Candidates for IFS Friday Five



2. Parents Matter: How to Champion Sex Education

3. When talking about birth rates and babies, why are we omitting marriage?

Timothy P. Carney | Washington Examiner

4. ‘Encanto’ Is About Forgiveness, Not Romance, But It’s Still A Love Story


5. Dads Can Experience Mental Health Issues After Childbirth, Too

6. Perspective: Is marriage dead, or just the wedding section?

By Naomi Schaefer Riley

7. George Washington the Husband


Abigail Smith Married John Adams
October 25, 1764

8. The Reluctance Of Males To Become Men: Failure to Launch

by John Clark

9. True Femininity: An Interview with Alice von Hildebrand


10. Golden thoughts on chastity and procreation, including heredity, prenatal influences, etc., etc.: Sensible hints and wholesome advice for maiden and young man, wife and husband, mother and father, 2nd ed

Gibson, J. W., Gibson, M. J. W., & Truitt, W. J. (Collaborator)

11. The ‘success sequence’ can help schools bridge our divides

Frederick M. Hess | Education Week


Fwd: Communication & Agreeing to Disagree!👊

We at First Things First are sharing some tips to help you communicate better!

January 14, 2022

top trending topics

💪 You can create a stronger marriage with these 10 tips.

⁉️ Get some insight & understanding of your communication style with this quiz.

😞 If your spouse has become a bit boring, here's what you can do.

👥 Ask yourself these questions before sharing your marital problems with others.

👊 It's totally healthy to agree to disagree with your spouse sometimes.

tips & tricks for growth

create some comfort in your life

It’s not normal to experience the amount of stress, anxiety, and uncertainty most of us have felt the past two years. And it’s been challenging for many to find any relief or comfort, yet we desperately need it.


Many folks are great at creating comforting moments for others, but when it comes to being intentional about creating comfort in their world, well, not so much. We all need moments that allow for a break in the action to hit the refresh button. It’s good for us, and it’s good for the people around us.


Ways to create some comfort in your life: 

  1. Make a list of all the things you love that make you happy.
    Do some of those things daily.
  2. Indulge in your favorite comfort meal.
    You know, all the stuff you would typically say, “I shouldn’t be eating this…” Eat that and savor every second of it guilt-free.
  3. Take time out for a walk.
    Make a point of looking up at the sky, watching the trees, and looking for wildlife. Pay attention to your breathing. Avoid thinking about things that are stressful in your life at the moment. Literally, take a break.
  4. Laugh.
    Watch a funny show or talk to that friend who always makes you laugh.
  5. Listen to soothing music, read a book or magazine, work on a puzzle, or on your hobby.
    Doing something that distracts you from the day’s stress and anxiety can be relaxing and bring comfort.

foster effective communication in your marriage

What are the keys to effective communication? Well, research on what makes marriage work shows that happy and healthy couples have a ratio of 5:1 positive to negative behaviors in their relationship.


This means there are five times as many positive interactions between happy couples (i.e., listening, validating the other person, using soft words, expressing appreciation, affirmation, physical affection, compliments, etc.) as there are negative (i.e., raising one’s voice, stating a complaint, or expressing one’s anger).


Tips for improving the effectiveness of communication in your relationship:


🗣️ Be intentional about spending time together.


🗣️ Use more “I” statements and less “You” statements.


🗣️ Be specific.


🗣️ Avoid mind-reading.


🗣️ Express negative feelings constructively.


🗣️ Listen without being defensive.


🗣️ Freely express positive feelings.


This week's picks come from Lauren Hall, wife of 7 years to Daniel, toddler momma, dog momma, and the CEO here at First Things First. Take a peek at her recommendations for this week because they are just THAT GOODCheck 'em out 👀:


🎧 The Naked Marriage Podcast- Full transparency, my husband and I listen to this podcast on the regular. Sex is one of their number one topics, as well as intimacy, conflict and communication. Tactile, easy-to-use information in a fun deliverable.


💻 Marripedia- This is Wikipedia… for Marriage. Which means, YES, it’s just as fishy and just as fascinating. Some items on this site are for giggles, but others are completely fascinating and eye-opening. My husband and I often peruse the links and share what we find beneficial and/or just plain sad. 


📖 Read: Fighting Words by Ellie Holcomb- This is 100% faith-based. Daily scripture, prayers and meditation at its best. I include this in my “marriage” section because it’s led me on a deeper journey in my faith which leads me to a deeper connection with my spouse. I suggest this for Christians especially, but all can benefit from the hope it provides. 


share the love

Know a friend who would love reading all the relationship goodness we've packed in here? Go ahead and share it with them!


First Things First, 620 Lindsay St, Chattanooga, TN 37403, United States, 423-267-5383

Unsubscribe Manage preferences

Candidates for IFS Friday Five

1. Parenting is different in different cultures

 Jennifer E. Lansford

2. The Difficulties of Teaching about Divorce in an Anecdotal World

Alexander Riley

3. Replay
WEBINAR: Sliding vs. Deciding: Commitment, Ambiguity, and Relationship Formation

4. Why parents should stop blaming themselves for how their kids turn out

Yuko Munakata PhD

5. The Dangerous Pattern One Therapist Sees in New Fathers


Sophia Alvarez Boyd, producer

7. Amid challenges of pandemic, new data finds a silver lining for parents

8. USU Extension Co-sponsors 2022 Utah Marriage Celebration Online

Julene Reese

Georgetown Slavery Archive

10. 10 Signs of Emotional Neglect in Your Relationship

Candidates for IFS Friday Five

1. Pandemic Brought Parents and Children Closer: More Family Dinners, More Reading to Young Children


2. Call for 2022 NARME Summit Presenters

Applications are now being accepted through January 14th for the 2022 NARME Summit in
Salt Lake City.

