Family Relations

Thoughts about Parenting-

       This week we have been discussing parenting.  There are so many benefits to having children, and by doing so, it really blesses your life, even more than the child's.  Have you even thought, 'Why does God send infants, who are so fragile and vulnerable, to young adults with limited experience?'  Well:
  • Having children helps young parents to grow
  • It helps them see love differently and more deeply
  • It helps them understand God and relate to him
  • It gives them greater empathy
  • By being so young, you have more time to grow and can essentially grow along side your child
  • Young people have a different energy to care for babies
Of course, older folks who decide to have children also benefit their child life, but it is so interesting to see how it blesses the lives of these young parents and helps them learn and grow. 

The purpose of parenting is to prepare your children to become responsible citizens who contribute to society.  Parents guide their children but also let them have their agency and learn valuable lessons through natural consequences.  I know that the calling of being a Mother or a Father is the greatest calling and most important title you could ever receive in this life.  And I know that if you try your hardest and rely on God through your struggles in parenting, He will bless you and your family. 

A Father's Role

            Countless research has been conducted on the topic of children growing up without the influence of a mother and most agree that the mother’s role is very important in the child’s development, but what about the father??  Our society really down plays the importance of the role of a Father.  By a Father being absent from the home, the children are immediately affected.  Poverty and less success in educational pursuits are very prevalent.  Children who live in father-absent homes are four times as likely to be poor and 71% of high school drop outs come from father less homes.  Crime and delinquency are also likely to increase, as well as teenage sexual activity and a decline in the child’s physical and emotional health. 

            A family truly needs a father to anchor it!  I have seen this occur countless times as many of my close relatives have been divorced.  The children have less support from both of their parents in their educational pursuits, worry about both of their parents incomes, and are less emotionally stable.  It breaks my heart seeing my cousins become negatively affected by their father not being present and it is even more depressing when a father is disengaged from his family, and does not understand the significant role he plays in his family’s eternal happiness. 

Elder Perry, in his talk Fatherhood an Eternal Calling said, “Gender is an essential characteristic of individual, premortal, mortal, and eternal identity and purpose.” Mothers and Fathers each have a specific role in the family.  In a class I took in college called Family Relations, we discussed this topic very in depth.  The Family Proclamation to the World tells us, “By divine design, fathers are to preside over their families in love and righteousness and are responsible to provide the necessities of life and protection for their families.  Mothers are primarily responsible for the nurture of their children.  In these sacred responsibilities, fathers and mothers are obligated to help one another as equal partners…”

            Have you ever asked yourself why God has made it this way?  Why fathers are to provide and preside and mothers are to primarily nurture?  Well, in my family relations class we learned just this.  It is important to note that this prophetic council coincides directly with the secular knowledge of male and female brain development.  Women are able to focus on many things at one time.  They can focus on all of the children, the outside influences that affect them, and their emotional needs. 

On the other hand, a man is very hyper focused.  He focuses on one thing at a time and thus, is able to go to work and focus on the tasked there fully.  Once he returns from work it is easy for him to drop everything and give his full and undivided attention to his family.  A woman, though, may return from work and have a hard time focusing on her family, or may go to work and have a hard time getting things done because she is still thinking about her children.  It is our nature to function this way.  It’s just how our brains are.  God has made us this way and given us these roles in the family so we can benefit our children and spouses greatly.   

            Fathers are given specific roles here on earth and God expects them to teach their family in a way in which is pleasing unto him.  A Father is the head of the family.  This role is the most important leadership position a man will ever have because it is of eternal consequence.  A Father leads family worship such as helping the family get to church, presiding over family home evening, scripture study, and prayers.  He presides at the meal table, which in the Simmons household is not always a good thing.  Our conversations, more often than not, lead to topics in which cause us to have a loss of appetite.  The Father is also expected to teach the children correct principles and help establish family rules and disciplines.

How can men prepare now to be the leader of their home?? One thing that has recently dawned on me is that a mission really prepares men for marriage.  On a mission, the Elders must learn how to express their thoughts with investigators, listen to the investigators thoughts and help them overcome issues and get through tough times.  Generally, at least from my experience, women have a lot of feelings that they like to express and I feel as though men are more prepared to help and listen to their wives once they have served a mission and practiced these skills for two years.  They are also great at solving problems in a logical way, when women’s emotions can get wrapped up in their decision making. 

