Nurtured Relationships

Encouraging Fathers on Nurturing Their Relationships with Their Children.

So honored to have shared and contributed to this wonderful project to encourage fathers (Dads) on “Encouraging Dads” and “The Father Effect on Facebook” I wrote on how “Your Male Presence Can Positively Impact Your Children…”


There are many other wonderful stories of individuals experience with their dads; how fathers can enhance their relationship with their children; positive parenting; and more.
I witnessed the comparison between children (especially daughters) who have emotionally available/invested fathers and those who are not and/or not present physically at all. The outcomes I witnessed and explored were: father-daughter relationship also affects their daughter’s behavior and attitude towards school and academic achievement, religious beliefs, career development, peer relationships, and adult relationships such as marital happiness…See more
It’s also a great resource of encouragement for dads who are/was incarcerated or have been estranged from their children and want to repair and restore their relationships with their children. Visit the site following the above links. Perhaps you have a story that you want to share. You can submit a post on their website and they will view it before deciding to approve and posting.
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Leaders! Couples! Christian Counselors & Life Coaches! Marriage Enrichment & Life Groups! & Conference Workshop Conveners!

It's finally published! 
Get Your Life Back Inspirational Life Coach Cheryl has designed an Eight Week Premarital eGuide to prepare couples for marriage and also support and strengthen newly married couples.

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Viola Davis-Motherhood


Attitude of Optimism in Couples:

[Check out video below featuring Couple Psychologists Drs. Les & Leslie Parrott- discussing "Saving Your Marriage Before it Starts"]

This behavior can cancel out any positive affirmations or optimistic attitude and behavior from the other person because a positive + negative = negative. A couple can practice new behavior especially for those individuals who tend to be pessimistic or always see the glass half empty. In addition, Drs. Les & Leslie Parrott, #1 New York Times Bestselling  Authors of Saving Your Marriage Before It Starts notes, “Learning to choose your attitude is not easy, but once measured, a positive attitude paves the way for a fulfilling marriage.”[1] Consequently, when one partner in a relationship sees the glass half full, they can embrace optimism stemming from their soon to be spouse.Some marriage counselors suggest that couples should learn to develop a habit of happiness before the marriage in order to address any elephants in the room-underlying issues. 

The “power of negative thinking” is detrimental in any relationship and affects every aspect of a person’s life which then will have a negative impact on others.[2] Parrott and Parrot wrote, “Negative interpretations are guaranteed to sap the happiness out of marriage.”[3] Moreover, every premarital or married couple will identify dislikes within each other. I Personally suggest that in addition to developing a habit of happiness, a couple should develop a habit of maintaining natural joy within the relationship and the joy that comes from the Lord to sustain and empower them to withstand opposition and problems.

Premarital and married couples should also focus on maintaining a sense of optimism by consulting religious or couple enrichment groups. Couple can also maintain a sense of optimism by agreeing to not concentrating on negative thoughts or engaging in conversations with each other that cause harm. The Book of Philippians 4:8 states, “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things.” There should be a cognitive consensus to build and avoid behavior/attitude that would tear down.


[1] Les Parrott, and Leslie Parrott, “Saving your marriage before it starts: Seven questions to ask before–and after–you marry,” (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2006): 63.
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Advice on Improving communication in Marriage by Jimmy & Karen Evans. 
A better way of delivering messages to your spouse...because men and women do communicate differently. Video Part 1

 Watching Your Tone in communication so your message will be received is vital for a healthy relationship. Even within my clients from my secular and counseling ministry, I teach and coach others on how to use even tones, owning their issue, reflective and empathic listening (putting yourself in your spouse's shoes/lens while listening, and using gestures/body language to show him/her that you are attentive and invested in their concerns and feelings whether you agree or not. You should value your spouse (or anyone else's feelings, thoughts, etc.). His/her feelings and thoughts are valid as well. Video Part 2 of Jimmy & Karen's Indestructible Marriage & Communication:

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Old Fashion Dating Habits Forgotten & Need a Comeback
The Life Buzz website has a great article titled:

"10 Old-Fashioned Dating Habits We Should Bring Back.

