Within a month of their first date, Jessica’s girlfriends started commenting that she never spent time with them anymore, her whole world revolved around Jason. Initially Jessica made excuses, but she finally told them that Jason got jealous and angry when she spent time with them. Rather than make him angry, she was willing to give up her time with them for the sake of the relationship. She loved him.
The latest data concerning teen births in Hamilton County from the Annie E. Casey Foundation Kid’s Countreport is certainly reason to celebrate. In 2006, there were 223 teen out of wedlock births in Hamilton County compared to 101 in 2010 (there were 108 teen pregnancies in 2010). That is a striking 66 percent decrease, and good news not only for teens but for the entire community. Hamilton County’s teen birth rate is 16.7 per thousand compared to the state rate of 20.2 per thousand.
Believe it or not, in a few weeks a group of young and energetic children will head off to school for the first time. Which means there are probably a lot of parents who are nervous about sending their child off on this new journey.
Several years ago a card company donated Mother’s Day cards to a prison for prisoners to send to their mothers. They actually ran out of cards. After the success of this, the company donated cards for Father’s Day. The week before Father’s Day, cards were made available to the prisoners. The company was shocked to learn that only a handful of cards were used.
Don McKenna attended Boot Camp for New Dads when he and his wife, Missy, were expecting.
Ben Carson grew up in a single parent home where he was challenged by dire poverty, poor grades, a horrible temper and low self-esteem. Although he dreamed of being a doctor, Carson struggled until his mother, with only a third-grade education, challenged Carson and his brother to strive for excellence. Carson eventually overcame his temper and low self-esteem to realize his dream. He is currently professor of neurosurgery, oncology, plastic surgery and pediatrics at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and the author of five books including Gifted Hands and THINK BIG.
A few months ago a packed plane pulled into the gate at Reagan International Airport. As people were preparing to unfasten their seatbelts and collect their belongings the pilot announced that we had had the honor of bringing a fallen soldier along with his family home. He asked everyone to show their appreciation for the soldier’s service to which there was thunderous applause. Then out of respect for the soldier and his family, the plane went silent as they were ushered off the plane. It was poignant and somber. People were clearly moved. Some shed tears others closed their eyes. Nobody complained about needing to get off the plane to catch another flight.
With summer just weeks away, parents and young people alike are looking forward to more free time. While some down time is great, sometimes too much free time can open the door to children and teens getting involved in unhealthy activities.
In November 2011, Sarah Smiley’s husband, Dustin, was preparing to leave his family for a 13-month military deployment. Before he left, his three sons, Ford (10), Owen (8) and Lindell (4) said that they would be sad to see their dad’s empty chair at the dinner table. As he was making preparations to leave, Dustin encouraged his wife to invite folks over for dinner periodically.
In just a few weeks, college students will be headed home for the summer. After spending 10 months basically without a curfew, not having to answer to anybody about their comings and goings, and no chores, the homecoming has the potential to be a bit rocky, especially for freshmen.
Susan Merrill, blogger and director of iMom, didn’t set out to write a book, but she was looking for answers as she and her husband Mark parented their five children ranging in age from 16 to 22.
Knot Yet, a report released this month by the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancies, The Relate Institute and The National Marriage Project at The University of Virginia explores the positive and negative consequences for twenty-something women, men, their children and the nation as a whole concerning two troublesome trends.
When my little girl, Ashley, was five years old our dog had to be put to sleep. After taking the weekend to explain that her dog was very sick and would be going to heaven, Monday arrived. She insisted on going with her dad to take her dog, Daisy, to the vet. After they had said their goodbyes, dad and daughter walked toward the door. One more time Ashley turned around to look at her dog and she said, “Bye, bye Daisy, see you this afternoon.” At that point my husband realized that in spite of all the family talks over the weekend, his little girl did not understand that her dog would not be coming home. Both of them went to the car and had a good cry.
Steubenville, Ohio has been in the headlines over a court case involving two high school football stars and a 16-year-old girl. The three of them ended up at the same party last summer. The girl was so drunk she had no recollection of what happened that night.