            Men can also prepare to be the head of the household by observing their own Father.  When my Father was growing up, my grandpa organized weekly family counsel.  The children would discuss their concerns with their Father in a group setting and he would advise and counsel them.  This helped their family bond and grow closer.  My Father has carried on this tradition and I have noticed that by having this organized time set aside to talk to one another, we understand each individual of our family better than we would if we had not held family counsel. 

Another role of a father is being a teacher of the home.  Fathers can help children in their school work and encouraging further education.  They can use their own background knowledge and schooling to educate their children.  I know without a doubt that if my Father, who received his master’s degree in English, had not hounded us as children in grammar and speaking skills, I would not feel as confident as I do now in writing and communicating with others.  Even more important than secular knowledge, is spiritual knowledge. 

A father should hold regular scripture study and talk about topics of the gospel often in their household.  Home is where the children learn the skills necessary to conquer the world, to resist from temptation, and learn the values and standards in which they should be living their life by.  In the Book of Mormon, we see countless examples of sons or daughters being taught by their fathers.  The very first verse read in 1 Nephi says that Nephi was “taught somewhat in the learning of his fathers.” His father was there to teach and encourage him to live in a ways that was pleasing to God.  As Lehi and his family journeyed in the wilderness, and Lehi was shown the vision of the tree of life, he made sure to teach his sons of the knowledge he had obtained as he was concerned about their spiritual status and future. 

A father is also a teacher through his example.  One of my own father’s favorite songs is from the musical Into the Woods.  There is a song near the end of the play which says, “Careful the things you say, children will listen.  Careful the things you do, children will see.”  Children are very observant to what their parents do.  By being your best self and being an example to your children, you will be one of the biggest influences in their lives. 

One of the biggest ways to prepare to be a teacher of your home is to learn from your own life experiences.  It is important to always look for the good in your trials or troubles.  By doing this, and returning back to that eternal perspective, it will help your testimony grow and will one day be able to bless and strengthen others testimonies as well.  My father tells us of his learning experiences through trials and tells us that we can either take his word for it, or go through it on our own.  One way or another we will end up learning the same principle he has taught us.  

            Lastly, a Father is expected to be the temporal provider of the home.  Ezra Taft Benson said, “ The Lord has charged men with the responsibility to provide for their families in such a ways that the wife is allowed to fulfill her role as mother in the home… sometimes the mother works outside the home at the encouragement, or even insistence, of her husband… (for the) conveniences that the extra income can buy.  Not only will the family suffer in such instances, brethren, but your own spiritual growth and progression will be hampered…”

As I was preparing this talk and thinking a lot about the importance of a father, I decided to talk to my Father about how he prepared to be such a great dad.  In the way of being the temporal provider of the home, he said it was a natural thing.  He loved my Mother so much that he wanted to provide for her and make her happy.  That motivation increased even more when they had their first child, my older sister Kelsey.  Sometimes Fathers encourage or insist that the mothers work, as well, to obtain extra income.  In a worldly sense, this would make sense.  If both parents work then you have more money, and are better off.  When I questioned my dad about this topic he said, “Paige, we called those people DINKS- Duel income, no kids.  People think they are happy but I knew that a family would bring me the most happiness.  I wanted your mother to have the opportunity to prepare to be a mother and I wanted her to stay at home once you kiddies came along.  I knew that you would have a better chance of turning out good if you were surrounded by her influence.”

            Providing temporally can be a struggle, especially if you are not well established in a career yet or have young children.  The number one most important thing to remember is that the Lord is there to help you.  In 1 Nephi 3:7 it says, “…I will go and do the things with the Lord hath commanded, for I know that the Lord giveth no commandments unto the children of men, save he shall prepare a way for them that they may accomplish the thing which he commandeth them.”  The Lord has charged men to understand the importance of fatherhood.  It is an eternal calling, the greatest title you could ever receive.  The Lord will help you and your family as you strive to fulfill his commandments. 

            You may think, ‘I’m young.  I’ve got time.  Marriage is years down the road and fatherhood is even further,’ But man does life speed by.  For you college students, especially return missionaries, marriage is your next step.  You must prepare now!!  Discover the type of father you want to be.  Consider your own father’s ways of parenting, teaching, leading, and providing for you and your family and take away from it what you like and want in your own family.    

