Tag Archives: stronger relationships

School holidays: A time restore and connect

Don’t settle for three or four days off. Short periods are fine, but they’re not sufficient. If you have an intense job, it takes at least two consecutive weeks away from work to fully restore yourself.

1. Take More Vacation time
In a world of ever-increasing demands, people are spending less time out of the office and taking fewer days off. Fall victim to this trend, and it will harm your health and productivity. Instead, do the following:

2. Take every day of vacation you’re given
Don’t hold it over and don’t tell yourself that you don’t have the time. You’ll get more done at a higher level of quality if you take time off and come back to the office rested.

3. Truly disengage when you’re away
If you don’t, you won’t be getting the full benefits of time off. If you have to answer email, set aside one short chunk of time to do so.

Today’s Tip was adapted from “More Vacation is the Secret Sauce” by Tony Schwartz.

Tune in for more tips and ideas to improve your relationship next week… or contact me Shane Smith shane@intentional-relationship.com or @ www.workofheart.net.au

More tips at Intentional-Relationship.com

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Married people tend to have healthier lifestyles, live longer, have more satisfying sexual relationships

Whilst Australia has seen a declining rate of marriage since 1947 – similar to other western nations – today more than 70% of women will marry in their lifetime, 1 in 5 marrying at least twice, with 4 in 5 couples living together before marriage (an increase from less than 1 in 5 in 1975). Lasting an average of 12 years, 1 in 3 of these relationships will end in divorce, most occurring in their primary producing years, around 45 for men and 43 for women in 2016 (ABS, 2016).

Marriage, however, still confers certain unique benefits. Based on a wealth of academic research, married people tend to have healthier lifestyles, live longer, have more satisfying sexual relationships, have more economic assets, and have children that tend to do better academically and emotionally. When relationships go right, couples who stay together tend to be happier, healthier and ultimately wealthier (Waite & Gallagher 2000).

Conversely, when relationships go wrong, couple distress is strongly linked to problems with individual health and well-being (Lebow et al 2012).

The children of couples who stay together – and therefore have both parents present in the house – are more likely to thrive in their well-being and education (McLanahan et al 2013).

References:

  • Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) – Marriage and divorces, Australia 2016.

  • Waite, L., & Gallagher, M. 2000: The case for marriage. New York: Doubleday.

Tune in for more tips next week… or contact me Shane Smith shane@intentional-relationship.com or @ www.workofheart.net.au

Why PREPARE/ENRICH?

For over 35 years, PREPARE/ENRICH has led the way in helping couples explore and strengthen their relationships. The PREPARE/ENRICH program focuses on improving the quality of your relationships – starting with developing a strong sense of self. With our mission to equip marriage champions, couples, and families, the evidence-based skills and insights lay the foundation for people to foster healthy relationships.

For more information about PREPARE/ENRICH, contact: www.prepare-enrich.com.au

More tips at Intentional-Relationship.com

Mobile technology allows for ambient intimacy: to keep touch with one another with a level of regularity and intimacy

Whilst some believe that online communication is the same as face-to-face, the lack of traditional rules and artifacts is impacting on couple communication. The term ‘ambient intimacy’ put forward by Lisa Reichelt, describes the way in which social media allows couples to ‘keep touch with one another with a level of regularity and intimacy that you wouldn’t usually have access to, because time and space conspire to make it possible’ (Threshold Dec 2011, pp8-10).

Ambient intimacy might be one of the processes that underlie the formation and maintenance of relationships on social media. Previous researchers have shown that social media use can strengthen weaker relationships (Ellison, Steinfield, Lampe, 2007).

This technology also creates difficult situations for couples involving emotional intimacy and fidelity, including the ease of access to personal details, the ease at which private communication can take place and access to pornography. Facebook is increasing cited in divorce proceedings in both the US and UK.

Source:

  • Ellison, N. N. B., Steinfield, C., & Lampe, C. (2007). The benefits of Facebook “friends”: Social capital and college students’ use of online social network sites. Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, 12
  • Reichelt, L. (2007). Ambient Intimacy. Disambiguity. Retrieved from http://www.disambiguity.com/ambient-intimacy/
  • Lin, R., Levordashka, A., & Utz, S. (2016). Ambient intimacy on Twitter. Cyberpsychology: Journal of Psychosocial Research on Cyberspace, 10(1), article 6.
  • Threshold Dec 2011, pp 8-10

 

Read more: www.ifstudies.org/blog/technoference-in-parenting-is-your-mobile-device-distracting-you-from-your-child

Do you need help with an issue or problem? Our approach helps to generate deep and productive conversations that couples would not otherwise have about their relationship. These conversations can restore insight and understanding about one another.