Pictures, videos, and texts circulating after the party revealed she had been sexually assaulted. One video showed the football players carrying the girl by her limbs and one of them saying, “She is so raped right now.” A picture of her naked and passed out was sent to classmates
“What happens on spring break, stays on spring break.” Or at least that is what a lot of young people believe. This is a rite of passage and their opportunity to do things they wouldn’t normally do OR do them to a more extreme level. Before you brush this off and say, “not my kid” or “what’s the big deal,” the reality is what happens on spring break can impact a teen for life.
E! News host, Guilianna Rancic’s statement that she put her marriage before her child set off a firestorm of controversy in the news and around the water cooler. A TodayShow.com poll showed that out of 8000 surveyed, 47 percent put their marriage first and 53 percent put their children first.
You found your “soul mate,” dated, fell madly in love, and before long you were fantasizing about what your wedding and wedding night would be like. The wedding night came and it was wonderful, and so were the weeks and months that followed.
Have you ever had one of those moments where everything seemed to be going right and all of the sudden, for some unexplained reason, a meltdown occurs? It could be your 4-year-old, your 14-year-old or even you yourself. A perfectly fine moment ripped to shreds in seconds and you ask yourself, “Why me? “I don’t recall signing up for all this drama.”
Now that Valentine’s Day has come and gone, the pressure is off for another year, right? Wrong. Whether you believe in celebrating the day or you think it is just a bunch of hype, there is something to be said for taking time to do something with the one you love. In fact, research indicates that if more couples focused on nurturing their love for each other, the quality of their marriage relationship would be dramatically enhanced.
Most people would agree that relationships are complicated, but lately things have been taken to a whole new level with catfishing. A catfish is someone who pretends to be someone they're not using Facebook or other social media to create false identities, particularly to pursue deceptive online romances.
Anger, hurt, and fear are some of the emotions Ben Petrick felt when it was confirmed that at age 23 he had early-onset Parkinson’s disease. He went from being a very gifted catcher with an incredible future with the Colorado Rockies to not knowing what tomorrow would bring.
A study conducted by Stacey Tantleff-Dunn at the University of Central Florida found that nearly half of girls ages three to six worry about being fat and about one-third would change a physical attribute, such as their weight or hair color.
When Ashley* and her husband moved to Charlotte, it was their second move in a short amount of time. They had three young children and Ashley did not know a soul. The stressors of moving and children left her feeling isolated, lonely and depressed. After their first move, Ashley started drinking and actually totaled her car, breaking both of her hands. Her husband asked her to seek treatment, but she did not believe she had a problem. Shortly after moving to Charlotte she received a DUI and her husband insisted on her seeking treatment.
John Medina, affiliate Professor of Bioengineering at the University of Washington School of Medicine and director of the Brain Center for Applied Learning Research at Seattle Pacific University, is a developmental molecular biologist with a lifelong fascination for how our minds react to and organize information. One of the outcomes of this journey is his New York Times bestseller, Brain Rules: 12 Principles for Surviving and Thriving at Work, Home and School. The provocative read takes on the way our schools and work environments are designed.
Even in the wake of a tragedy, there is still hope. The best gift we have is each other, so take time to cherish your family and friends this Christmas.
This is the time of year when many husbands break out in cold sweats trying to figure out just the right gift to give their wife so they won’t end up in the doghouse. To help you men out a bit, an informal survey was conducted asking women what their husbands should NOT give them for Christmas. Some of the items mentioned were: jumper cables, tools, a vacuum cleaner, an ice scraper, a low-calorie cookbook or a membership to the gym, anything that plugs in, and dish towels.
Believe it or not, most people- young and old- find comfort in traditions. There is something special about kicking off the holiday season with a ritual you look forward to each year like running as a family in Families on the Run, the smell of gingerbread baking in the oven, going to pick out the Christmas tree or watching It’s a Wonderful Life. It gives you a warm, comforting feeling on the inside.
