Author: Stance Studies on the Family

Book of Mormon Challenge

Book of Mormon Challenge

By: Elizabeth Hansen For all the women who were able to watch, read, or hear about General Women’s Conference this past October, probably heard  President Nelson’s Book of Mormon challenge. He challenged all the women to read the Book of Mormon from cover to cover […]

Parenting for All

Parenting for All

By: Elizabeth Hansen Whether you are single, married and not ready for kids, don’t want children, struggling with infertility, or more, you can still be a parent—mother or father—in many ways. There are many relationships we have in our lives where we can step into […]

Use Your Words!

Use Your Words!

“I’ll come play with you really soon!”

Yeah, we’ve heard that one before.

I’m currently studying the English language in one of my classes, and we discussed a property of language known as cultural transmission. This means you learn and define words as you hear them; language is taught culturally. Well, the example my professor described for this principle is the word soon. Its original meaning was “without delay, forthwith, straightway,” whereas it has come to mean, in layman’s terms, “relatively quickly but not right now.” If it’s true that language is learned based on how it is heard being used, can’t you see how easily this shift in meaning could have occurred? One generation of parents uses the word “soon” to describe when they will play with their kids or when their next trip to Disneyland will be, and just like that the word the child learned has a different meaning than the one the parents thought they were using.

This is just one rather nerdy, but kind of fun, example of the influence the words you say have on those around you, especially in the case of your children. I knew a mother who over and over again, when talking about hard times or difficult situations, would say, “Yeah, it’s tricky!” She said this to her children and everyone who knew her when talking about problems. I loved it! For this mother, and the children she taught, nothing was ever so hard that it was impossible! It was only “tricky.” Tricks can be solved. Things that are “tricky” will go away and get better. I think this wonderful woman taught her children and all of us a thing or two about trials, just by using that one little word “tricky” in place of so many others she could have used.

As in every aspect of parenting, there’s not just one right way to speak to your children. There’s not a set vocabulary for good parents and bad ones. Just pay a little bit of attention to the things you say! Are you using words in a way that could distort their meaning for your children? Are you using words that teach your children something about the way you view the world? Your actions might speak louder than your words do, but your words still speak! You can use words many ways to communicate all those things you so desire your children to know.

Here’s a fun word to try (and to teach your kiddos) for when you don’t have the words!
Ineffable: too great for words; transcending expression

Sources

[1] “soon, adv.” OED Online, Oxford University Press, July 2018, www.oed.com/view/Entry/184685. Accessed 15 November 2018.

[1] “ineffable, adj. and n.” OED Online, Oxford University Press, July 2018, www.oed.com/view/Entry/94904. Accessed 15 November 2018.

Home Improvement – Interior Design Beginners Tips

Home Improvement – Interior Design Beginners Tips

As college students, newly weds, young parents, or even veterans in the marriage arena, your home can be a place of refuge that you can call your own and also personalize to your own tastes and desires. However, it can sometimes be tricky to know […]

A Lesson from a Prophet and His Sons

A Lesson from a Prophet and His Sons

God organized us into families to give us a way to help and support each other. I was thinking about this as I read 1st Nephi chapter 8 in the Book of Mormon. This chapter is about Lehi, who was a prophet of God around […]

#RELATABLE

#RELATABLE

We’re all a little bit obsessed with things we can relate to, whether it’s a painfully true meme about college students or a t-shirt we just have to buy because the words on it seem to come straight from our soul. One of the latest displays of this enthusiasm has shown up with the highly successful NBC show, “This Is Us.” With over 11 million viewers in its 2017/2018 season[1], this beautiful television series enthralled us all with its presentation of relevant issues, joys and pains of the human experience, and characters that quickly become our “friends.”

With a title that implies a certain level of candor about the character’s lives, it almost feels like we’re watching an adaptation of our own. The Pearson triplets say to the viewers, “This is who we are and we’re doing the best we can,” and their audience responds with a resounding “SAME.” How does this show accomplish such a feat? How is it so applicable to so many unique lives? The plot line contains numerous trials and misfortunes: death, miscarriage, loss of property, racism, mental illness, eating disorders, and general stress and anxiety. Aside from these trials, the plot also introduces many triumphs for the triplets, including celebration over happy relationships, success in careers, growing of families, and everyday moments of love and gratitude. These are not necessarily things we have all been through, but the emotions are all the same. Which one of us at one point has not felt grief, pain, joy, love, loss, disappointment, or pride?

