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Intentional Parenting: 8 ways to be intentional with the time you have to spend with your family – Take time to unplug

Here are a few ideas which may get you thinking of how you can do “small things often” and turn towards your partner to show them you are loving them intentionally. In turn these small things will add to your emotional bank account, deposits that create a stronger bond in your partnership.

  • Hengchen et al (2014) came up with 8 ways to be intentional with the time you have to spend with your family. Try using these motivations in your own household.
  • 2. Take time to unplug – When I get home from work I try to put my phone on the counter so I’m not tempted to look at it and can give my family my full attention. Think about when you are out with friends or on a date. Do you find it rude, or distracting when they are on their phones the whole time? I don’t want my kids to feel neglected because mom is always on her phone. It’s also a great way to model good behavior when it comes to setting rules on screen time for your children.

    By setting intentions for family time, it takes pressure off of you and your family to accomplish those unreasonable resolutions. Use this year as an opportunity to create a fresh start. Be intentional with your family.

    Remember that these motivations aren’t all or nothing. Some days you will succeed in some areas and lack in others, and that’s okay. The purpose of setting intentions is to make your goals obtainable for you and your family.

    References

    • Hengchen Dai, Katherine L. Milkman, Jason Riis (2014) The Fresh Start Effect: Temporal Landmarks Motivate Aspirational Behavior. Management Science

    Tune in for more tips and ideas next week.

    Marriage and Relationship Education is a learning opportunity, much like you would do in any other important life event. Check out the new video for couples on YouTube: https://youtu.be/xyuUl-JnIhM

    Keep up with the latest from the MAREAA online:

    Join us at www.mareaa.asn.au or sign up to our Newsletter: http://eepurl.com/bRigGf

    For more information on PREPARE/ENRICH or support with a couple or to simply set up a couple on the tool, please contact: www.prepare-enrich.com.au or call today (02) 9520 4049 #prepareenrich #strongerrelationships

    PREPARE/ENRICH is a customised online assessment tool that identifies each couples unique strength and growth areas. Based on their assessment results, a facilitator provides feedback sessions, helping couples to discuss and understand their results while teaching them proven relationship skills.

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    Intentional Parenting: 8 ways to be intentional with the time you have to spend with your family – Spend 1:1 time with each child

    Many people make resolutions around their own lifestyle changes that will improve their quality of life. While we tend to make unobtainable goals, many people still have a go, and some succeed. Researchers call this feeling the “fresh start effect”. They have found that we tend to motivate ourselves into good habits by using a new beginning (like the start of the week, month, year, season, etc.) as a marker to put past behavior behind us and focus on being better. It brings opportunity to reflect on the previous year and anticipate what you want the New Year to look like.

    Here are a few ideas which may get you thinking of how you can do “small things often” and turn towards your partner to show them you are loving them intentionally In 2019. In turn these small things will add to your emotional bank account, deposits that create a stronger bond in your partnership.

    A goal for you might be about the quality of time you spend together versus the quantity.

  • Hengchen et al (2014) came up with 8 ways to be intentional with the time you have to spend with your family. Try using these motivations in your own household.
    1. Spend 1:1 time – If you have more than one child how can you make them feel special and loved? Spend time with them individually! Kids crave one-on-one time with their parents. It makes them feel special, you get to connect and catch up with that child, and it can strengthen your bond. Make sure both parents take turns. Some examples: have one child run errands with you, take a walk around your neighborhood, do your chores/projects together, play a favorite game with them, use your time in the car driving your child to activities.

    By setting intentions for family time, it takes pressure off of you and your family to accomplish those unreasonable resolutions. Use this year as an opportunity to create a fresh start. Be intentional with your family.

    Remember that these motivations aren’t all or nothing. Some days you will succeed in some areas and lack in others, and that’s okay. The purpose of setting intentions is to make your goals obtainable for you and your family.