Tune in for more tips next week… or contact me Shane Smith shane@intentional-relationship.com or @ www.workofheart.net.www.workofheart.net.au

More tips at Intentional-Relationship.com

Take the Couple Checkup

Take the Couple Checkup

Simply click on the Register button below relevant to your relationship – it couldn’t be easier. Once you have finished the questions you should receive your comprehensive personalised report in about 30 seconds.

Take the Couple Checkup

The Couple Checkup generates deep and productive conversations that couples would not otherwise have about their relationship. These conversations restore insight and understanding about one another. The Couple Checkup can help to revive a relationship and increase intimacy. 

The Couple Checkup is an online couple assessment based on the PREPARE/ENRICH couple inventories. The Checkup assessment and Checkup report are designed to go directly to couples at any stage of their relationship (dating, engaged or married). The online system allows for dynamic customization of the assessment to each couple based on how the couple answers background questions. The goal is for the Couple Checkup to reach a more diverse group of couples, to empower couples to deal with issues on their own and to emphasize prevention over remediation.

For more information on the use and analysis of the Couple Checkup or to simply use the tool, please contact: www.couplecheckup.com.au or call today (02) 9520 4049 #couplecheckup #strongerrelationships

Technoference in Parenting: Is Your Mobile Device Distracting You From Your Child?

Parent technology use and child behavior are intricately connected, according to a new study. Even minor interruptions in parent-child interactions are intricately linked with child behaviour.

Heavy parent digital technology use has been associated with suboptimal parent-child interactions, but no studies examine associations with child behavior. This study by the Institute for Family Studies in the US investigates whether parental problematic technology use is associated with technology-based interruptions in parent-child interactions, termed “technoference,” and whether technoference is associated with child behavior problems.

In one study 65 percent of mothers stated that technology devices interrupted their interactions with their child during playtime sometimes or more often, and 22 percent said this happened at least sometimes even during disciplining their child.

Parent reports from 170 U.S. families (child Mean age = 3.04 years) and actor-partner interdependence modeling showed that maternal and paternal problematic digital technology use predicted greater technoference in mother-child and father-child interactions; then, maternal technoference predicted both mothers’ and fathers’ reports of child externalising and internalising behaviors. Results suggest that technological interruptions are associated with child problem behaviors, but directionality and transactional processes should be examined in future longitudinal studies.

In summary, these findings suggest that parent technology use and child behavior are intricately connected, showing associations between technoference and potential relationship problems in couples and parenting.

Source: McDaniel, B. T., & Radesky, J. S. (2017). Technoference: Parent Distraction With Technology and Associations With Child Behavior Problems. Child Development

Read more: www.ifstudies.org/blog/technoference-in-parenting-is-your-mobile-device-distracting-you-from-your-child

Do you need help with an issue or problem? Our approach helps to generate deep and productive conversations that couples would not otherwise have about their relationship. These conversations can restore insight and understanding about one another.

    Tune in for more tips next week… or contact me Shane Smith shane@intentional-relationship.com or @ www.workofheart.net.www.workofheart.net.au

    More tips at Intentional-Relationship.com

    Take the Couple Checkup

    Take the Couple Checkup

    Simply click on the Register button below relevant to your relationship – it couldn’t be easier. Once you have finished the questions you should receive your comprehensive personalised report in about 30 seconds.

    Take the Couple Checkup

    The Couple Checkup generates deep and productive conversations that couples would not otherwise have about their relationship. These conversations restore insight and understanding about one another. The Couple Checkup can help to revive a relationship and increase intimacy. 

    The Couple Checkup is an online couple assessment based on the PREPARE/ENRICH couple inventories. The Checkup assessment and Checkup report are designed to go directly to couples at any stage of their relationship (dating, engaged or married). The online system allows for dynamic customization of the assessment to each couple based on how the couple answers background questions. The goal is for the Couple Checkup to reach a more diverse group of couples, to empower couples to deal with issues on their own and to emphasize prevention over remediation.

    For more information on the use and analysis of the Couple Checkup or to simply use the tool, please contact: www.couplecheckup.com.au or call today (02) 9520 4049 #couplecheckup #strongerrelationships

    Young adults in serious relationships are likely to report that the internet and mobile phones have an impact on their relationship, but this impact can cut both ways

    Whilst most of the qualities that help sustain a good relationship have not changed – commitment, effective communication, constructive conflict and patience, honesty, forgiveness amongst others – there is strong evidence that couples are using these technologies to enhance their relationships. Both the opportunities and threats associated with the use of internet and mobile technologies including the stress associated with their use by couples must be understood and considered to ensure effective communication in all their life stages.

    While young adults in serious relationships are more likely than older couples to report that the internet has had an impact on their relationship, this impact can cut both ways. Many young couples view technology as a way to bring greater intimacy to their relationship, even as it introduces new sources of tension.