Elder Perry explains that, “A righteous father protects his children with is time and presence in their social, educational, and spiritual activities and responsibilities.  Tender expressions of love and affection towards children are as much the responsibility of the father as the mother.  Tell your children you love them.” 

Express your appreciation and love to your wife and children frequently, and if you don’t have a family yet, prepare to.  Thank your earthy Father for his righteous example and sacrifice to teach and provide for you, and thank your Heavenly Father for the opportunities you have now and in the future to magnify your calling as a Father and obtain true happiness through having a family. 

The Counsel Method
      Last class we learned an inspired way of making decisions with a spouse.  The decisions you make about your personal and family life with directly affect those around you, so it is important to have the Lords guidance and direction.  The counsel method is derived from inspired leaders of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.  It is the same method that the general leaders of the church, and prophet use to make important decisions.  So here it is:
                          1. Express Love and Appreciation
- whether its is love and appreciation for your spouse, for the Lord, or for both, it is important to express these feelings to start off your discussion on a good note as well as bring the spirit of the Lord into your discussion.

                         2. Prayer
- Open your meeting with a prayer.  Ask for the Lords spirit to be with you as you discuss your concerns and try to make a decision regarding the topic you are discussing or trial you are facing.

                         3. Come to a consensus regarding the Lord's will
- Discuss your concerns with one another, your options or ideas and make a decision as to what you are going to do.  There is a difference between coming to a consensus versus compromising.  A compromise is defined as: an agreement or a settlement of a dispute that is reached by each side making concessions, settle a dispute by mutual concession, accept standards that are lower than is desirable.  On the other hand a consensus is: a general agreement.  When you compromise, both people are settling and not really getting what they want or need, while a consensus is an agreement which meets both of your needs and is benefiting the both of you.

                         4. Prayer
- After discussion your concerns, options, ideas, etc, make a decision and pray to God as to whether your decision is right.  If you feel the peace that the spirit brings regarding your decision then go forward with faith in that decision.  If not, discuss your other options and pray about a different route to see if your perception is correct.

                        5. Chocolate// Pie
- Did you know that the General Authorities of the Church end their meeting by eating either chocolate or pie?? Why not:) Life's short.. eat candy:):)!

How to Avoid Dating a Jerk...
      This week I had the opportunity to attend two seminars on the book How to Avoid Dating a Jerk by John Van Epp.  I just wanted to address a couple important points I got from the discussion:

  • When getting to know someone us the acronym FACE
Family Background (how your family has shaped you)
Attitudes and Actions of conscience
Compatibility potential
Examples of Other Relationships

  • Its ok to be PICKY!!! Little deals add up to reveal their major themes of conscience and character over time.
  • You NEED good Chemistry and you NEED to be attracted to one anther.  It may not happen initially but the chemistry must be there at some point. 
  • Discover the ways they've learned to handle their emotions and give and receive love, the ways they've learned to handle and share power, and the ways they've learned family rules

  • Lastly, I learned that guys care// are concerned just as much as girls about dating the right person.  This is probably common sense to everyone, but for some reason I never thought they worried about it much.  During the Q & A portion of the seminar ONLY GUYS asked questions... and they were very thought provoking, deep questions too:)

Intimate Physical Relationships
      Last time in class we talked about sex.  I didn't really want that to be the title of this post so I worked around the word by saying intimate physical relationships;)  Have you ever wondered why we are so apprehensive to talking about it?? I have.  And I realized it's because sexual relations are such a personal, sacred thing.   My thought are going to be random, but here are some of my favorite things we discussed in class:

      Your brain is the most important sex organ.  When having sex chemicals such as serotonin, dopamine, and (for women) oxytocin are released.  These chemical create feelings of pleasure//happiness, deep attachment, connection, or a bond to one another. 

      Sexual relations IS A RELATIONSHIP.  So you need to talk about it with your spouse.  Also make sure to discuss the bounds or limits in which you want to stay in.  Talk through your concerns then take them to the Lord.  He is a big part of your marriage and you should not be ashamed to take any concern to Him. 

