Archive for the ‘Focus on the Family’ Category

In the recent news of the Glenn Ong, Jamie Yeo split, I’m sure the couple had a difficult time mending irreconcilable differences. Not only was the couple affected by their decision to part, their family and friends were perhaps affected in one way or another. Much so if children are torn in this broken relationship. Sharing an article from TODAY newspapers.

A secondary school teacher recently sent me a poem written by one of her students, Does A Child Understand? I’d like to share it with you.

Such a touchy topic; does a child understand the gradual separation of a woman and a man? Flashbacks haunt my thoughts; those scary, scary words. Why can’t I just erase the threats I overheard? Mummy crying in such pain; Dad runs out the door. I’m frozen in the recurrent scene. No crying or speaking. Why? I’m filled with fear and sorrow, but no tear slips from my eye. “Don’t tell anyone,” I’m told. “Yes. All right, I won’t. But what if …” “No, not anyone!” Oh, then of course, I don’t. Gone is the caring, the family I want to be. In its place there’s something horrid; lying, pretending, enmity. Does a child understand the sudden coldness in the air; the rotten words that fly about; the nights when one’s not there? The crescendo of the hatred builds. I cover my ears with my hands. “Why them? Why me? Why my family?” I do not understand.

A touching poem, indeed, that speaks of the CLARIFICATION real tragedy of divorce. ~ by Dr James Dobson, TODAY, Feb 17, 2009.

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Spoken words can mean so much to little children. In their growing years, words of encouragement or otherwise will shape their thoughts and outlook in life. Little do you realise that what you say to the little ones and how you say it can mean so much to them.

Words can make or break your child’s future If you knew that the words you used around your children were shaping their future, how careful would you be before speaking? The truth is, the words we say to our kids have more of an impact on their lives than many of us realise. We can do more damage or good than we ever imagined. By simply speaking positively about their future, we can help shape and mould what they become. Imagine a child who hears his father say: “You know, Johnny, you certainly have a sensitive heart. I think you’re going to grow up to help a lot of people.” In these few words, Johnny’s father has not only made his son feel good about himself, but he’s planted an image in his mind that will stay with him for years. It might even affect his career choices later in life. If we want our kids to dream big dreams, we begin by planting those thoughts now, while they’re still young. ~ FOCUS ON THE FAMILY by Dr Bill maier, TODAY, Oct 6th 2008

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A perfect Marriage?

We aspire to be perfect in the things we do. To try our best to attain the highest standards in our academic achievements, career, social status and amongst many others…our marriage. How does one work on one’s marriage? Is there a rule book, like our many other paths to achievements, that once adhered to, will guarantee a successful marriage? As each marriage is unique to the couple, what secrets are there to maintain a fulfilling married life? Sharing an article from FOCUS ON THE FAMILY.

There’s no such thing as a perfect marriage, but that doesn’t mean your marriage can’t be fulfilling and happy. Building a strong marriage takes hard work and commitment. It takes two people who are willing to say to each other: “I know that tough times will come, but I promise to stay with you, no matter what.” When life gets hard, even the best marriages are tested. And the ones that survive are those where each party made a conscious decision to stay the course. In fact, couples who persevere through trials almost always come out stronger than ever. Take time to remind your spouse how committed you are to your marriage. Use special occasions, like anniversaries, holidays, or other family events to focus on what’s important, and renew your love and devotion, both to your mate and your children. Remind your spouse often, and see if it doesn’t strengthen your relationship. And remember, strong marriages are built on loyalty, and loyalty is a decision, not a personality trait. ~ TODAY, 15th Aug 2008, FOCUS ON THE FAMILY by Dr Bill Maier

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Sharing an article published in TODAY.

Yesterday, we talked about blended families and the special challenges they typically face. Our focus was on the kids and their difficulties in accepting a step-parent or living with new siblings. But the more serious problem common among reconstituted families concerns the way the new husband and wife feel about their kids. Each is irrationally committed to his or her own flesh and blood, while they’re merely acquainted with the others. When fights or insults occur between both sets of kids, they’re almost always partial to the ones whom they brought into this world. The natural tendency is to let the blended family dissolve into armed camps: Us against them. If kids sense this tension between their parents, they’ll exploit it to gain power over their siblings. Unless there are ways to work out these issues, some terrible battles can occur.