    References

    1. Hengchen Dai, Katherine L. Milkman, Jason Riis (2014) The Fresh Start Effect: Temporal Landmarks Motivate Aspirational Behavior. Management Science.

    Tune in for more tips and ideas next week.

    Marriage and Relationship Education is a learning opportunity, much like you would do in any other important life event. Check out the new video for couples on YouTube: https://youtu.be/xyuUl-JnIhM

    Keep up with the latest from the MAREAA online:

    Join us at www.mareaa.asn.au or sign up to our Newsletter: http://eepurl.com/bRigGf

    For more information on PREPARE/ENRICH or support with a couple or to simply set up a couple on the tool, please contact: www.prepare-enrich.com.au or call today (02) 9520 4049 #prepareenrich #strongerrelationships

    PREPARE/ENRICH is a customised online assessment tool that identifies each couples unique strength and growth areas. Based on their assessment results, a facilitator provides feedback sessions, helping couples to discuss and understand their results while teaching them proven relationship skills.

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    Text, Twitter, Tweet… talk with your teen about how to behave on the web

    Today’s parents must navigate how, when and to what extent they oversee their teens’ online and mobile activities. Knowing when to step back and when to take a more hands-on approach is challenging.

    A new US report from the Pew Research Center on parents of 13 to 17-year-olds finds that parents take a wide range of actions to monitor their teen’s digital life and to encourage their child to use technology in an appropriate and responsible manner.

    Here are six takeaways from the report:

    6. Nearly all parents have talked with their teen about how to behave on the web. More than nine-in ten parents have discussed what is appropriate to share online (94%), what constitutes appropriate online behavior towards others (92%) and what is appropriate content for teens to view online (95%).

    Whether or not parents frequently discuss acceptable conduct with their teen varies by a number of demographic characteristics. For example, mothers are more likely than fathers to report talking frequently with their teen about appropriate online and offline behaviour.

    There are also differences based on household income. Across the five types of conversations measured, parents who are less affluent are more likely than those from higher-income households to have these regular conversations. And Hispanic parents (51%) are more likely than white (32%) or black (32%) parents to frequently speak with their teen about their online behaviour towards others.

    In summary, 84% of parents report taking at least one of these six steps to monitor or restrict their child’s online activities, while 16% indicate that they have not taken any of these actions with their teen.

    Reference: www.pewinternet.org/2016/01/07/how-parents-monitor-their-teens-digital-behavior/

    Monica Anderson is a research associate focusing on internet, science and technology at Pew Research Center.

    Tune in for more tips and ideas next week.

    Marriage and Relationship Education is a learning opportunity, much like you would do in any other important life event. Check out the new video for couples on YouTube: https://youtu.be/xyuUl-JnIhM

    Keep up with the latest from the MAREAA online:

    Join us at www.mareaa.asn.au or sign up to our Newsletter: http://eepurl.com/bRigGf

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    Text, Twitter, Tweet… Limiting your teens online screen time

    Today’s parents must navigate how, when and to what extent they oversee their teens’ online and mobile activities. Knowing when to step back and when to take a more hands-on approach is challenging.

    A new US report from the Pew Research Center on parents of 13 to 17-year-olds finds that parents take a wide range of actions to monitor their teen’s digital life and to encourage their child to use technology in an appropriate and responsible manner.

    Here are six takeaways from the report:

    5. Limiting online screen time isn’t always a consequence of bad behaviour: 55% of parents say they limit the amount of time their teen can go online, regardless of behavior. Moreover, parents of younger teens are especially likely to place limits on their teen’s internet use.

    Whether or not parents frequently discuss acceptable conduct with their teen varies by a number of demographic characteristics. For example, mothers are more likely than fathers to report talking frequently with their teen about appropriate online and offline behavior.

    There are also differences based on household income. Across the five types of conversations measured, parents who are less affluent are more likely than those from higher-income households to have these regular conversations. And Hispanic parents (51%) are more likely than white (32%) or black (32%) parents to frequently speak with their teen about their online behavior towards others.