    • 45% of online 18-29 year olds in serious relationships say the internet has had an impact on their relationship – 21% say a major impact.
    • 42% of 18-29 year olds with a mobile phone in a serious relationship say their partner has been distracted by their phone while they were together.
    • 41% of online 18-29 year olds in serious relationships felt closer to their partner because of online or text conversations.

    “Technology is everywhere and our relationships are no exception,” said Amanda Lenhart, lead author of the report and Senior Researcher at the Pew Research Center. “And for younger adults and those in newer relationships, tools such as mobile phones and social media are there at the beginning and play a greater role today for good and for ill.”

    Reference:

    • Cowley, D, 2017: Social Media Statistics Australia – April 2017: https://www.socialmedianews.com.au/social-media-statistics-australia-april-2017/
    • Hampton, K.N., Rainie, L., Lu, W., Shin, I., & Purcell, K. (2014). “Social Media and the Cost of Caring.” Pew Research Center, Washington, DC. Available at: http://www.pewinternet.org/2015/01/15/social-media-and-stress/

    Tune in for part 6 next week – Is Your Mobile Device Distracting You From Your Child?

    Do you need help with an issue or problem? Our approach helps to generate deep and productive conversations that couples would not otherwise have about their relationship. These conversations can restore insight and understanding about one another.

    Tune in for more tips next week… or contact me Shane Smith shane@intentional-relationship.com or @ www.workofheart.net.www.workofheart.net.au

    More tips at Intentional-Relationship.com

    Take the Couple Checkup

    Take the Couple Checkup

    Simply click on the Register button below relevant to your relationship – it couldn’t be easier. Once you have finished the questions you should receive your comprehensive personalised report in about 30 seconds.

    Take the Couple Checkup

    The Couple Checkup generates deep and productive conversations that couples would not otherwise have about their relationship. These conversations restore insight and understanding about one another. The Couple Checkup can help to revive a relationship and increase intimacy. 

    The Couple Checkup is an online couple assessment based on the PREPARE/ENRICH couple inventories. The Checkup assessment and Checkup report are designed to go directly to couples at any stage of their relationship (dating, engaged or married). The online system allows for dynamic customization of the assessment to each couple based on how the couple answers background questions. The goal is for the Couple Checkup to reach a more diverse group of couples, to empower couples to deal with issues on their own and to emphasize prevention over remediation.

    For more information on the use and analysis of the Couple Checkup or to simply use the tool, please contact: www.couplecheckup.com.au or call today (02) 9520 4049 #couplecheckup #strongerrelationships

    Stress and social Media: Gender differences are a major part of this story

    The widespread use of the internet and related digital technologies has raised concerns that technology use may be responsible for higher levels of psychological stress. However the opposite is true. Social media users are not any more likely to feel stress than others, but there is a subgroup of social media users who are more aware of stressful events in their friends’ lives and this subgroup of social media users does feel more stress.

    Gender differences are a major part of this story. Women and men have different levels of stress; their use of digital technologies varies; and the impact of their technology use is different.

    The broad patterns are:

    • Overall, women tend to report more stress than men. But, those women who use a number of digital technologies to communicate with others tend to report less stress than women who do not use these technologies.
    • Women are more aware of stressful events in the lives of their closest friends and family.
    • Social media use is related to even higher levels of awareness of the stressful events that unfold in the lives of people they know.
    • Awareness of stressful events in others’ lives is a significant contributor to people’s own stress. It is the only factor that was found that is common to both social media use and psychological stress. The number of undesirable events associated with stress is greater for women than for men.

    Whilst most of the qualities that help sustain a good relationship have not changed – commitment, effective communication, constructive conflict and patience, honesty, forgiveness amongst others – there is strong evidence that couples are using these technologies to enhance their relationships. Both the opportunities and threats associated with the use of internet and mobile technologies including the stress associated with their use by couples must be understood and considered to ensure effective communication in all their life stages.

    Another question is raised however. Is your use of the internet and related digital technologies taking you away from spending quality time with your partner? Is your technology use creating tensions in your relationship?

    According to Social Media Statistics Australia – April 2017:

    • 7 in 10 Australians use Facebook
    • Approx 50% of the Australian population logs into Facebook on a daily basis.
    • Australian use Facebook on average 12.5 hours a week, up 4 hours on last year.

    Ask your partner today: is my use of the internet and my mobile phone impacting our relationship? You might be surprised by the answer…

    Reference:

      Tune in for part 5 next week – Social Media and stress levels.

      Do you need help with an issue or problem? Our approach helps to generate deep and productive conversations that couples would not otherwise have about their relationship. These conversations can restore insight and understanding about one another.

