Archive | May 25, 2013

A Child’s “Ten Commandments” to Parents

Mother and Child Reading - by Frederick Warren Freer

1. My hands are small; please don’t expect perfection whenever I make a bed, draw a picture, or throw a ball. My legs are short; please slow down so that I can keep up with you.

2. My eyes have not seen the world as your have; please let me explore safely: don’t restrict me unnecessarily.

3. Housework will always be there. I’m only little for a short time-please take time to explain things to me about this wonderful world, and do so willingly.

4. My feelings are tender; please be sensitive to my needs; don’t nag me all day long. (You wouldn’t want to be nagged for your inquisitiveness.) Treat me as you would want to be treated.

5. I am a special gift from God; please treasure me as God intended you to do, holding me accountable for my actions, giving me guidelines to live by, and disciplining me in a loving manner.

6. I need your encouragement, but not your praise, to grow. Please go easy on the criticism; remember, you can criticize the things I do without criticizing me.

7. Please give me the freedom to make decisions concerning myself. Permit me to fail, so that I can learn from my mistakes. Then someday I’ll be prepared to make the kind of decisions life requires of me.

8. Please don’t do things over for me. Somehow that makes me feel that my efforts didn’t quite measure up to your expectations. I know it’s hard, but please don’t try to compare me with my brother or sister.

9. Please don’t be afraid to leave for a weekend together. Kids need vacations from their parents, just as parents need vacations from kids. Besides, it’s a great way to show us kids that your marriage is very special.

10. Please take me to Sunday school and church regularly, setting a good example for me to follow. I enjoy learning more about God.

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The Great Legacy of Marriage

ht_Gordon_Norma_yeager_nt_111019_wgHere’s something to be thankful for on America’s Thanksgiving Day: an Iowa couple who shared 72 years of married life and died holding hands.

Gordon Yeager, 94, and his wife Norma, 90, left their small town of State Center, Iowa, on Wednesday to go into town, but never made it. A car accident sent the couple to the emergency room and intensive care unit with broken bones and other injuries. But, even in the hospital, their concerns were each other.

“She was saying her chest hurt and what’s wrong with Dad? Even laying there like that, she was worried about Dad,” said the couple’s son, Dennis Yeager, 52. “And his back was hurting and he was asking about Mom.”

When it became clear that their conditions were not improving, the couple was moved into a room together in beds side-by-side where they could hold hands.

“They joined hands; his right hand, her left hand,” [daughter Donna] Sheets said.

Gordon Yeager died at 3:38 p.m. He was no longer breathing, but the family was surprised by what his monitor showed.

“Someone in there said, ‘Why, then, when we look at the monitor is the heart still beating?'” Sheets recalled. “The nurse said Dad was picking up Mom’s heartbeat through Mom’s hand.”

Norma Yeager died exactly an hour later.

They died as they had lived. They had worked, travelled and played together. He was the life of the party, she was “the giver”, said Dennis. “She supported Dad in everything. And he would have been lost without her.”

Not bad for a “teenage” marriage, more or less. They were engaged and married within 12 hours in 1939 on the day Norma graduated from high school! You wouldn’t really want to encourage that in today’s cultural climate, but it does show that young marriages can last when society is supportive of marriage.

And when the couple complement each other.

And when there are children to concentrate the mind and energies. This article doesn’t say how many, but they are survived by 14 grandchildren, 29 great-grandchildren and one great-great grandchild. A great legacy, from a great marriage.

The Fear of Marriage

fear-of-commitmentI am frequently asked, “Is there such a thing as a happy marriage these days?” Clients often come in to see me, cite celebrity couples who are breaking up and then let that impact their decision on whether or not to marry. Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes, Maria Shriver and Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony are but just a few of the couples who are often mentioned to me. Clients are fearful of marriage as a result. Peoples’ attitudes seem to be, “Every marriage fails eventually, so what’s the point, anyhow?” Or, “So many of my friends are separated, divorced, or fighting, it’s really hard to remain optimistic about marriage.”

The comments above are based in fear — more specifically, fear of the unknown. People don’t know exactly how marriage will turn out when they enter it, and for the fearful, anxiety ensues. The fact is, as long as there are marriages there will be those that work and those that don’t. Hollywood is not immune from such phenomena, so don’t look towards celebrities as role models. There are things you can do to ensure a healthy relationship, even through differences and difficulties. These are my tried-and-tested tips that have helped countless couples in my practice become fearlessly married.

  • Define a healthy marriage. If you wanted to open a coffee shop, would you model it after the dingy one on the corner, or the thriving Starbucks? Rather than focusing on others’ botched relationships, look at what works.
  • Enter the marriage 100 percent committed, without the divorce option. In relationships that stand the test of time, couples are entirely focused on keeping it and doing what’s necessary to maintain it.
  • Disagreements are normal and don’t mean the end of a relationship. Look at the big picture and ask yourself: Is it worth it to win the battle but lose the war? Accept certain things about your partner. Sure, it may annoy you that he burns the toast, but in the end, does it really matter?
  • Focus on what binds you, not on what separates you. You originally got together because of commonalities, not differences. Keep that focus while maintaining a sense of autonomy. The best relationships are those where he does his thing, she does hers, and then they come together and enjoy.
  • Take time out when there are arguments or fights. Rarely are issues resolved in the heat of  battle, so walk away and agree to come together when things calm down. Examine your intent. Is it to hurt the other person or work towards a compromise? Avoid absolute words such as “always” or “never,” as they seldom lead to a constructive conversation.
  • Plan a date night, e.g. movies, dinner. Have it in place early in the week so you can look forward to it.
  • At bedtime, think of three positive things from your day, and three things you look forward to the next day…. Share them with your partner and go to sleep with a smile.

Quoted from Jonathan Alpert,

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