    In total, 84% of parents report taking at least one of these six steps to monitor or restrict their child’s online activities, while 16% indicate that they have not taken any of these actions with their teen.

    Reference: www.pewinternet.org/2016/01/07/how-parents-monitor-their-teens-digital-behavior/

    Monica Anderson is a research associate focusing on internet, science and technology at Pew Research Center.

    Tune in for more tips and ideas next week.

    Marriage and Relationship Education is a learning opportunity, much like you would do in any other important life event. Check out the new video for couples on YouTube: https://youtu.be/xyuUl-JnIhM

    Keep up with the latest from the MAREAA online:

    Join us at www.mareaa.asn.au or sign up to our Newsletter: http://eepurl.com/bRigGf

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    Text, Twitter, Tweet… friend or follow your teen on social media

    Today’s parents must navigate how, when and to what extent they oversee their teens’ online and mobile activities. Knowing when to step back and when to take a more hands-on approach is challenging.

    A new US report from the Pew Research Center on parents of 13 to 17-year-olds finds that parents take a wide range of actions to monitor their teen’s digital life and to encourage their child to use technology in an appropriate and responsible manner.

    Here are six takeaways from the report:

    4. Some parents take the additional step of friending or following their teen on social media. Some 44% of parents are friends with their teen on Facebook, while one-in-ten report following their teen on Twitter. In total, 56% of parents are connected with their teen on Facebook, Twitter or some other social media platform.

    In total, 84% of parents report taking at least one of these six steps to monitor or restrict their child’s online activities, while 16% indicate that they have not taken any of these actions with their teen.

    Reference: www.pewinternet.org/2016/01/07/how-parents-monitor-their-teens-digital-behavior/

    Monica Anderson is a research associate focusing on internet, science and technology at Pew Research Center.

    Tune in for more tips and ideas next week.

    Marriage and Relationship Education is a learning opportunity, much like you would do in any other important life event. Check out the new video for couples on YouTube: https://youtu.be/xyuUl-JnIhM

    Keep up with the latest from the MAREAA online:

    Join us at www.mareaa.asn.au or sign up to our Newsletter: http://eepurl.com/bRigGf

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    Text, Twitter, Tweet… Men tend to use texting when avoiding confrontation

    Text as a casual method of staying in touch seems to be a good thing. Many people text to maintain the relationship however studies show that men and women generally text at differing levels of intimacy. Women do not generally text about severe subjects and men even less so.

    Men also tend to use texting when they are avoiding confrontation, while female texting frequency was positively associated with their own relationship stability.

    Lori Schade and Jonathan Sandberg, studied 276 young adults in the US to see what communicating through texts did to their relationship. 38 percent described their relationship as serious, 46 percent were engaged, and 16 percent were married. Each of them completed a detailed relationship assessment that covered, among other things, their use of technology.

    Here are a few highlights from the report they publish in the Journal of Couple and Relationship Therapy:

    • For women: Using text messages to apologise, work out differences or make decisions is associated with lower relationship quality
    • For men: Too frequent texting is associated with lower relationship quality
    • For all: Expressing affection via text enhances the relationship

    Male texting frequency was negatively associated with relationship satisfaction and stability scores for both partners while female texting frequency was positively associated with their own relationship stability scores. Texting to express affection was associated with higher reported partner attachment for both men and women.

    References:

    • Louis D. Lo Praeste, death and texting, 25 October 2017,
    • Lori Cluff Schade, Jonathan Sandberg, Roy Bean, Dean Busby, Sarah Coyne 2013: Using Technology to Connect in Romantic Relationships: Effects on Attachment, Relationship Satisfaction, and Stability in Emerging Adults, P 314-338 Published online: 28 Oct 2013
    • BYU professors Roy Bean, Dean Busby and Sarah Coyne co-authored the study with Schade and Sandberg

    Tune in for more tips and ideas next week.