      Men and women think differently about being sexually intimate.  Women generally want to feel safe, secure, and close to their partner and then want to have sexual relations, while men generally want to have sex and by doing so they feel safe, secure, and close.  Because of this, problems may occur with the expectation each person have with how frequently your are going to have sex.  But an advantage to this cycle is that you can motivate, encourage, and teach one another.  Maybe if the man assist the wife with her needs during the day and is attentive and helpful, it will make it easier for her to not only focus during sex, but also help her feel close and secure so she will have the desire to.  It goes the other way too.  When a woman understands that that is how a man feels close to her, she may be more receptive to having sex to help him feel close to her>>> once he feels close to her he will be more likely to help out with her needs>>> and off we go- it's a cycle:)  It requires selflessness- the most satisfying love making is when you're thinking about the other person.

      Your partner is the only one who will know you in this way.  They will be the person that knows you the best because of it.  How wonderful will that be:)! In order to have this exclusive connection you must both have the spirit in  your life.  Sex is a sacred, spiritual, intimate, personal, and deep relationship and experience.  It should be saved for someone that you feel deep compassion for and want to spend eternity with!

Dear future husband,
     When I hound you to take this class (faml 160) please do it!  I have learned so much about marriage and dating and other stuff:) hee hee!  I want you to understand these important sacred thing too.  Also, please be patient with me when it comes to having intimate physical relations.  No doubt I love and ADORE you so much and I have no idea where I'll be in my life at that moment, but as of right now at least, I feel as though your patience may be required.  Love ya babe!
                                                                 Yours truly,


Tips for planning a WEDDING!

    Did you know that the average wedding costs $30,000?? CRAZINESS! I surely cant afford that as a poor college student! So what do people typically do in this situation- when they cant afford to pay for their wedding.
1. They either have their parents assist them with the financial burden of a wedding.  Now this isn't all bad, but it depends on how you go about it.  Most often then not after your parents have helped you out you feel a certain obligation towards them, like you owe them.  This can create problems in your spouse and your relationship and the boundary between you and your parent relationship is not distinct. 
2. You go into debt.  Finances are stressful, the first month and year of marriage is going to be a big adjustment, and to have that extra debt hanging over your head is going to add stress to your relationship. 
3. Delay or Postpone the wedding.  This isn't good either.  By the time you come up with $30,000 you're going to be old and gray.  Who wants to wait? Once you realize that you want to spend the rest of your life with that person, you will want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible.

So here are some tips to keep in mind when planning and wedding and a marriage:

  • Try to spend $1000 on your wedding day- Keep it SIMPLE!
  • Only spend $500-$2000 on your engagement ring
  • While courting, talk about planning a budget for when you're married
  • Plan the wedding with your husband to keep your relationship strong during this stressful, hectic time
Hope these help! I thought they were great tips:)

The Difference Between Love and Like
       One thing I have discovered about myself quite recently, is that I LOVE intimate relationships.  I love connecting on a deeper basis and creating emotional bonds with roommates, friends, and family members.  Since I am this way, I wonder all of the time, ' What is the difference between this type of love and connection to someone (a friend or family member), and a love that will lead to marriage?'  Essentially, what is the difference between loving and liking someone. 

      To start off lets define the terms like and love:
                                    Like- respect, admire, and enjoy being with them.  Two examples to show that you like that person, " In my opinion, ______ is an exceptionally mature person" and " I have great confidence in _______'s good judgment." 
                                    Love- attachment (desire to be with and approved by the loved one), caring (the desire to give to the loved one), and intimacy (close and confidential communication).  Two examples of the kind of questions that measure love, "I would do almost anything for _____" and " If I could never be with ____ I would feel miserable."

Now there are 8 qualities that are manifested in a friendship. You:
   1. enjoy being with each other most of the time
   2. accept each other as they are
   3. trust each other to act out of concern for the other persons best interest
   4. respect judgments of each other
   5. help and support each other
   6. share experiences and feelings
   7. understand each other's feelings and thoughts
   8. feel at ease with each other, so that the relationship id based on openness and honesty rather than pretense

Sounds like a great relationship eh? Well love is very similar.  Love includes all of these qualities ^^^ as well as a "passion cluster" and "caring cluster."

     Passionate love is preoccupation and intense longing for union with a particular person.  It is an obsession and may affect your sleeping pattern or appetite.

If you are passionately in love you tend to:

  • persistently reflecting about the other person
  • idealizing his or her qualities
  • desiring to know and be known
  • having sexual desires
  • feel bad when things are not going well
  • desiring a close and permanent relationship
  • feeling physically aroused
  • trying to find out how the other person feels about you
  • studying the other person
  • serving and helping them 
                The caring cluster includes a willingness to give " to the point of extreme self sacrifice" and a "championing of each other's interests" to ensure the success of each. 

