The 5 Best Things I've Learned in Family Life

May 12, 2016

I'm a big fan of my major. I want to do non-profit work full-time once I graduate from college, and honestly, you don't really need a specific degree to do that. I had a really hard time figuring out what to study, but when I took a human development class and enjoyed taking the tests, I knew that Family Life was for me.
I really like it because it's so practical; no matter what you do, you are going to be working with people. You are going to be a part of a family, whether by blood or by choice. This impacts everyone, and because of this, I want to share with you various things I have learned in my major that are basically jumping out of my heart to tell y'all. Fair warning: some of these may seem a little ridiculous or out there, and there will be a good amount of parenting and relationship advice. It comes with the job.

  • Giving your child "the talk": If you are anything like most families in the world, "the talk" is a dreaded part of being a parent (or being a child, really). To prevent the inherent awkwardness and question of when it should happen, use this simple tip taught to me by the most caring professor I have ever had: give your child "the talk" from birth. I'm serious! When you're rocking your child back and forth, tell them "You have a penis. Some day, you are going to find a girl attractive and you will get an erection." I'm not trying to be crass here, but just think about it: throughout their development, if a child is learning about their anatomy and what there body does, there is no room for awkwardness. It's just always going to be a part of their knowledge, and you won't feel weird talking to a kid about genitalia and sex if you've been practicing doing so their whole life.
  • Compatibility vs. Complementarity: I read this quote once that said, 
"The trick, kiddo," his mom replies slowly. "Is finding someone who complements you instead of completes you. You need to be complete on your own." —The Fight, and Fate
You should be asking yourself: Am I helping my partner become whole? What am I doing that’s making up what’s lacking in the other? This relates to everything, whether it is physical, mental, emotional, spiritual. As it was pointed out to me, “I don’t think that it’s fair for guys to be able to look at a girl and know whether or not they are attracted to the size of their breasts since women can’t look and see if a man will fulfill their wants!" Two things with this: 1) You should not rely completely on physical attraction because there's really no guarantee how that's gonna work out for you and 2) Double standard though. But anyways, back to the original point I'm trying to make here  You cannot wholly rely on another human being for your happiness. This is not to say that you cannot be with someone that makes you happy, because obviously you should. The trick, however, is being with someone who complements you. You don't have to have a perfectly compatible relationship, but you should both be committed to working together to better each other.

  •  People still want to get married: I'm serious. I know that it's drilled into our brains constantly that divorce rates are up!!!! Nobody is getting married anymore!!!! Everything and their dog is ruining the sanctity of marriage!!!! I'm not discounting that or anything, but news flash: 
    FIGURE 16. Percentage of High School Seniors Who Said They Agreed or Mostly Agreed That Most People Will Have Fuller and Happier Lives if They Choose Legal Marriage Rather Than Staying Single or Just Living With Someone, by Time Period, United States[A]

Do you see that? Kids are still wanting to get married. In the case of boys, they're wanting to get married now more than ever before!

  • Gottman's Four Horsemen: So apparently professors in my major have to debate who actually gets to teach this, which I don't know if I believe honestly because it's been drilled into my head harder than the Four Horsemen in the bible. Basically, the Four Horsemen are really large predictors of divorce or separation. The good news is, they can be changed! But if you see any of them start to surface, it's better to act sooner rather than later.
  •  Perception: So I'm going to talk about perception in two different ways: 1) Perception when it comes to family stressors and 2) Perception concerning sexuality and mental illness. When it comes to family stressors, perception is key. There's this thing called the ABC-X model that basically maps out how families deal with stress. The family's perception, or C in the ABC-X model, can really make or break the family during a stressful time. If a family or even an individual in a family perceives a lack of resources to help them through a stressful event, the stress will amount. However if a family or an individual perceives themselves capable of making it through a stressful event, resources become more noticeable and progression speeds up.
When it comes to sexuality or mental illness, be careful how you perceive people. I am not innocent of this, but when someone "comes out" to you, it totally readjusts how you view them. They are now gay. They are not the person that had individual qualities and characteristics that you knew beforehand. THIS IS WRONG. Do not do this!!!! Like I said, everyone does, but this is definitely something that we as a society need to work on. The same goes for mental illnesses too, in my opinion. A person is not their mental illness. A person isn't their cancer, so why would they be their depression? Just think about it.
 Thanks for letting me ramble some about my major. Like I said, I'm a big fan, so anytime I get to teach people the things that I've learned I get way too excited. Did you like hearing about Family Life? Let me know in the comments if you'd like more blogposts like this one.

Yours truly,

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  1. I loved this post! It is good to hear more about family life since they are things I want to know but I am not studying. :)