    Marriage and Relationship Education is a learning opportunity, much like you would do in any other important life event. Check out the new video for couples on YouTube: https://youtu.be/xyuUl-JnIhM

    Keep up with the latest from the MAREAA online:

    Join us at www.mareaa.asn.au or sign up to our Newsletter: http://eepurl.com/bRigGf

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    Text, Twitter, Tweet… is your smartphone use causing arguments and endangering those around you?

    We have seen how smartphones can enhance our lives, but there is a fine line where use can be perceived as antisocial, causing arguments and endanger those around us.

    We are all increasingly enthusiastic users of this technology and doing so across a growing range of social (and solo) situations, always or very often when spending time with friends, walking or watching TV.

    A recent report suggested that almost a quarter of mobile consumers use their phones ‘always’ or ‘very often’ talking to friends and when eating at home, or eating out with family or friends. And a disturbing 1 in 10 of us use our smartphones when crossing the road or driving.

    Consider your use of mobile technology, and consider those a round you. Is your behaviour anti-social, causing arguments or potentially endangering those around you?

    Source: Deloitte Global Mobile Consumer Survey, 2016

    http://landing.deloitte.com.au/rs/761-IBL-328/images/tmt-mobile-consumer-2016-final-report-101116.pdf.

    Tune in for more tips and ideas next week.

    Marriage and Relationship Education is a learning opportunity, much like you would do in any other important life event. Check out the new video for couples on YouTube: https://youtu.be/xyuUl-JnIhM

    Keep up with the latest from the MAREAA online:

    Join us at www.mareaa.asn.au or sign up to our Newsletter: http://eepurl.com/bRigGf

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    Jennifer Mason – the 2018 recipient of the Marriage and Relationship Educators Association of Australia (MAREAA) award for excellence.

    Congratulations Jennifer Mason on being the 2018 recipient of the Marriage and Relationship Educators Association of Australia (MAREAA) award for excellence.

    The award recognises outstanding or exceptional service or contribution to marriage and relationship education.

    It seeks to recognise those who meet two or more of the following criteria:

    • Demonstrated excellent, consistent and innovative service to the field;
    • Provided continuous outstanding service to the field;
    • Implemented an outstanding or novel initiative;
    • Made significant improvements to the content or process of relationship education;
    • Shown a commitment to the ongoing development of the profession: and
    • Shown dedication to the support and encouragement of others in the field

    Jennifer has been dedicated in her work with relationships in and outside of Centacare working across age groups from young children to adults. She has been dedicated to the betterment of the field and been an active committee member of MAREAA and the former CSME for many years. Her wit, humour intelligence and professionalism have built and delivered work with high integrity always.

    Jennifer was an incredibly skilled FOCCUS trainer and in all her work made sure it was of a very high standard and quality. Aside from these qualities she has been very supportive as a peer with an enthusiastic, energetic and embracing attitude to current research and findings that better her work and the outcomes for couples and children.

    Congratulations Jennifer Mason!

    Shane Smith

    Director, PREPARE/ENRICH Australia

    President, Marriage and Relationship Educators Association of Australia Inc.

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    Victoria State Conference and National AGM, Saturday August 4, 2018 East Melbourne

    AMANDA LAMBROS PRESENTING: Daring to be Vulnerable to be Brave and From the Bedroom and Beyond

    Daring to be Vulnerable to be Brave (Brene Brown Session)

    How does your ability to be vulnerable impact on you and those you work with? Have you taken the time to reflect on how bravery helps or hinders you? Would you be willing to take steps towards being more daring in life, work and relationships? If so, how will this impact what you do going forward? By drawing upon the research of Brene Brown, this is an interactive workshop which will get you thinking about vulnerability, bravery and daring. How these impact you personally and how they have the ability to impact on the people you work with. If you don’t know anything about Brene Brown, that’s fine, this workshop will include video clips and an activity workbook.