Many fathers find themselves trying to father from a distance due to work, divorce or military deployment. Fathering from a distance can be especially trying with celebrations, plays and concerts often occurring during the week. How can dads stay connected while they are away and not feel like a third wheel upon their return?
The first holiday season for newlyweds can be really tricky if the in-laws expect the celebration to stay the same. While this may seem like no big deal to some, for many couples, making decisions about where to spend the holidays can create great conflict not only in their marriage, but among their families.
Does anybody remember when Christmas decorations didn't come out until after Thanksgiving, none of the stores opened until Friday and families actually took the time to celebrate Thanksgiving and consider all the reasons to give thanks?
When disaster strikes it seems to bring out the best and the worst in people. Recently we witnessed one of the worst storms in the history of our country. Many people lost everything they owned, millions of people were without power and fuel was in short supply to keep generators running. People in the path of the storm said the images on television and the internet didn’t come close to showing people across our nation the utter devastation Hurricane Sandy left behind. In most instances like this, adults have words and the ability to process in their mind what just happened, but for children it is a different story.
“What do most Nobel Laureates, innovative entrepreneurs, artists and performers, well-adjusted children, happy couples and families, and the most successfully adapted mammals have in common? They play enthusiastically throughout their lives.” Stuart Brown – Institute of Play
In the last few weeks, social media has blown up over the email sent to news anchor Jennifer Livingston about being overweight. The sender of the email contended that he was trying to bring to her attention that she was overweight and not a good role model for young girls in their community. Her on-air response to his email has created quite a buzz as she stood up for herself and refused to let this person verbally bully her.
When precincts open on Election Day, every citizen over the age of 18 will have the right and responsibility to vote. This has not always been the case. When our country was founded, only white men with real property or wealth were allowed to vote. In spite of this amazing opportunity that people in many other countries do not have, there are plenty of Americans who don’t vote. One person who will not be taking this right for granted is Berna Slabber.
Brenda Walsh was a very beautiful, bright and talented woman with a strong family and many friends. Brenda excelled in college and had a job as a nurse. She thought she had her life all together.
In recent weeks there have been articles concerning new research indicating that young people who are sexting are more likely to have sex and that dating violence is on the rise.
If your child sat down at the dinner table and asked, “What is sexting?” “What is sex?” or “How do babies get inside their mommy’s tummy?” how would you respond?
General Schwarzkopf gave this leadership advice: “Never walk past a mistake.” How should parents address and correct the mistakes of their children in ways that produce the best outcomes?
This film shows how one person’s life can have a truly profound effect on the world around him and spark hope in the lives of others. One person can make a difference for good. So can you.
Fall sports are in full swing. With that comes what many coaches and referees have come to dread…the overzealous parent who has difficulty keeping their mouth and emotions under control. What was once a rarity has become common place, so much so that many youth leagues and schools have instituted a parent code of conduct.
Since the height of the women’s movement,women have fought to not be viewed as just sexual objects. Women want to be seen as bright andcapable of accomplishing great things in life, and deserving of respect. For years, females of all ages have been taught the difference between a healthy relationship and an unhealthy one.
Ed and Gena Ellis are the parents of three boys ages 14, nine and five. Even though Ed Jr. is a few years away from graduating and their other sons have a number of years left at home, the Ellis’s are preparing for when they will launch their children into the next phase of life.
You walk through the door after dropping your baby off at college. Who knew that one additional person could add so much noise to the house? The silence is deafening.
Susan Gregory Thomas’s article in the Wall Street Journal tells the story of her marriage. She met a guy. They fell in love and moved in together. His parents warned them that being roommates and pals is totally different than being husband and wife. They paid no attention. In fact, she and her boyfriend chose to do exactly the opposite of any advice given from the parents thinking it was old fashioned and sexist.
In November 2011 Dustin Smiley was preparing to leave his family for a 13-month military deployment. Before he left, his three sons, Ford, Owen and Lindell told their mom that they would be sad to see their dad’s empty chair at the dinner table.