Given these challenges, it’s clear why the probabilities of second and third marriages being successful are considerably lower than the first. It is possible to blend families successfully and millions have done it, but the task is difficult, and you may need some help in pulling it off. That’s why I strongly suggest that those planning to remarry seek professional counselling as early as possible. It may be expensive, but another divorce would be even more costly. ~ FOCUS ON THE FAMILY by Dr James Dobson

Perhaps to take a step further, work on your marriage, no matter how difficult the task may be. Go back to the time when you and your spouse exchanged your marriage vows. What makes both of you want to share your lives together?

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For some, life’s journey could be a lot more difficult to trod. The loss of a loved one, facing financial difficulties, suffering from illness, unemployment, or perhaps just the prospect of earning enough to place a meal on the table for the family could be an uphill task. In the area of marriage, there is no exception. Holding hands to walk on the path of life together is wrought with many challenges. Sharing an article from FOCUS ON THE FAMILY.

There’s nothing better than a great marriage. But great marriages take a lot of work. We all go through times that are tough and challenging, and even the closest relationships can get strained. Sometimes people lose jobs or businesses, or suffer a devastating injury. Other times the busyness of life gets in the way, causing physical and emotional stress. At this point, instead of leaning on each other, couples start to pull away, causing feelings of pain and rejection. When that happens, just being aware of the potential problems can do wonders for preventing them. And communication is your strongest defence against trouble. Instead of letting hard times come between you, see them as opportunities to strengthen your relationship. Talk to your spouse and loved ones about what’s going on in your life, and let them help you through it. Going through hardship alone is just a formula for trouble. ~ FOCUS ON THE FAMILY by Dr James Dobson, TODAY July 29, 2008

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Hiding from our own inadequacies usually stems from the fear of facing the truth. Whatever the fear may be, have courage to come out from hiding and let healing begins. Sharing an article from FOCUS ON THE FAMILY.

The game “Hide and seek” is fun for kids, but many adults play a hiding game that’s really not much un at all. I recently saw a fascinating story in The Seattle Times. The headline read, “Sixty Years in Hiding for World War Two Soldiers?” Two former Japanese military men, now in their late-80s, had presumably been hiding in the remote mountains of the Philippines since 1945! These two aren’t the only World War II diehards. In the 1970s, Japanese soldiers emerged from jungles and caves on several different islands, after years of eating frogs and rats, and weaving clothes from tree bark. As astonishing as that sounds, I’m equally amazed to learn about the hidden lives of “respectable” people in my community, and in yours. These are the same smiling faces that you see at work, at church, or in the supermarket. It’s shocking to learn that they’ve been hiding an addiction, or a secret sin, a dysfunction, or extramarital affair. These secrets will eventually rip a family to shreds, or even lead to violence or suicide. Tormented souls need not hide out in jungles and caves anymore. Help is available from counsellors and pastors, and there are some wonderful support groups out there. Of course, it will take courage to come out of hiding, but that’s how healing begins. ~ Dr James Dobson, FOCUS ON THE FAMILY, July 25, 2008

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Family Fun

An old school friend whom I came into contact recently shared with me something which I find it very true. “It’s not how much free time you can garner to enjoy your life. It’s the freeing of your time to do things that are meaningful that makes your life enjoyable.”

You need not travel to faraway exotic places with your family to seek that enjoyment. Need not spend loads for an out-of-the-world experience. Sharing an article from TODAY newspaper which describes how you can still enjoy the special moments with your family meaningfully.

You don’t have to break the bank to design a great holiday. Just getting away together as a family is all it takes to create great memories. Start by brainstorming with your kids. Sit down with a map of Singapore and talk about all the places you’ve wanted to go. There are lots of places on this island I bet you haven’t been to! How about a ride to St John’s island? Or biking for a day on Pualau Ubin? Have you ever been out to the wetland reserve? You could even narrow it down to three options and then have a family vote. Don’t let the lack of funds get in the way of your summer holiday. Just plan wisely, and then have a blast. ~ FOCUS ON THE FAMILY by Dr James Dobson

Have a meaningful and enjoyable weekend with your family, even if it’s just spending time together at home.