What does it mean for us that this show is so #relatable? Maybe it means “This Is Us” will be your new favorite show and that you will obsessively clear your Tuesday nights of any other commitments so you can watch it live. It might mean that you will feel like you are friends with these made up people and you would do anything for them. There is, however, an arguably more important take away. Do you commonly cry and laugh with the people around you like you do with these characters? If the answer is yes, YOU ROCK! But maybe you’re like me and you would defend Kevin more readily than your best friend, because you know his story and you feel his pain. Well, we all have stories and we all have pain. You will not go through everything that your best friend has gone through but you didn’t experience Kevin’s life either. Love each other! Assume the best, excuse the misunderstandings, offer support through pain and celebrate together through joys! As different as we each are, our human experiences are not as isolated and individualized as we sometimes think. Try to understand the people around you a little better.

This is us. We cry, we struggle, we smile, and we laugh and we are human. In the words of our dear friend Kevin Pearson, “There’s no ‘You’ or ‘Me’ or ‘Them.’ It’s just ‘Us.’ And this sloppy, wild, colorful, magical thing that has no beginning, has no end, it’s right here. I think it’s us.”[2]

[1] TV Series Finale. (n.d.). Number of viewers of selected NBC scripted shows in the United States in the 2017/2018 season (in millions). In Statista – The Statistics Portal. Retrieved October 23, 2018, from https://www.statista.com/statistics/882556/nbc-scripted-shows-viewers/.

[2] Lawson, J. (Writer), & Tillman, G. (Director). (2016, October 25). The game plan. [Television series episode], This Is Us. NBC.

The Non-Existent Clock of Pregnancy

The Non-Existent Clock of Pregnancy

When I worked as the front desk medical assistant a few years ago at a primary care physicians office, I was able to observe many different questions, concerns, and discussions between the physician (Dr. F) and her patients. One afternoon Dr. F came out of […]

Día de los Muertos

Día de los Muertos

My parents tell me that Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) is a dying tradition in their small hometowns of Coeneo and Tunguitiro in Michoacán, México. As a family, we do some symbolic traditions here in America to represent my parents’ culture from […]

Manage Stress with a Little Organization

Manage Stress with a Little Organization

As a busy student, one of the most common feelings in my life is stress and I’m sure I’m not the only student who feels this way. Each semester, I wonder how I can relieve this stress. I try to prepare myself with some steps I can take so that I don’t feel so stressed.  Of course, I could take the advice my care-free sister has given me on multiple occasions: “Don’t be a head-case. You make things way harder than they have to be. Just chill.” Right. That’s so easy. However, as far as that gets me I know it won’t last long and it certainly won’t help my case.

This semester however, I’ve found a few things that have truly helped me. While I can’t promise they will erase all stress from your life, I can tell you they will help relieve some of the pressure that inevitably builds up throughout the semester.
As cheesy as it sounds, the most important thing I can do each day for myself is just to breathe. Close your eyes for a few moments and take a few deep breaths: in and out. Focus on that breathing and let that be the only thing on your mind. Don’t allow your big test, or your extensive essay get in the way. Make this a habit, and really give yourself a little time just to breathe.

Besides breathing, I love getting a good schedule written out. Sundays, one of my favorite things to do (besides taking a really great nap) is to sit down and write out my schedule for the week. This organization step may sound a bit obvious, but it is important. I never really thought to be too specific with certain things in my schedule, such as planning out time for homework, but this semester being specific in every detail has truly helped me. When I say be specific with everything, I’m really saying instead of writing down on Monday, for example, “5:00 pm – two hours of study time” write “5:00 – spend one hour on assigned reading for “x” class, and one hour completing the corresponding assignment.” Be as specific as possible and I promise this will help. This is because it ends up being more of a commitment. By narrowing your plans down, it helps you to stay focused on getting done what is most important, first.

Along with this, I have lately come to appreciate writing out a few of my personal goals for the week and making sure they can fit into my schedule. It can be so easy to forget to plan out little things that, at the end of the week, will leave us feeling much more accomplished when we complete them. In my personal goals portion of my schedule recently, I have been committing myself to reading something new each week, such as a Shakespeare play I’ve never read. This isn’t something assigned in any of my classes, but it’s important to me. I admire Shakespeare, and I feel great once I get to know him a little better through his writings. I feel a little more accomplished at the end of the week that I can follow through with my scheduled goals. I’m following through in something that I’ve chosen to do purely for my own benefit.

These things may not work for everyone, and I understand that, but these suggestions certainly won’t hurt. As a master-procrastinator, this has absolutely helped me to stay on top of most everything in my life that I can control. I have found that by scheduling out things very specifically and getting these things done according to my written schedule, I actually have the time to accomplish the things I actually want to do. There are many different examples of ways to organize your schedule each week, and I encourage you to look up a few options and find the one that works best for you.

Couponing for Beginners

Couponing for Beginners

I grew up in a big family, and my parents were always looking for ways to save money. My mom turned to coupons to buy the necessities without spending ridiculous amounts of money. Couponing can help families and individuals save a lot of money, especially […]