Thought I share because I found it interesting and related to my post below about safe dating.

The former Ways of Dating: 
A. Men used to call a lady to ask her on a date several days before.
B. Getting picked up at the door.
C. Bring a small gift or flowers.
D. Dress up for a date.
E. Ask someone out on a REAL date
F. Open the car door for your date.
G. Make introductions.
H. Don’t expect sex.
I. Put the cell phone away.
J. Send a homemade card or romantic gesture to show you care.
K. Be clear on where you stand with each other.
Click on the life buzz link here for more insight about each of the 10 old-fashioned dating habits: LifeBuzz
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Safe Dating for Believers

Interesting article with ideas for safe dating for all ages especially youth and believers of the any faith that teaches abstinence until marriage. Dating without compromising your religious and familial values can be difficult even more today. It is great to know that there are still individuals who do not want lose their integrity and faith values. There are a lot of benefits of getting to know someone mentally, emotionally and spiritually before becoming intimate (sexually). You get to know yourself and him/her, nurture the relationship, explore how compatible you both are without sexual or emotional ties complicating and confusing your thoughts and realities. Check out this article I found on Believe.com. Click on the link and it will direct you to the article. I believe we need to promote this message and let our flesh and the youth know that, there are other options. Practicing these values also impacts self-esteem in healthy ways.

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How Well Do You Know Your Spouse Test

How Well Do You Know Your Spouse?

My Spouse at Work
I know what my spouse likes most about his/her job.
I know what my spouse likes least about his/her job.
I know who annoys my spouse the most at work.
I know the last time and the reason why my spouse was reprimanded.
I know my spouses' career goals.
My Spouse at Home
I know how my spouse likes to unwind.
I know his/her favorite meal.
I know his/her least favorite household chore.
I know how many hours of sleep my spouse needs to feel refreshed.
If my spouse could change one thing in our home, I know what change s/he would make.
I know my spouses' favorite room in our home.
My Spouse at Play
I know my spouses' favorite vacation spot.
I know my spouses' favorite movie.
I know my spouses' favorite place to dine.
I know the last joke my spouse laughed at.
I know how much play time my spouse needs during the week to avoid feeling stressed.
I know what games my spouse enjoys playing or watching.
My Spouses' Emotions
I know the one thing that can get my spouse out of a bad mood.
I know my spouses' love language.
I can detect when something is bothering my spouse without having to be told.
I know the one thing my spouse would change about him/herself if it were possible.
I know my spouses' biggest fears.
I know my spouses' most recent disappointment.
My Spouses' Past
I know which extra curricula activities my spouse participated in as a child.
I know his/her least favorite subject in school.
I know his/her biggest childhood disappointment.
I know his/her childhood fear.
I know what he/she wanted to be when they grew up.
I know my spouses' greatest past achievement.
My Observations
Within five pounds, I know how much s/he weighs.
I know the color my spouse wears most often.
I know a phrase my spouse says frequently.
I know the name of her/his favorite cologne.
I know the one thing I do that annoys him/her.

Total the number of unchecked boxes:
I missed 0 - 2
I missed 3 - 4
I missed 5 - 6
I missed 7 - 8
I missed 9 - 10
I stopped counting!
Test is from the 'Christian Marriage Today' website. There are an abundant of resources to help premarital and marital couples:
www.christian-marriage-today.com/marriage-quiz.html
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Hope-Focused & Emotion-Focused Therapy for Married Couples to restore love, forgiveness & hope.







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Nurturing relationships takes patience, impassion, empathy, unselfishness, care and love. 
Also, check out my life coaching site Here! for more info and if you need a life coach who use biblical principles/values.

In today’s culture of advance technology and its development/derivatives: Social networking such as Facebook-Twitter-The New Myspace-Blogging-Chatting-Webinar-Internet games etc., have invaded Privacy and Confidentiality! There is no more! We are easily tracked and can easily experience identity theft. It’s a no-brainer that we are bombarded with these distractions if we’re not practicing balance, wisdom and self-control from over-indulgence and gluttony. 