In the end, I think love is personal to each individual.  The ultimate test of a loving relationship is time.  So take it slow. Enjoy. And remember that to have faith not fear.  If it is meant to be, it will work out.  As long as you are being obedient to Gods commandments and trying your best, God will not let you go down a dangerous path.  Everyone has their agency and it will not be perfect or easy, but if you rely on Him your love life and marriage will be successful!

I Was Born This Way.
* Addressed only from a males point of view

      Wow! I have learned soooo many cool things in my family relations class in the past couple of days! I wish you could all sit in on this class:) I hope to articulate what I have learned in a manner that is pleasing and appropriate. 

The topic I am going to write about today is quite a touchy one, for me, as well as our society, today.
     We have been learning about understanding same sex attraction.  Before researching and reading the articles and materials provided for our class, I had quite a narrow view on this topic, mainly because I was uninformed and uneducated.

      This research has not changed my views.  I still stand by my beliefs as a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, and I do not validate, justify, or encourage this way of living and the decisions people make regarding this.

 I have seen same sex attraction tear families apart and destroy lives.  Although, after my research I now understand the "why" of this issue on a deeper level. 

      We first read an article regarding genetics and same sex attraction.  Many people say " I was born this way," but there have been no discoveries of a "gay gene." Dr. LeVay's research concluded that it is not proven that homosexuality is genetic// there is no genetic cause for being homosexual.

  Baily and Pillards did a study on identical twins.  Since identical twins have the same genetic material and DNA, if one twin was homosexual then the other one would be too, but this was not the case.  Only 11% of both identical twins were homosexual.  Those that claim that homosexuals were "born that way" are people whom are more likely to support gay rights. 

So if genetics does not play a role in same sex attraction, what is the cause?

      Homosexuality is more of a social and psychoanalytical cause.  Some factors that contribute to these feelings are as listed:

- a poor or distant relationship with parents
-emotional needs are not met// emotional needs are not healed
- wounded gender identity
- longing for male connection (father hunger)
- Bullying (causes a detach from other males)
-low self esteem from oppressive people
- mother confusion (smothered by your mother or overly connected to her)
- inappropriate touch or not being touched at all (by a male)
- pornography addiction

     Once I became aware of these social factors that contribute to same sex attraction it all clicked.  Because of the individuals lack of connection with a male figure (father, male friends, brother, etc.) they are starving for an intimate relationship.

  Just think, you grow up in a family of six lets say.  You're father is very distant and you're personalities could be furthest from the same.  You've never felt like you could talk to your father and you most definitely would never just hang out together because you lack a common ground. 

   You're mother is overly involved and makes you feel smothered by her attention which makes you back off. 

      You're two sisters are always paired off together and you feel inferior to  your older brother, like he is always judging you. 

   So you, being the youngest, starve for some kind of attention in the family.  To make is worse, at school  you are mocked and bullied by the other guys because you are not up to par with their athletic abilities.  Finally you just give up and accept the label you think people have placed on you. 

      You still hunger for this connection with a male figure so you decide to look elsewhere.  What makes it worse is if you have been sexually abused by the same gender or not been touched or loved at all by anyone. 

      In this instance you finally feel that connection, the need has been met that you have been lacking but not in a healthy way.  The connection you have now felt can become addictive especially if fueled often in sexual ways or in pornography. 

      If you have not been touched at all then the desire can be very strong to have that connection.  Similar experiences may take place and lead you to addiction or a desire for a deep connection with a male figure. 

      One very important thing to remember however is that your environment and in most cases, your family members are NOT TO BLAME.  Its not so much what happens to you but how you perceive it.  

     This makes more sense to me as I compare it to a pretty personal experience I have had.  In the past I have struggled with anorexic tendencies.  I could blame my actions to restrict my food or think I am fat on other people around me, but I have chosen to accept that it is my choice to think that way and my choice to act on those feelings.

 It is the same instance here. You can blame others for your way of thinking or your intimate needs or you can realize that it is your problem, your trial per say, take it into your own hands and DO NOT ACT ON IT! Do not fuel these desire in unhealthy ways.  Instead find help.

      There is help and healing for this problem.  What needs to take place is developing healthy male relationships and feelings of being accepted as a guy and male.  You need to develop a good self esteem. 