        Tune in for more tips next week… or contact me Shane Smith shane@intentional-relationship.com or @ www.workofheart.net.www.workofheart.net.au

        More tips at Intentional-Relationship.com

        Take the Couple Checkup

        Take the Couple Checkup

        Simply click on the Register button below relevant to your relationship – it couldn’t be easier. Once you have finished the questions you should receive your comprehensive personalised report in about 30 seconds.

        Take the Couple Checkup

        The Couple Checkup generates deep and productive conversations that couples would not otherwise have about their relationship. These conversations restore insight and understanding about one another. The Couple Checkup can help to revive a relationship and increase intimacy. 

        The Couple Checkup is an online couple assessment based on the PREPARE/ENRICH couple inventories. The Checkup assessment and Checkup report are designed to go directly to couples at any stage of their relationship (dating, engaged or married). The online system allows for dynamic customization of the assessment to each couple based on how the couple answers background questions. The goal is for the Couple Checkup to reach a more diverse group of couples, to empower couples to deal with issues on their own and to emphasize prevention over remediation.

        For more information on the use and analysis of the Couple Checkup or to simply use the tool, please contact: www.couplecheckup.com.au or call today (02) 9520 4049 #couplecheckup #strongerrelationships

        Stress and social media: Increases our awareness of distressing events in others’ lives

        The widespread use of the internet and related digital technologies has raised concerns that technology use may be responsible for higher levels of psychological stress. However the opposite us true. Studies have shown that the widespread use of the internet and related digital technologies is not responsible for higher levels of psychological stress. Stress is not associated with the frequency of people’s technology use, or even how many friends users have on social media platforms. For women particularly, the use of some technologies is tied to lower stress.

        Such analysts often suggest that it is the heaviest users of these technologies that are most at risk. Critics fear that these technologies take over people’s lives, creating time pressures that put people at risk for the negative physical and psychological health effects that can result from stress.

        How can it be that social media use is not directly associated with stress, but for some, social media use can still lead to higher levels of stress?

        The answer: The relationship between stress and social media use is indirect. It is the social uses of digital technologies, and the way they increase awareness of distressing events in others’ lives, that explains how the use of social media can result in users feeling more stress.

        Like the recent terror attacks in Manchester at the Ariana Grande concert that took the lives of many young concertgoers, the use digital technologies, such as facebook, Twitter, email and text messaging enables fast and distributed communication of the event. As a result of this communication, many are aware and reminded of distressing events in the lives of others.

        On the one hand, there are benefits from this fast and distributed news, informing and providing awareness. According to previous research by the Pew Research Center, compared with non-social media users and those who are not as active on Facebook, this person likely: has more close friends; has more trust in people; feels more supported; and is more politically involved. While some might assume that this typical user of Twitter, Facebook and other digital technologies experiences peer pressure to participate or keep up, and a fear of missing out, if such pressures exist, our typical user does not feel more stress than what he or she would otherwise have experienced, or the social benefit of using these technologies cancels out those additional costs. He or she is unlikely to feel more stress than those who are not using or are less active on social media.

        On the other hand, there is the common exception to this situation. Sometimes, a social media user’s awareness of events in others’ lives includes knowledge about undesirable events such as the terror events, or a friend or family member getting fired or losing someone close to them. Learning of such events in the life of a friend or family member can result in higher feelings of stress.

        In sum, social media users are not any more likely to feel stress than others, but there is a subgroup of social media users who are more aware of stressful events in their friends’ lives and this subgroup of social media users does feel more stress.

        Reference:

          Tune in for part 4 next week – Social Media and stress levels.

          Do you need help with an issue or problem? Our approach helps to generate deep and productive conversations that couples would not otherwise have about their relationship. These conversations can restore insight and understanding about one another.

            Tune in for more tips next week… or contact me Shane Smith shane@intentional-relationship.com or @ www.workofheart.net.www.workofheart.net.au

            More tips at Intentional-Relationship.com

            Take the Couple Checkup

            Take the Couple Checkup

            Simply click on the Register button below relevant to your relationship – it couldn’t be easier. Once you have finished the questions you should receive your comprehensive personalised report in about 30 seconds.

            Take the Couple Checkup

            The Couple Checkup generates deep and productive conversations that couples would not otherwise have about their relationship. These conversations restore insight and understanding about one another. The Couple Checkup can help to revive a relationship and increase intimacy. 

            The Couple Checkup is an online couple assessment based on the PREPARE/ENRICH couple inventories. The Checkup assessment and Checkup report are designed to go directly to couples at any stage of their relationship (dating, engaged or married). The online system allows for dynamic customization of the assessment to each couple based on how the couple answers background questions. The goal is for the Couple Checkup to reach a more diverse group of couples, to empower couples to deal with issues on their own and to emphasize prevention over remediation.

            For more information on the use and analysis of the Couple Checkup or to simply use the tool, please contact: www.couplecheckup.com.au or call today (02) 9520 4049 #couplecheckup #strongerrelationships