    From the Bedroom and Beyond (Intimacy Session)

    OMG – There’s a Sexologist in the room! This light-hearted and interactive workshop will have you question what you know about intimacy and sexuality and how to help couples grow in this space to engage in the most fulfilling, sexually healthy relationship possible. A workbook with activities to help you define and reflect on the concept of intimacy, with suggested activities for those you work with will be provided. Come with an open mind and a willingness to question, question, question.

    Conference Program

    9.00am Registration
    9.30am Welcome and opening
    10.00am Morning session (including morning tea)
    12.30pm Lunch
    1.30pm Afternoon session (including afternoon tea)
    4.15pm Summary and evaluation
    4.30pm MAREAA AGM
    Wine and cheese

    Book here: https://mareaa.asn.au/events/victorian-branch-state-conference-2018/

    Parking:

    Limited parking is available. Enter off Lansdowne Street.
    The venue is in close proximity to Parliament Station and trams.
    (refer to Melway Map 44 A7). Conference entry from car park.

    Bookshop:

    An excellent range of books and resources will be available for purchase at the conference courtesy of ‘St Luke’s Innovative resources’ bookshop.

    An opportunity not to be missed!

    Victorian State Committee: Offering three (3) FREE registrations to Victorian members and one (1) FREE registration to an interstate membership

    Our Victorian State Committee is offering three (3) free registrations to Victorian members and one (1) free registration to an interstate member who would like to attend the MAREAA Victorian State Conference to be held on August 4th 2018.

    This is an opportunity to assist and encourage those members who may not otherwise have been able to attend to participate in professional development.

    The amount covered will be $140 (conference registration). As always the MAREAA Vic State Conference will be a valuable learning and networking day. You will find information about the conference theme and presenters on the MAREAA website HERE>

    We believe this is a positive contribution to assist in ongoing professional development for marriage and relationship educators in Australia.

    The conditions for application:

    1. The applicant must be a current MAREAA financial member.
    2. (to join go to MAREAA:  www.mareaa.asn.au)
    3. The applicant is not in receipt of a subsidy to attend already. eg. from his/her workplace or other organisation, unless the organisation does not provide for professional development.
    4. The email application outlining your case is to sent me by Friday 6th July 2018 to newsletter@mareaa.asn.au

    The Committee will make the decision and notify successful applicants via email by 11 July, 2018.

    Kind Regards,
    Leonie Nolan,
    MAREAA Victoria
    C/- CatholicCare
    PO Box 196, East Melbourne 8002newsletter@mareaa.asn.au

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    Welcome Amanda Lambros, Vice-President of MAREAA

    Amanda Lambros is a renowned thought leader on relationships, relationship development and consumer engagement and is a wonderful addition to the MAREAA Executive. Combining current consumer insights with research into relationships, engagement and delivering organisations and individuals powerful strategies for connecting with their customers both present and future, Amanda has the skills and background to contribute and advocate for the ongoing growth and provision for early intervention and prevention programs in Australia.

    As a change agent, Amanda is recognised as an entertaining speaker and has presented at over 300 conferences in 11 countries, combining practical strategies with an impressive storytelling style, Amanda leaves audiences with memorable messages and actionable insights. With an educational background in Health Sciences and Ethics, Amanda has a Masters Degrees in both Forensic Sexology and Counselling. She has consulted to some of the country’s largest brands, including various Universities, SERCO, Rio Tinto, Telstra, Brookfield Multiplex, Toyota and MercyCare.

    “MAREAA has a great tradition and history in supporting relationship educators and influencing the public agenda and with such a diverse background, we are fortunate to have Amanda on the executive, adding to the tremendous knowledge and experience within the leadership team. I thank Amanda for her continued support”, Shane said.

    Welcome and thankyou Amanda for accepting this position.