During a recent talk, researcher and author Elizabeth Marquardt made this statement:
“In 2010, the first Baby Boomers turned 65. By 2030, twenty percent of America’s population will be over 65. As the Baby Boom generation moves into later life, the proportion of American elders who are divorced is skyrocketing. The McKinsey Global Institute predicts that by 2015 forty-six percent of boomers will live in divorced or unmarried households. These trends raise concerns for Baby Boomers as they age and challenges for their grown children as they become caregivers for their aging parents.”
An anthropologist conducted a study comparing family life in the Amazon to family life in Los Angeles. While in the Amazon she traveled with a family up river to harvest leaves. A member of another family asked if she could accompany the family on their journey. Permission was granted. While on the trip, the girl gave herself jobs like sweeping, cleaning mats, going into the river to catch crustaceans and other chores. The girl was six-years-old and did not ask for anything.
Singer Taylor Swift is aware of her critics and the harshness of their comments, especially after the time she sang off key with Stevie Nicks. One critic said this was the beginning of the end of her career. Swift said these comments definitely affected her. What was her response? She wrote a song: Mean.
Since she was 11, Caroline Hutton has spent one week out of the summer biking with her father and two brothers on the Bike Ride Across Georgia (BRAG).
David Bennett worked hard climbing the corporate ladder and found himself in a great position where he could influence and serve at a high level. His wife and three sons were doing well. Life was great! Then it all changed.
Do you remember running around the yard catching fireflies, fishing expeditions, making a lemonade stand with your best friend, going off to camp for the first time, or endless games of whiffle ball?
Based on a host of stories in the media about teens today, one could come to the conclusion that the teenage generation is totally self-absorbed and clueless about the lives of others. Then something happens that gives you hope.
At the beginning of Brentan Edwards’ senior year, his parents were concerned he wasn’t taking college planning seriously.
An informal survey of moms enquired, What is the...
best thing about being a mom?
toughest part of being a mom?
biggest surprise about being a mom?
Kay Wyma, mother of five, had a revelation one day while taking her kids to school that prompted some dramatic changes at home and ultimately led to her writing Cleaning House: A Mom’s 12-Month Experiment to Rid her Home of Youth Entitlement.
“My family has always camped,” said Dan Venable. “Whenever our extended family gathers, stories come up from our many camping expeditions usually followed by a lot of laughter. This intrigued my wife, whose family did not camp. On numerous occasions we discussed the importance of doing something like this with our kids to create great memories.”
Stacy Allison was the first American woman to reach the summit of Mount Everest. It took two tries to accomplish this feat with her climbing team. Her first attempt was thwarted by one of the worst storms to hit the mountain in 40 years.
Dan Harmon, Joe Moore, David Higgins, Joe Hannah, Tom Cate and Joe Waddell were great friends. Three of these guys wrestled together on their high school wrestling team and all of them remained close through college and beyond.
How much will you spend on back to school? Go ahead and write down an amount.
Unlike many movies where things look bleak and then something amazing happens to rescue people from difficult circumstances, there are a lot of people dealing with very challenging situations as the new year approaches.
If a close friend, your spouse or your child asked, "How much can I lie to you and you still trust me," what would be your response?
Ask parents how they know their child loves them and the most amazing thing happens. The parent’s voice changes, usually a smile crosses their face as if they are envisioning their child in their mind, and they start saying things like: “My 6-year-old will spontaneously reach over and touch me and say, ‘I love you momma;’” “When my tween-age daughter sees me at school, she runs up and gives me a hug as if she hasn’t seen me in days;” “My 2-year-old only wants me when he is sick;” “My teenager still wants to hold my hand;” “My little boy wants me to play games with him;” “My teenager will jump up and sit on the counter and share stories with us;” or “My daughter does things for me that she doesn’t like to do or without me asking her to do it.”
Gary Rosberg sat in his office working on his doctorate when his 5-year-old daughter wanted to show him a family picture she had drawn.
Scott* will get his fill of turkey this Christmas as he celebrates at three different homes with different sets of parents and relatives. He isn’t happy about moving from place to place, but he doesn’t have a say in the matter.