Tuesday, September 1, 2009

parental advice

Since I don't get invited for heart to heart talks with you - ;), I thought I would just make free with my opinions on a few things that may help in future situations:

Dating/Relationship/Marriage advice:

- If you meet at school or in a singles ward, make sure you each have a chance to see the other with family and friends (get out of the zoo, and into your natural habitat)
-How do each of you treat your parents and siblings? (you'll eventually be treating each other the same way)
-How are your family dynamics? Do they have similar traditions to your family? Are there family issues that may be a concern later with children? (abuse, addictions, divorce, health issues)
-Do either of your personalities change when you are around your high school friends? -your parents or family?
-Try to see each other in all 4 seasons of the year - a). You need enough time to tell if there are problems, and b). There are different traditions and activities that will reveal your characters.
-How do each of you handle sports? Is one more competitive than the other? Does one get angry? How is your sportsmanship?
-When dealing with tasks that can be frustrating (christmas lights, changing a tire, cleaning up a mess) how do you/they handle it? Do tempers flare?
-Are you similarly formal/casual about the same things? Dress, manners, dating etiquette?
-Do you respect each others virtue? Are you careful to plan dates and times together that insure you will stay virtuous? (real love cares about the other's worthiness)
-Does being around the other person bring out your best character and personality?

As a relationship gets more serious, make sure to discuss:
Children. You should have similar ideas about number, discipline, names, timing, etc.
Money. Make sure you have compatible spending/earning habits, know about each other's debt, talk about budgeting, future earning, and careers. (do you agree on stay at home mom issues?)

Probably the most important thing is to learn how strong each other's testimony is. Do you have the same eternal goals? Are you and they diligent with: tithing/ scriptures/ prayer/ callings/ temple attendance/ church meetings?
When problems arise, see if you are neglecting any of these things.

Service increases your love for the other person! If your relationship is lacking something - make a plan to increase your service to your partner. Try to do things that are specifically meaningful for them. (One person can improve a relationship)

Be a 100% complete person. By this I mean don't make your happiness depend on the other person. If each of you has confidence in yourself, you'll have much more to bring to the relationship. When it comes down to it, you can't control the other person, you can only control yourself, so if you're at your best, you'll attract and inspire others with the same confidence.

In future posts:
Advice about raising children