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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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    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… parents employ “digital grounding” or restrict their teen’s online access

    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:

    2. A majority of parents employ “digital grounding” or restrict their teen’s online access. Sixty-five percent of parents say they have taken away their teen’s internet privileges or cellphone as punishment, while half of parents limit how often their teen can be online.

    Pew Research Center surveys have found that 92% of teens say they go online daily, with 24% using the internet “almost constantly,” and nearly three-quarters of teens have access to a smartphone. Therefore, “digital grounding” is a potentially potent form of discipline.

    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… how modern parents monitor their teen’s digital

    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:

    1. Parents are keeping a close eye on their teen’s digital life, but few do so by tech-based means. Roughly six-in-ten parents say they have either checked which websites their teen has visited or looked at their teen’s social media profile. And about half say they have looked through their teen’s phone call records or messages. But few parents are utilising more technical measures – such as parental controls or location tracking tools – to monitor their teen.

    Teens are increasingly using mobile technologies to communicate, share and go online.

    While parental monitoring by technological means is somewhat less common, some 39% of parents say they turn to parental controls or other technological tools to block, filter or monitor their teen’s online activities. And even fewer parents report using parental controls to restrict their teen’s use of his or her mobile phone (16%) or using monitoring tools on their teen’s mobile phone to track his or her location (16%).

    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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    Text, Twitter, Tweet… Is your SmartPhone use antisocial, 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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    Text, Twitter, Tweet… For children, this obsession can start early but needs to be tackled by parents

    A recent study claims that there is anecdotal evidence of parents needing to lock away their children’s devices for fear of midnight video watching, texting, and gaming.

    According to the Deloitte Global Mobile Consumer Survey, 2016 – we are fast becoming (if not already) an always-on mobile society. Our addiction to our favourite device and the apparent need to check regularly and respond instantly must be in response to our growing fear of missing out or perhaps our love of being always-on.

    For children, this obsession can start early but needs to be tackled by parents to ensure good habits are learnt and distractions from mobile technology don’t impact negatively on their health and learning abilities.

    Here are some tips:

    No technology in the bedroom. The number one recommendation from experts in addressing cyber bullying. Cyber bullying is most likely to occur behind a closed door.

    No screens at bedtime or during family time. You don’t have to confiscate their phones, you can get an app that can automatically block activity at a certain time or when a time limit is exceeded.

    Approval required. Only allow apps to be downloaded if approved by parents or block access to app store purchases with a password.

    Understand online security and safety. Educate your kids, let them know that sharing photos and videos, as well as anything written, can be saved and shared without their knowledge. Invest in kid-safe browsers.

    Practice acceptable online behaviour. Let your kids know that they should talk to you if someone is harassing them online or through text. Make sure your children are also aware of the harm they can cause through online bullying.

    Reference:

    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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    Text, Twitter, Tweet… be willing to invest the time and effort to developing new habits and balance

    Social media has changed the daily lives of couples by:

    • How they stay in touch with others (and reconnect with people);
    • The way couples make friends, how they find acquaintances and how others find partners by connecting with people anywhere in the world;
    • How couples do business, how businesses connect to buyers and potential buyers;
    • How they reveal themselves and share information;
    • How couples allow their voice to be heard – to amplify a message; and
    • How they learn.

    This technology also creates difficult situations for couples involving emotional intimacy and fidelity, including the ease of access to personal details, the ease at which private communication can take place and access to pornography. Facebook is increasing cited in divorce proceedings in both the US and UK.

    The late Stephen Covey suggests consistent and continued refinement and attention to all of the following four areas in our lives:

    1. Physical;
    2. Intellectual;
    3. Social and
    4. Spiritual.

    Often we find we live our lives narrowly focusing on work or home. Think about your life and the balance you maintain. Change is possible and often easier than you think.

    Attempting to balance exercise, nutrition and stress management (physical); by reading, visualising, planning and writing (Intellectual); focusing on clarifying values and our commitment, dedicating time to study, our faith and/or meditation (Spiritual); and through our service, being empathic, being synergistic and ensuring security (Social), ensures success.

    Don’t get caught up in the demands of life and forget ourselves and our partner. Be proactive and do this for your relationship. “We are the instruments of our own performance, and to be effective, we need to recognize the importance of taking time to regularly sharpen the saw in all four ways”.

    You don’t have to get it right the first time. This is part of life’s journey of learning and developing. You will get there if you are willing to invest the time and effort to developing new habits.

    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… Take breaks from electronic devices and make time for focused attention on one another

    Couples are using the internet and mobile technology to communicate with one another, to keep up-to-date with information and news about others. Combined with the ease of access to these communication mediums and their instant and constant influence over couple relationships, its presence and impact cannot be underestimated or ignored.

    With over 62% of Australian internet users on social sites such as Facebook and Twitter and average usage at >6hrs/month on social sites and rising (53% women and 47% men), there is little wonder that social usage will be a problem for some relationships.

    Consider changing your habits and develop an action plan for your relationship goals:

    Is the myriad of today’s electronic devices an ever-present distraction in your home? Do your smartphones have a place at your dinner table? Is your television on more than it is off?

    Take breaks from electronic devices and make time for focused attention on one another. You might not even realise how ingrained these habits have become, until you consciously try to break them!

    Have you experienced these challenges? Perhaps there are things to celebrate also. Make time to not only celebrate and reflect on how far you’ve come over the years, but also to establish hopes, goals, and resolutions for the year ahead.

    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