Key - Re-establishing relationships through:
  • Coactivity entails spending time together, engaging in leisure/recreational/fitness and other activities, planning and co-creating, and brainstorming together.
  • Coaction can produce increased levels of intimacy in any relationship; even friendships.What's diminishing?Answer: Coactivity 
Definitions: n. 1. Unity of action (Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, published 1913 by C. & G. Merriam Co.) Coaction: Joint action; (Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, published 1913 by C. & G. Merriam Co.) Relationships being effected: Healthy Friendships; Nurturing/Nourishing premarital relationships; Healthy child-parent/adolescent parent relationships... 

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Nurturing Premarital Relationships



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Nurturing Our Sons & Daughters Series

The Danger of Labeling our Children:Watch What You Say About and In Front of Children and Youth
      
  In fact, Bruce Perry says, "in order for clinicians to get reimbursed, they have to label. Most secular counselors, doctors and therapist use medical labels, which have shown to have severe effects on people (Zastrow & Kirst-Ashman, 2007). Many people feel out-casted and can sometimes cause a person to become lazy by not wanting to take control of their life’s responsibilities.  
        Medical models usually consist of a lengthy list of classifications and emotional and behavioral issues are usually considered as mental illness in conjunction with physical illness (Zastrow & Kirst-Ashman, 2007). The medical model stems from an historical view that people with emotional and behavior issues were all demon-possessed.

        Labeling: Labeling children or youth with labels such as "kids At Risk" "Trouble Youth" "Problem Kids" or "Bad Kids" to name a few has a negative affect and connotation. Using the positive labels helps to instill confidence, security and connect/belonging.This information is based on my experience of Behavior/Emotional observation, Interactions and Encounters with the youth in empowerment program for adolescent females, Working with children, Personal research via: Talking with friends and fellow –classmates (in psychology-social work-counseling class) who have been negatively affected by verbal abuse; and labeled by family members, Case studies, Society, Speaking with counseling professionals and school faculty, Textbooks and Scholastic and Peer Review articles and Research.

        Labeling children and youth as being “Gifted” and “Talented” (Except in certain environments-Performing Arts) is not always the best practice as well and can have some negative affects to 'these kids' and other kid’s (those not considered or labeled as talented/gifted) perception of self in comparison to others. Some might consider using the term At Hope” or "Differently-abled" instead of “At Risk” "Disabled" or “Troubledor other ascribed medical labels attached to children and youth who may engage in risky behavior because of the above circumstances or who have learning disabilities or behavioral issues. Using the term “At Hope” for All children and youth avoids singling anyone out or in. Medical practitioners are slowly changing their references or medical jargon and terminology but certain medical terms are used for the benefit of billing and reimbursement.

Books:
Zastrow, K., & Ashman, N. (2007). Understanding human behavior and the social environment. (7th ed.). Belmont, CA: Thomson Brooks/Cole. 
Maia Szalavitz, a senior fellow at Stats.org, is co-author of "The Boy Who Was Raised as a Dog and Other Stories From a Child Psychiatrist's Notebook" (Basic).

Relative Articles and Websites:
Roth, J., & Brooks-Gunn, J. (2000). What do adolescents need for healthy development?:
Implications for youth policy. Social Policy Report, 14(1), 1-19.
Labeling theory in juvenile delinquency: An evaluation: http://www.helium.com/items/596339-evaluating-labeling-theory-of-juvenile-delinquency/
The Washington Post: “Gifted? Austistic? Or Just Quirky? : As More Children Receive Diagnoses, Effects of These Labels Seem Mixed: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/02/23/AR2007022301785.html   

At hope’ children better than ‘at risk’? : Washington state lawmaker wants to banish negative labels: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/34826655/    

Since I was a youngster, terms and titles such as Gifted, Talented, At Risk, Troubled Teens, retarded and disabled people always gave me a negative feeling. I was empathetic of how these labels affect others. I personally believe all children and youth are talented and gifted at something but sometimes are not aware of what area. Children and youth with disabilities, differently-abled or who have hearing issues are treated differently because to the stigmatizing conditions and generalizations that are associated with labeling. In certain environments the title gifted and talented is positive but when used in general can have a negative connotation to it.
Bottom line; let's be mindful of this when we speak to children, youth and adults because in my research of talking to friends, classmates and others, many of them are still affected by these labels attached to them during their childhood an adolescence. Some of the feel inadequate and unworthy and are anti-social.