    Through Change Therapy Programs thousands of men have changed their sexual orientation.  Their needs have been met in a healthy way and they have been able to establish appropriate relationships with both males and females. 

     I want to again bring up the fact that from learning this new information I am not justifying the actions of homosexuals.  It is all a choice, and although it is challenging and the desire may be strong, it can be dealt with and you can receive help in a healthy way.
     I hope this all makes sense.  I wish I could articulate the information better but I tried my best:) Take a look at this awesome video!>>> It was truly life changing to me!

Video: Understanding Same Sex Attraction (32 minutes)

My Family is Like a Three Ring Binder...

My family is like a three ring binder, with all of the back to school essentials in it, although they are of much greater value.   Without them your school year, or in my case my life, is doomed!  My father is like the cover of the binder.  In social situations he, most of the time, is the first one you see- the go to guy.  He is the leader when it comes to social interactions and overpowers us all in his social sphere of influence.  He is the one that all outside individuals interact with, mainly because it seems as though he is the one up front and in charge.  We all know though, that without my mother our family would fall apart.  My father, the cover, also protects us all (located inside the binder).  We are less experienced in life while he has gained much knowledge and experience and can help guide us. 

            My mother is comparable to the binding or the binder.  She holds the entire family together.  She keeps us on task with spiritual things as well as temporal things.  She follows through and organizes family scripture study and prayers.  She teaches us how to cook and clean, and most importantly, she has a unique relationship with each of her children.  She brings a common ground to each of our (the kids) interactions.

            We kids have our own unique relationships.  My older sister, Kelsey, is like a ruler.  Quite literally, she rules the kids.  Being the oldest, and in my opinion the coolest, she has a way of intimidating us kids into doing things for her.  Whether it’s ganging up on our parents, keeping a secret, or just little tasks, she is quite convincing and can get us to obey her most of the time.  Also being the oldest, she was kind of a guinea pig when it came to my parents making rules for the kids.  Through her example, we can measure our lives against the things that she has done and learn from them, for better or worse.  She is such a fun, loving, carefree person and I’ve realized this more and more as we’ve grown together.  My sister Kelsey RULES!!!

            My twin brother, Preston, is comparable to a highlighter.  He is such a bright, happy person and his excitement for life is contagious.  I have never seen him upset, discouraged, or sad.  NEVER!  Although I’m sure that he has had struggles and trials as all of us do.  Preston does not dwell amidst the hard times but always looks for the positive.  He also has a unique relationship with all of us kids, and highlights all of our good characteristics.  Kelsey is hilarious, and Preston could just sit there and laugh all day at her.  Preston makes sure everyone, more so now that he is on a mission in Chile, knows that I taught him good study habits as we were study buddies throughout high school.  And Preston makes my youngest brother, Christian, look like even more of a super star when it comes to sport related activities because of his lack of coordination. 

            As for my youngest brother, Christian, he is like a box of crayons.  Christian is similar to Preston in the way of highlighting all of our positive attributes.  Preston is only one color, but Christian is many.  He has such a broad range of interests it is as if he changes himself (his color) to associate with each of us individually.  Christian really can get along with anyone.  One second he’ll be talking about sports with my dad, the next he’ll be at the piano playing along while I try my best to sing.  He is carefree and fun like Kelsey and we are blessed to have him in our family. 

            I would say I am most like a sticky note- I keep people posted.  For some reason I have developed the stereotypical first child personality.  I am extremely organized, planned, punctual, and responsible.  I am always on top of things, planning in advance, or making sure to inform others of events or tasks that need to get done.  Along with my mother I try to keep our family on track with family scripture study, family home evening and making sure the house is clean.  And yes, I have been called a mini mom more than once in my life.  I also try to keep posted and up to date with all of my relatives whether through text, email, YouTube, or just talking every so often. 

            In response to this information there are a few things I would like to improve upon.  I never realized it before but I feel like all of my siblings are very fun, happy, and positive, and I want to try to mimic that.  When we are all together I will try to let my Mother do her job of being a mother, and I will try to show my siblings my fun side.  I feel like as we grew up, and my sister when through the struggles she did, I kind of took over her position as the first born child and adapted to that personality. Now that she is older she has developed that personality as well, and that is the reason we sometimes clash and don’t get along.  I think as I work on myself, my family relationships with definitely improve. 

