24 July 2009

Marriage Quiz; Myth or Fact

As seen in The Battlefords Regional Optimist
There was a study by Benjamin Caldwell and Scott Woolley looking at marital myths. It is titled: “Marriage and Family Therapists Endorsement of Myths about Marriage.” It is a quiz, so let’s take it and see how you do.
Having children usually brings a married couple closer?
Myth. Unfortunately having a child increases a couple’s stress. They are trying to cope and adjust to the changes and responsibilities that a child brings.
Men reap far greater benefits from marriage than women?
Myth. Marriage is a benefit to both. For men it is health related benefits and for women the benefits are economic. Remember, married men and women live longer, and are healthier, happier, and wealthier.
Married people have more sex than single people?
Fact. Simply put, single people just brag about it more.
Cohabitation before marriage decreases the chance of divorce?
Myth. This myth is so popular. It is shown from study to study that those who cohabitate before marriage divorce at a higher rate from those who don’t.
The majority of couples who divorce are high-conflict couples?
Myth. Actually only one in three are considered high conflict.
Children do better in stepfamilies than single-parent homes?
Myth. Even though stepfamilies do provide benefits that single-parent homes do not, such as higher economic standing, stepfamilies come with their own unique brand of struggles that weigh more than the benefits.
The more someone gives their spouse information, positive and negative, the greater the marital satisfaction of both partners?
Myth. Only positive information increases marital satisfaction. It is recommended to have five positives for every one negative.
Following a divorce, the economic standard of living drops roughly the same amount for both partners?
Myth. For women, their standard of living decreases following a divorce, while men’s typically increases.
Single women are at greater risk for violence than married women?
Fact. It is also true for men, both are about four times more likely to experience violence being single, compared to their married counterparts.
The factors most often cited by long-married couples as reasons for their successful marriages are romantic love and good luck?
Myth. Sorry, marriage takes work. It is more than luck and romance. The fire needs to be nurtured. The couple’s perception of their friendship is actually the best predictor of marital success.
Children are better off with divorced parents than with parents who are unhappily Married?
Myth. Note the word unhappy. This is not high conflict; these are those who are just dissatisfied with their marriage. Unhappily married parents can provide better benefits for their children than divorced parents. Divorce itself has a long lasting effect on children.
The quality of a married couple’s sex life is the single best statistical predictor of overall marital satisfaction?
Myth. Sex life ranks fourth, behind affective communication and problem solving skills, common interests, and leisure time spent together. In other words, it is the friendship that is most important for marital satisfaction.
Well, how did you do?

22 July 2009

Movie Recommendation: Forever Strong

Forever Strong:
"Don't do anything that would embarrass you, your family or the team." - Larry Gelwix

21 July 2009

Schools Out; Now What?

As seen in the Battlefords Regional Optimist.

Exams are completed, graduations are coming to an end, and your children are now piling home for the summer. For nine months the home was yours, now your offspring and co. are invading your premises. It is a transition that comes every year, some parents dread it and are like the father in the Staples back-to-school commercial from years ago: ‘It is the most wonderful time of the year!’

Also, your children, who are used to having their planners filled from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., now have eight hours at their disposal and they aren’t 100 per cent sure of how to invest that time. School is out, now what do we do? All of us: children, students and parents need ideas.

We all have the dreams of what we want to do this summer, weekends at the lake, time spent out in the sun, quality time together, and many other interactive activities. However, what usually happens is, hours in front of the TV, video games, and maybe a little physical activity, with the road of least resistance being frequently taken.

There was a study recently released by Statistics Canada that found that childhood obesity and being overweight is linked to low self-esteem. Interestingly these children were also more likely to not be physically active and to do poorly in school. This study also dispelled parental income as being a source of self-esteem. I love the fact that you can’t buy high self-esteem.

Now, I am not saying that all of our children are going to be obese because they play video games during summer. What I am saying is that, that path of least resistance, of playing video games and watching TV can lead to low self-esteem and school performance. So, here are some ideas of how to optimize you and your family’s summer, and build self-esteem along the way.

First, let us be discriminators of the television. According to tvturnoff.org, we spend, on average, 1023 hours watching television in a year. Watch TV and play video games for two hours every day. That’s it. Maybe then we will only watch the shows we really want, and play our favourite video games and spend less time in front of the TV. We can live our dreams instead of watching people live theirs.

Second, become active. Go outside and play. Join a sports team. Get friends together and play ball, of any kind. Go bike riding. Just do something active outside. Make it a weekly event. If not, make sure you exercise for at least 30 minutes a day.

Third, read a book. You now have ample time, maybe read that book that you wanted to read all year but weren’t able to during the school year. Maybe read the Twilight series and see what the hype is all about. Most of all, keep those brain cells growing.

Fourth, parents this is for you to arrange. Make sure that you have a night a week to spend with your family. Any night. Do something you have never done before. Go to a museum. Go bowling or mini golfing. Maybe make a cake together. Go swimming. Play that board game that you got for Christmas and haven’t played since Boxing Day. Do something weekly with your children.

Most of all, enjoy the summer weather, together. Yes, some will have to work, but it can still be done. Let us get out and be active, turn off that TV, read a book, and play a sport, and maybe, just maybe, you will have discovered something new this summer.