Family is the springboard from which we all jump into life. It is a powerful social institution that is fundamental to the well-being of children and adults. Like other institutions, the family is deeply entwined with many necessary social traditions. The first school, the first educational system in which a child will ever participate, is the family. A child’s initial place for information about spirituality or religion, his or her first church, temple or religious experience (or lack thereof), is the family. The first recreation center, the first place where we play or learn to play, is in the family. Almost all of the important basic skills required for healthy life are initiated in the family.
A healthy marriage, with husband and wife committed to loving cooperation will likely produce children who are healthy and happy. A healthy well-adjusted child is more likely to make a healthy, balanced spouse.
Unfortunately, many of us walk around with emotional wounds, scars and hidden vulnerabilities, the residue of fall-out from divorce or dysfunctional families. Somewhere along the way, feelings of inadequacy, fear of intimacy, rejection, shame, and a host of other conscious or unconscious motivations prevent us from having compassionate, caring relationships because of the baggage we bring to our relationships from our families of origin.
Being a parent is a serious responsibility; the responsibility to nurture, feed, clothe, doctor, educate, shelter, identify talents (and nourish them) and connect with our children so that they know they are lovable and capable, is a demanding, full-time, plus overtime job which many parents have to juggle while holding down other full-time (and sometimes part-time) jobs. These days this tremendous responsibility often falls into the lap of a single parent, grandparent or some other caregiver. “I frequently feel alone and angry when trying to raise my two sons,” a client recently told us, “How could their father just walk away, ignore his responsibility to them? Sure he gives me money. But anyone knows that it takes more than money to care for a child.” She added, “I worry that they may not realize what being a man means.”
Since the family is the microcosm of the larger society, we see society is in distress because families are distressed. Dasi-Ziyad Family Institute is committed to building strong marriages and strong families through its educational, best practices courses, workshops, books and one on one services.
Over the past few years, many people have approached the Dasi-Ziyad Family Institute about presenting a healthy relationship course for singles. Ideally, two parents in a healthy marriage form a family that fortifies the children. We think that families can again become that strong start for children, especially if individuals who make the babies get the important relationship skills beforehand as well a wholesome view of them selves and their part in God’s creation. We have practically observed that there is a great necessity for preparing individuals for healthy marriages and other healthy relationships, primarily because of the above-mentioned factors.
Necessity, giving birth to invention, prompted us to create a comprehensive course, the S.E.L.F. (Singles Evaluating Life and Family)Healthy Relationship Course© to
• help individuals evaluate and/or release some of the painful or unhealthy baggage they carry into their relationships,
• help identify the meaning of manhood and womanhood,
• empower them with the skills needed to build healthy, satisfying relationships,
• assist in developing personal goals and more.
This in-depth, interactive course, will be conducted for 2 hours per week for 10 weeks. The S.E.L.F. Healthy Relationship course will begin in the Spring of 2009 in the greater Cleveland, Ohio area. Spaces are filled on a first registered, first served basis. To register, email us at email@example.com. For those not in the Cleveland area, we are willing to come to your church or agency and present the course. Contact DZFI for details.
Dear Relationship Coach,
I am seriously considering marriage to a man who has three children. I have two. The mother of his two oldest children has custody of them and frequently makes demands on his time and money (over and above the amount he pays for child support). His mother has custody of his youngest child (by another woman), and she would like him to get this child when/if he marries. He’s a decent, hard-working man and seems to
be a really good father and concerned about his children. Do you think we will be able to make it?
I respect your opinion,
You didn’t mention the ages of the children nor your relationship with your children’s father. These are important considerations.
Blended families can and do work; however, there should be realistic expectations, understanding and agreement before you get married. Seek out a marriage/family educator or coach who can help you identify some of the challenges and strengths in your relationship and can help you understand the steps/stages in blending a stepfamily.
Successfully integrating two families takes patience, kindness and skill. Generally, it takes several years for a family to really blend and the non-biological parent should carefully nurture a relationship with his/her stepchildren, bonding through shared fun and or educational family activities and outings.
A skilled Marriage/Family Educator can help you create similar rules and routines for same or similar age stepchildren. He or she can also help you with the very important consideration of discipline. In the first few months, discipline should come through the biologic