10 Jan What Do You Value Most?
January 10, 2012
From the Desk of Carol Soelberg
I love the number 13! I was born on the 13th, (as was my husband) have (coincidentally) thirteen children and so I look forward to the year 2013 as my lucky year! I’m also smart enough to know that good things rarely happen without effort so I have started early to set goals, and make plans for my wonderful year to materialize. This kind of planning always starts with an assessment of my priorities and – you guessed it–the family is at the top of my list.
I firmly believe that family relationships give us our greatest potential for happiness. So, I’m making plans to be a better spouse and parent. I want to strengthen my family and help protect yours. To accomplish this I am pleased to announce a new focus on parenting and parental rights. Each month we will feature a writer whose focus will be all angles of parenting. We will review with you parenting methods, challenges, threats to parenting, resources, and the basic responsibility and privilege of parenting. We are excited about the opportunity to become more aware of the importance of the rising generation and our part in producing it.
United Families International has taken a special interest in training our college age youth. We know they are the voice of tomorrow and we are piloting a family advocacy training program with select universities in hopes of developing an army of family advocates. Part of that training includes writing educational alerts on family issues. I am pleased to share with you today some of results of their efforts. We have selected three articles written by these students on the importance of some aspect of parenting.
The first article asks us the question: What do we value most? “Materialism as it relates to parents is not an often discussed topic, but materialism’s potentially negative consequences are threatening family well-being.” In “Make a Smart Investment: Read to Your Child” we are reminded of the importance of sharing the reading experience with our children. From the last two young adult writers we learn of the impact of quality family time. The research from all of these articles might surprise you!
We hope that you will enjoy reading what these young people have to report on family issues and that we will all be more involved in making the year 2013 a GREAT year for the family.
What do you value most? Parents and Materialism
Kyndra Reiss and Michaela Huber
How do you, as an individual, define yourself? Is it through your role as a member of your family? Through your academic or professional achievements? Through your custom home or your brand new speedboat? Today in the United States we see individuals that are overly focused on occupational prestige, and a society becoming too materialistic. Today’s families echo these ideals, with a “keep up with the Jones'” attitude, distracting from the purpose of this social institution. Research on this topic consistently yields evidence of the many negative impacts a materialistic lifestyle can have on children and families.
Researchers at Murdoch University indicated that “high materialists” placed a majority of value on their personal hierarchy, which is ahead of other values consisting of family and interpersonal relationships. For the materialist, possessions obtained serve as replacements for inadequate interpersonal relationships. The lower satisfaction with family life is due to the greater value they place on possessions and the time spent acquiring them, rather than on creating interpersonal family relationships. Read more….
Make a Smart Investment: Read to your Child
Samantha Peterson and Belinda Tanner
It’s bedtime once again and a little girl climbs into her bed and pulls the covers up to her chin. She asks the same question that children all over the world ask every night: “Mom, can you read me a story?” Her question is met with “Not tonight,” the same reply that she hears more often than she should.
It is easy to blame our schools or teachers when our children fall behind, but what all too many parents don’t realize is that the best place to help our children is in the home. Jim Trelease in his book, The Read Aloud Handbook, tell us that “Contrary to the doctrine that blames teachers for reading scores, research shows that the seeds of reading and school success are sown in the home, long before the child ever arrives at school”.
Time Well Spent
Kayna Olsen and Rachel Wines
When looking at my memories, I realize that most of them involve time spent with my family. I have fond memories of eating dinner with my family–of us baking together and then enjoying our creation. I remember my parents taking me and my two sisters on day-long trips. These moments have created a family netting that my sisters and I can fall back on when times get tough for us. These times spent together have shown me and my sisters that we have people who care for us and are always willing to lend us a helping hand.
It is safe to say that most parents want their children to be happy. Do parents realize that what their adolescents want is time spent together? In a study on teenagers views of time spent with family, researchers found that of teenagers between the ages of 13 to 19, 73 percent of them believe that parents do not spend enough time with them.