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Let’s stay together!
Seeking Counsel

   Overall, today, there are many new initiatives to save the institution of marriage. New trends are being developed and even state officials are looking into these initiatives to reduce divorce rates and strengthen families. Many states are passing laws to with the goal to make it more difficult for married couples to get a divorce. One of these laws passed is called the Covenant Marriage developed by Tim Clinton, the founder of the American Association of Christian Counselors (AACC). There are many other states working on bills to mandate pre-marital counseling and extending the time period as well for a longer filing for divorce, in hopes to give couples more time to reconcile and participate in family and marriage counseling.
     Married couples, couples, and families with children, are seeking counseling more than ever and both traditional and Christian counselors are seeing the need for spiritual counseling as part of the therapeutic process. Marriage, couple and family counseling is more prevalent today and many couples are benefiting positively from counseling and therapy. It’s easier to get a divorce now than in the past.
      I remember when the topic of divorce use to be a very sensitive topic to discuss. Today it seems to be the ‘norm’. There is fewer stigmas concerning divorce today and it is more common. Our culture makes it easier today for families to breakup. The Family Research Council (1991) reported that divorce laws in nearly every state give more legal rights to spouses who want to end their marriage compared to those who are willingly to stay and work out their marital issues (June & Black, 2002). The institute of marriage is viewed as a covenant and a ‘holy institution ‘originated by God. It is the commitment between two individuals in a marriage which is defined as a covenant. Can we all just get along?

Resources  Clinton, T. (2003). The state of Christian marriage. Journal of Psychology and Theology, 31(3)179-187.
June, L., & Black, S. (2002). Counseling for seemingly impossible problems: A biblical perspective. Grand Rapids, M: Zondervan.
Relative Sites and Articles:

Get Your Life Back Counseling Ministries-http://www.getylifebkcounselingministries.org/

Get Your Life Back Christian Life Coaching-http://getyourlifebackchristianlifecoaching.com/

Marriage Fitness- http://www.marriagemax.com/marriage-counseling-alternative8.asp

Fire Proof My Marriage- www.fireproofmymarriage.com/  

Gilead Christian Counseling Center -Couples Marriage & Family, Individual Counseling, contact Minister Robert Hines  (718) 527-8236. Cambria Heights NY

Relative Scriptures:
Genesis 2:24- For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh (New International Version).
Mark 2:8- and the two will become one flesh.' So they are no longer two, but one (New International Version).
Mark 10:9- Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate" (New Living Translation).
Hebrews 13:4- Marriage is honorable in all, and the bed undefiled: but fornicators and adulterers God will judge (American King James Version).

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Homeless/Transitional Housing:
Hands Up Ministries-                            
Provides safe, clean, secure transitional housing, recovering residences, and rental opportunities within beautiful homes on North side of Richmond, Employment tutoring assistance, Encouragement, Emotional, Behavioral and Physical support for those considered “unemployable” because of past felons, homelessness, displacement and more. 
Counseling & Mental Health Services
Provides biblical-based prayer counseling, and training in prayer ministry counseling for individuals, ministers and counselors. The ministry is located on the East end of Henrico county in Richmond, VA. 

Provides intensive in-home counseling and mental health support services for individuals and families. Located on West end of Henrico County in Richmond, VA. Helping them in a journey of healing, restoring broken/troubled familial relationships using latest research and approaches in psychology (attachment theory, trauma informed care-early-life traumas, neuroscience, affect regulation), community support for "at risk" individuals and families who are involved in legal/school/court system, and/or social services program as a result of family dysfunction, behavioral/emotional issues, substance abuse, sexual abuse, mental health disabilities and more.               

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