            As for my relationship with my parents, my dad is very social and outgoing which sometimes I find intimidating.  I just need to remember the love that he has for me and how deep it is.  He would never judge me and I need to feel confident and comfortable expressing my personality around him.  My mother definitely holds our family together and sometimes I try to take on her role, especially with the kids, in making sure that we are all getting along and keeping a strong relationship. Really I just need to recognize that my family love me and they all love Jesus Christ and our Father in Heaven so much.  As long as these two things are intact we will have successful family interactions. 
We Are More Similar Than We Think
      Today for our prep work before class, we read an article called " The Cost of Getting Ahead: Mexican Family System Changes and Immigration."  It discussed how illegal Mexican immigrants family relationships are affected when they move to the United States.  After pondering this information, I realized that the things they are experiencing are very similar to relationship problems found in families in the United States. 
      As the family immigrates to the United States they unfortunately have to leave their extended family behind.  It is difficult for the family, and youth in particular, to cope with this especially since they are leaving the place where their childhood memories formed.  Although moving to the United States brings them better economical opportunities and educational opportunities for their children's future, they all experience less happiness because they are away form their relatives. 
      I have seen this in my own life as well.  My family moved to Boise, Idaho from Salt Lake City, Utah about seven years ago.  Although it was not a far move it did affect our family.  We moved away from a lot of our extended family and my father's new job made our home life a lot more stressful.  I could see that he was not as happy and that the move had taken a toll on him. 
     Also, as families immigrate to the U.S. their standard of living is increased.  Because of this both parents usually have to work.  In the article one person described that both He and his wife come home from work in a bad mood.  There is no one to greet them and no dinner on the table waiting like there was before.  Also, before they immigrated since the mother did not have to work and was in the home, the children had someone to talk to.  Now since she is always away the children have to solve their problems on their own. 
      Right now in America, a lot of the time both parents work.  Although in some situations it is necessary, in a lot of cases both parents working makes family relationships more distant and less unified.  In regards to adolescent solving problems on their own, I have seen and talked with many college students who have done just that.  They do not have a deep, close relationship with their parents and do not confide in them or talk to them about their issues.  I believe this has an affect on the adolescent and especially as they are trying to make new relationships.  Since they are not used to communicating in a deeper sense or sharing their feelings or problems, it is hard for them to open up.  This is so sad to me because I have such a deep relationship with my parents and I feel as though intimate relationships is where I find satisfaction.
     I never realized before studying this article how similar our family situations and relationships are. When it comes down to it, race, culture, ethnicity aside, we all have family struggles in one way or another and we should be sensitive to other circumstances.

Crazy Family Rules

      Every family functions and interacts in a different way, but all must have some kind of interaction to succeed.  One way in which families interact is by "family rules."  These are rules established by the family- whether they are spoken or unspoken, acceptable or unacceptable- to understand that families dynamics and to understand one another better. 
      For a pre class assignment we were asked to brainstorm some family rules that we have in our family so we could discuss it in class.  As I pondered on my past experiences a lot of them made me laugh.  It was so funny to me recognizing my parents parenting styles and how they handle certain situations. 
    Here are a few of the Simmons Family Rules:
1. If mom has made a decision about a matter or asked you to do something and you talk back or argue, expect that the jobs will be piled on.  The conversation would go something like this- for example...
     Mom: " Paige I told you to do all of the dishes.  You still need to load the dishwasher."

     Paige: " But Christian never does anything! It's his turn to do the dishes."

     Mom: "But I asked you to do them.  Would you also like to clean the stove?"

     Paige: " Mom. Christian is so lazy he never does anything.  He wont develop a good work ethic if I do the dishes all of the time!"

     Mom: " Oh now you get to clean out the fridge too."

Of course this NEVER happens to me:) But really.. it doesn't. I learned very quickly that it's better to do your chores and do them thoroughly the first time, no complaints, or you WILL suffer the consequences!

2. Dad gets "his spot" on the couch.  If you try to steal it from him, he'll just sit on you or he'll bring some very sound logic into the matter like, " Well I own this couch and until you buy your own couch I get this spot!"  Cant really argue with that.  I kinda like watching a movie while sitting on a couch instead of the floor.

3. Maintain your grades and work your hardest in school.  This is not only and expectation my parents have for us kids but I also have it for myself.  It's not particularly spoken, but we have all observed that good grades gives you more privileges and makes our parents happier. 

