replies: divorce inevitable?//teens//working wives//stepmothers
cmfce at smartmarriages.com
Mon Aug 21 23:31:23 EDT 2000
subject: replies: divorce inevitable?//teens//working wives//stepmothers
from: Smart Marriages
This is another testimonial to the need for marriage education and the
critical work you are doing. This summer I read two books from family
scholars I admire. But they seem to take divorce as a given, not
that can be prevented. Still, I'm probably going to use one of the books
in a new class I'm teaching on family ecology. In this book, the author
discussing what makes families successful. Point 3: "ability to maintain
its core functions as it adapts to changes in marital arrangements. . . .
Strong families find ways to cope with the traumatic changes associated
with divorce." What is evident in the book is that the author places
marital stability outside the realm of something over which couples have
some control. Actually, he is somewhat inconsistent about this throughout
the book because he alternatively calls for stable, two-parent families to
help protect children from the media, etc., but then seems to assume that
marital instability is an inexorable part of the social landscape. The
need for marriage education among family scholars is as great as it is
among the general public! Keep up the good work.
Associate Director, School of Family Life
Brigham Young University
A comment on the U.VA. research that finds a link between teenage
pregnancy and fighting and poor family life. In our work with
delinquents, we see conflict in the home between parents and teens, and
among parenting adults (the biological father is rarely living in the
to be associated with teen peer conflict. It is likely due to modeling
deteriorating impulse control that comes with living in a stressed home.
One of the best solutions is training in family living skills for the
and parents, such as communication, support, consistent, fair discipline.
We have had success with this training, with our CD-ROM approach
Wisely) which leads to decreased teen fighting and other behavior
We have not measured pregnancy or sexual activity following the training,
but that is a good idea. I have not seen much discussion about the link
between poor parenting and teen pregnancy, but the UVA study provides some
connection. Too often service providers focus only on the teen at
risk (ie. via sex education) and not the environment which produces that
RE the USA Today article by Karen Petersen headlined, "Working wives have
ill effect on husband's health." This article should win an award for
oversimplifying and distorting a research finding in order to promote an
ideological agenda. The fact that a woman works outside the home has no
direct negative effect on her husband's health, as the headline implies.
More accurately, it is that many men do not take responsibility for their
own health and rarely handle a couple's social life. When women stay
and devote most of their time to the family, they make up for the men's
deficits. When women work outside the home and have less time for the
family, the men's shortcomings show. The moral of the story is not that
women should give up their satisfying day jobs, but that men should learn
call the doctor when they are sick and make plans with family and friends
without relying on their wives to do it all for them.
This study and the article aren't about what men SHOULD do....it's a
on what they DO....or DON'T DO. It's a report on WHAT IS, not what
I think you'd find that Karen Peterson (and all the rest of us) would
men should learn to do these things....and maybe men reading the article
come to the same conclusion. -diane sollee
Note that only when wives work MORE than 40 hours a week is there an ill
effect on husband's health.
I find this ("Working wives have ill effect on husband's health") to be an
offensive conclusion. What b.s.! It's couched in the
backhanded compliment that husbands are more 'dependent' on their wives
wives are on their husbands. What it really does is encourage men to not
there for their wives, who DO need the support, help, and physical
of their husbands as proactive partners in the marriage relationship.
Annie Garfield, LCSW
I have been in the wholistic health field for 17 years. We all know how
statistics can be twisted.
I have to repply to the statistics of 55 less spending on food in
families with stepmothers.
In order for the study to have a full validity I'd like to know:
- Did they count item for item food, not Fruit Loops, Hershey bars,
Twinkies, etc ?
_ Did they take in account a difference between buying food in bulk =
meat, fish and veggies,
and whipping up a meal, VS going to eat at Mac Donalds, which many
kids DEMAND ?
- Did they take in account drinking freshly made ice tea VS buying ice
tea in bottles ?
Reasons for my questions ?
I have several friends who are step mothers. I was a stepmother for 2
What we all found since alimony paid to birth mother was sucking up much
of resources available, we reached to cooking from scratch a lot = much
better for the kids in long run.
We also very well resisted to kids DEMANDS of expensive "treats" to be
found in food isles of supermarkets. (Sugar and coloring rich sweets, hot
dogs full of dyes and MSG, endless ice creams, chocolate chip cookies,
fake chocolate milk in cartons, etc.).
As a health professional, and also and educator I see daily a precise
immediate connection between the processed food and ADD, ADH, etc. All
kinds of behaviour problems straighten out quite quickly by altering diet
to include healthier alternatives of "treats" and making it fun.
All of us stepmothers used to exchange notes such as: oatmeal cookies
made from scratch from ORGANIC healthy ingredients, kids having fun
helping, and freezing some for future use was a great way of creating a
bonding activity, saving money and improving kids ATTENTION SPAN AT
I personally witnessed kids coming from their mom's house when they were
exposed to the higher spending on foood laden with sugar=mom loves them.
Kids were unrully, out of focus even violent. It was easier for us
stepmothers to resist the "blackmailing" demands of kids, who saw adds on
TV for chocolate(translates into cavities =$), and sugar laden cereals,
as well as Chicken Mc Nugget and fries at fast food chains (read bad fat,
low nutrition, future heart attacks and obesity).
I have pages I could send you. This note is just to comment on how often
statistics focus on quantity and not quality. In our most obese nation in
the world, with major behaviour problems(Columbine High School, etc)
perhaps a little less spending on CocaCola, Sprite and Twinkies might be
a good thing...
Thank for all your great newsletters !
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