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When one or a variety of long festering unresolved issues overwhelm couples in a squabble, nasty words are thrown, anger rises, vulgarities hurled, and sometimes to the extent of harming one’s spouse with fist-fights and punches. But what will all these lead to in the end? One of the things couples who attended the MPC (Marriage Preparation Course) is to learn to fight while holding hands. As one tries to overpower the other in a moment of anger and hate, one will realise that both are held by their hands in this special bond. Unless one or both, so decides to free oneself from this bond to go on one’s own path, that bond is ever so held by the strength of the couple themselves. Learn to fight while holding hands if you face a standoff. And what happens after that….You decide.

It’s not the fights that should worry us, but it’s what happens when the fights are over. Almost all marital partners experience conflict from time to time, and these minor confrontations can actually be healthy to the relationship. A verbal spat, within reasonable limits, can open windows and give the couple a chance to vent frustrations. The important question, however, is what happens after the fight. In healthy relationships, a period of confrontation ends in forgiveness, drawing together, deeper respect and understanding and sometimes, sexual satisfaction. But, in unstable marriages, conflict is never entirely resolved. This is a dangerous situation where the consequences of one battle begin to overlap with a prelude to the next. Obviously we’d like to avoid this outcome. It’s a good idea for couples to take a close look at themselves after a fight winds down. Are there things that you’ve said or done that have aggrieved your partner? Do you need to ask forgiveness for attacking your spouse’s self-worth, instead of focusing on the issues that divided you? Are there substantive matters that haven’t yet been resolved? Set aside some time to deal with them. With a little practice, we can turn each of our conflicts into solid opportunities for growth and new understanding. ~ FOCUS ON THE FAMILY by Dr James Dobson

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You may have heard about the 5 C’s which spells your attainment of success if you have acquired them all: Car, Cash, Condominium, Credit Card, Career. Much time and effort are made to achieve success. What about success in a Marriage? How much time and effort will you contribute to make your Marriage a success? Sharing an article from TODAY newspaper.

Three C’s of Marriage
Let’s talk about the principles of a good marriage. The first is Communication. All relationships need active and clear communication in order to survive, and this is especially true in marriage. If something is bugging you, talk to your spouse about it. And ask them if anything you’ve done is bothering them. It’s amazing what a little conversation can do to draw two people together.

The second is Compromise – and it works best when both sides have aired their differences. Marriage is a series of give-and-take negotiations, and all couples need to be willing to put the relationship above their own wants and wishes.

The third is Consideration. One father told his son: “Treat your wife with as much courtesy as you would a friend, and you’ll probably be fine. “That’s a good rule of thumb for all of us. ~ FOCUS ON THE FAMILY by Dr Bill Maier.

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Computer literacy and familiarisation can be as early as teaching children the basics at kindergarten level. Most homes would have a PC where children have the opportunity to surf the internet for school related assignments or just plain browsing. Do you know what your kids are watching online? Here’s an article from TODAY newspaper to share with readers.

In 1985 and 1986, I served on the United States Attorney-General’s Commission on Pornography, which turned out to be one of the most difficult assignments of my life. For 18 months, I had the unenviable responsibility, with 10 other commissioners, of examining the most wretched material ever published. Many people think obscenity consists of air-brushed nudity, as seen in popular men’s magazines, when in reality, much of it involves unthinkable violence against women, depictions of bestiality, the abuse and even killing of children and other subjects that I can’t describe in this setting. I regret to say now that everything I had witnessed during those 18 months is now available on the Internet and can be accessed by any 12-year-old with a computer and an Internet connection. They can pull down and print in high resolution material that’s clearly similar, albeit illegal, to anything found in adult bookstores. So I want to tell you, as a child psychologist, that this material is terribly destructive, especially to boys in the early adolescent years. It teaches them to associate sex with violence and sets them up for a lifelong addiction. And yet, the United States Supreme Court ruled that the law designed to protect children from this curse was unconstitutional. All I can do in response is to plead with parents to monitor what your kids are being exposed to on that innocent looking computer. ~ FOCUS ON THE FAMILY by Dr James Dobson.

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