4. This one has only occurred with one of my siblings that I'm aware of.  If you are late for curfew (midnight), for every minute that you were late, you get your phone confiscated for one hour.  For example if I was home at 12:14, fourteen minutes late, then I would get my phone taken away for fourteen hours.  Oh and that is, not including night time:)

5. This rule has not really been enforced (except once with the neighbor kid) but it's a funny thing my mom always says.  If we are in the car and have been driving for a significant amount of time, and she notices we never put our seatbelt on, she'll gasp and say, "Paige! You aren't wearing your seatbelt! YOU OWE ME A DOLLAR!" Now if she had actually enforced this rule she'd be rich by now:) ... and I wouldn't be paying my way through college;)  Just kidding! I do indeed abide by the law.

6. This last rule is pretty clever too ( I <3 my mom!) and was only used on my brothers.  Say we are in the car driving home from church or something and the boys are being SO annoying or arguing or something of that kind, mom will slam on the breaks really hard ( Ya know, she's got to get all of our attentions.  She's about to make an example out of them) she'll pull the car over and simply say, "Get out of the car. You're walking home." Knowing the consequences of arguing ( Rule #1) they'll comply and walk for a significant amount of time until mom knows they've learned their lesson.  In some instances they've even made it all the way home:)

Families are funny! And every family has some pretty crazy family rules.  So, go on, give it some thought.  What are your family rules? It may even be a fun bonding activity to reminisce with your siblings about past experiences when your parents have enforced these CRAZY FAMILY RULES:)

XOXO- Paige

P.S. Thanks Mom! You've taught us the importance of obedience:) I love you!

How Having Children Benefits Our Society

      Do you remember being a kid?  You'd wake up early on Saturday morning, rush downstairs in your pj's and snag the remote before any of your other siblings awoke.  The moment your turn on the tv an AWESOME commercial comes on.  Its advertising a battery operated braid machine that can braid your hair like the pros.  The girl in the commercial is having the most enjoyable time getting ready for school.  Once she arrives at school all eyes are on her!  Everyone loves her new hair and her friend group just doubled.  You want to be popular too so, obviously, you HAVE to get this new toy! Little do you know this toy is junk! All it does is twist your hair up into a tangled mess. 
      This is a very valuable lesson for every child to learn.  Not everything you see on the television is reality.  So how come when a study comes from a scientist or psychologist, we just assume that the information they are feeding us is correct?  In 1968 a book called The Population Bomb was written by Professor Paul R. Ehrlich.  His book discussed the assumption that our world is overpopulated and running out of resources to sustain life.  The book particularly attracted the attention of young college students and affected their way of thinking when it came to their decision to have children. 
      Professor Ehrlich's assumptions had a few flaws though.  He assumed that the population would continue to double every twenty years and that the resources on the earth would never increase.  This lead college students to think that if they had children it would affect the entire society in a negative way.  However, Ehrlich did not take into account the fact that children will one day grow up and contribute to the work force.  People are resources (innovative), bring resources (production), and DO NOT just use them up. 
      Many people also thought that if there are more people there will be more poverty because there will be less jobs.  But what about human capitol? People have new knowledge, new information, and new skills to bring to the table to create new jobs!  Think of where our society was in regard to technology just 5 years ago.  As technology advances new jobs are created, and these jobs would not have been created without innovative new people entering the workforce.  In order to keep a company going you either need to increase the number of people working or increase the productivity of one person.  With more people working together you are working smarter and have more innovative ideas to contribute to your company versus less people, each working harder to keep the company going. 
      There are many other points and sub topics I have not even touched, but I hope more than anything this information can educate you and remind you of the simple lesson you learned as a kid- Not everything you see on TV or read is true. And... if you're skeptical about this post feel free to do some research yourself:)

Here are some awesome sources^^^ and feel free to question or comment below

XOXO- Paige


For my Family 160 class we are required to write weekly blog posts.  Lucky for me I already have a blog set up and already have a deep love for writing.  We will be discussing issues found in our society as well as our personal lives that relate to dating, marriage, parenting, and the family structure.  I hope you can find these posts amusing and that I can relay my feelings adequately.  Thanks for the support!
XOXO- Paige

1 comment:

  1. Crazy Family Rules: Your family sounds like a lot of fun and your mom sounds like someone I would admire. Your curfew/cell phone rule is an awesome one that I will hopefully remember when my kids are old enough to have their own phones. Thanks!