    Yours Sincerely,
    Shane Smith
    National President, Marriage and Relationship Educators Association of Australia (MAREAA)

    Director, Relationship Educator and Mediator
    PREPARE/ENRICH Australia

    Amanda Lambros
    BHSc., Dip Ethics, MSForensicSexol., MACouns.
    Clinical Counsellor & Supervisor
    Member, Professional Speakers of Australia (PSA)
    Relationship & Grief & Loss Expert | Educator | Speaker

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    Welcome Shane Smith, incoming President of MAREAA

    PREPARE/ENRICH director Shane Smith was recently elected to the role of MAREAA President, replacing outgoing President Denise Lacey, who whilst still on the Executive, has chosen to step-down from the lead role.

    I am thrilled to welcome Shane to the role…. In November 2014, Shane was appointed as the Vice President of the Marriage and Relationship Educators Association of Australia (MAREAA) and has been a wonderful support to me and the whole Executive. He is a natural leader, has passion and commitment to marriage and relationship education and will provide strong direction and creative for the future of MAREAA.

    Shane has delivered a wide variety of parenting and relationship education programs since 2007 and with his wife Mandi, have grown PREPARE/ENRICH and CoupleCheckup to support over 8,500 facilitators across Australia, training over 400 new facilitators each year and supporting over 500 couple inventory completions each month. Supporting the technology and social media platforms, Shane has played a pivotal role in uplifting MAREAAs engagement with relationship educators, celebrants and couples across Australia through the provision of web, weekly social media blogs and regular newsletters.

    Shane commented, “Given MAREAA believes and strongly advocates for the development and maintenance of healthy, committed, nurturing relationships in all their diversity, there is no better time for MAREAA to be part of public discussion, supporting and respecting the dignity of all individuals, inclusion, belonging and equality for couples irrespective of age, sexual orientation, cultural or religious background. As we continue to become a more diverse culture, making a long-term commitment to a partner, whether that be in marriage or a cohabiting relationship, overwhelmingly points to physical, psychological, emotional, social and financial benefits for men, women and children (and our society in general) and it’s a privilege to contribute and continue to advocate that.”

    “For the Committee, I want to bring that all together in a highly collaborative and transparent environment… and we’ve started off the year just this way with our strategic planning meeting last month. For our members, we appreciate your continued support, clearly demonstrated at the highly successful National Conference held last November. Throughout this year and years ahead, we look forward to continually improving what we do, how we collaborate with each other and across the sector and with government and looking always to the positive impact on couple and family relationships”, Shane said.

    MAREAA has a great tradition and history in supporting relationship educators and influencing the public agenda and I believe we can continue to positively contribute and advocate for the ongoing growth and provision for early intervention and prevention programs in Australia. We have tremendous knowledge and diversity within the leadership team and I thank the Executive and members for your continued support. I am still on the Executive and on the MAREAA Vic committee and very committed to Relationship Education. I will support Shane and the MAREAA Exec in everything we do.

    As Director of PREPARE/ENRICH Australia and now President of MAREAA, in his spare time he is also an intentional husband and father of three teenage children. Shane works alongside many like-minded professionals and organisations who support and advocate for individuals, couples and families. He believes that all couples have the opportunity to develop and grow their relationship skills that assist them maintain strong and healthy relationships.

    Shane has a broad understanding of digital technology (Unlike me!!) and the impact of the internet, mobile technology and social media has on couple relationships He is a regular writer and blogger on this topic. With over 20 years’ experience in IT and Telecommunications, Procurement and Contract and Commercial management, Shane has a Master of Dispute Resolution at the University of Technology (Sydney), a Master of Business Administration (Law) from the University of New England, a postgraduate certificate in Adult Education in Training and a bachelor’s degree of Applied Science in Information Studies from UTS.

    Welcome and thankyou Shane for accepting this position.

    Yours Sincerely,

    Denise Lacey
    (former) National President

    Marriage and Relationship Educators Association of Australia (MAREAA)