3. Tips for Promoting Good Habits In Your Kids


4. Coparenting and Healthy Relationship and Marriage Education for Dads (CHaRMED): Results from a Qualitative Study of Staff and Participant Experiences in Nine Fatherhood Programs


Healthy Marriage and Relationship Education with Integrated Economic Stability Services: The Impacts of Empowering Families

5. 50 guilt-free resolutions

TF Edwords

6. ISO: Dibble Master Trainers

The Dibble Institute is hiring experienced trainers to facilitate trainings in Dibble programs. Applicants must have prior experience teaching a Dibble program(s) and have attended a Dibble Training of Educators (TOE).


Visit the job description and application information…

7. How to protect children from the negative impacts of adverse childhood experiences – a comprehensive approach

By Child & Family Blog Editor


Involved, vigilant parenting in African American families protects children from the negative effects of racial discrimination

8. CoupleTalk Live - Part 1: Jan/Feb 2022

9.  2021 Impact Report San Antonio Marriage Initiative


Couple’s Connection Plan: A Time for Reflection and Resolution

10. The magic fix for family life: dinner together

Ida Gazzola

11. How to Strengthen Your Marriage During Tough Times


Relationship satisfaction and commitment in the transition to parenthood: A couple-centered approach



Candidates for IFS Friday Five

1. National Marriage Week Tool Kit

2. A Marriage Crisis and Holiday Season

3. Sliding vs. Deciding: Commitment, Ambiguity, and Relationship Formation

Wednesday, January 12, 2022, 4:30 pm Eastern/1:30 pm Pacific

4. 2022 Groves Conference

5. A Distinctly American Family Policy

Melissa S. Kearney and Phillip Levine

7. Family Hubs vs Sure Start Children’s Centres

Dr. Samantha Callan, Co-founder & Director of Family Hubs Network

8. Stories of Service: Exceptional Family Member Program supports Jacksonville military families

Anthony Austin


Mastering Your Marriage

Candidates for IFS Friday Five

1. National Marriage Week USA Calendar

2. Surgeon general warns of emerging youth mental health crisis in rare public advisory

Howard Blume and Melissa Gomez, Los Angeles Times

3. Sexual Intimacy in Marriage



New Toolkit for Fatherhood Programs Interested in Implementing New Program Components or Services

A new toolkit from the Building Bridges and Bonds (B3) evaluation provides fatherhood program practitioners with user-friendly, hands-on resources to support implementation of new program components or services. The resources include a set of downloadable tools along with an interactive web-based brief and a longer resource document to support use of the tools.

Explore the Toolkit >

5. Married to the job no more: Craving flexibility, parents are quitting to get it

Aaron De Smet, Bonnie Dowling, Marino Mugayar-Baldocchi, and Joachim Talloen

6. Surprising new study finds grandmothers more connected to grandchildren than to own children

Jenna Romaine

7. Do you feel like a sullen teen again when you visit your parents for the holidays? You're not alone


8. Communicating during the holidays

Kerry Elsen, Extension Educator- Buffalo County

9. What premarital sex has to do with divorce — and other takeaways from marriage research

Lois M. Collins

10. EITC effects intergenerational marriage and childbirth decisions—new study

11. For Your Marriage to Work, Commit to Your Relationship

Catherine Aponte, Psy.D.

Thanks -- Might go to see

 Lewis: The Most Reluctant Convert tomorrow afternoon


WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 8, 2021, 7:00 - 8:00 PM PST

Candidates for IFS Friday Five

1. Family Check-Up® For Children



Submission for OMB Review; Mother and Infant Home Visiting Program Evaluation (MIHOPE): Long-Term Follow-Up, Kindergarten data collection (MIHOPE-K) [OMB #0970-0402]

2. Re-Examining the Link Between Premarital Sex and Divorce

Jesse Smith, Nicholas H. Wolfinger

3. New training and resources package to boost family support in England


First families policy roundtable held at Army Headquarters

4. Peter Jon Mitchell on why young Canadians are losing faith in the institution of marriage

5. The Changing Face of Social Breakdown

Yuval Levin

6. Supporting the Healthy Development of Children from Military and Veteran Caregiving Homes

7. Differences In Brain Structure May Account For Why Some Siblings Display Antisocial Behavior

Elizabeth Pratt

8. Reading With Your Toddler? Books May Beat Screens


Marriage and Divorce Visualizations

10. Pandemic causes historic decrease in marriages across the country

By Isabella Magee

11. Money Talks: How to Resolve Conflicts with Your Partner

12. Online Dating Is Shifting Educational Inequalities in Marriage Formation in Germany 

13. When Being Married Is No Longer Fun

Thanks...Friday Five 400 (sounds like it could be a stop on the NASCAR circuit)

Candidates for IFS Friday Five

1. Pick 1

Healthy Marriage Clients’ Change Over time: Data Snapshot of Adult Clients at Program Entry and Exit

Implementing a Parenting Intervention in a Fatherhood Program

This report describes the effects of Just Beginning - a parenting intervention implemented by three Responsible Fatherhood programs and evaluated as part of the Building Bridges and Bonds (B3) study - on parenting and father-child relationships. It also describes costs of implementing the curriculum and analyzes how services operated and who participated in them.

Read the Report >


New Synthesis of Findings from the Building Bridges and Bonds Evaluation

Explore the final results and lessons from the Building Bridges and Bonds (B3) evaluation, which tested new approaches to help fathers work toward economic stability, develop stronger relationships with their children, and increase participation in the context of existing fatherhood programs.

Read the Brief >


New Report Shares Findings from the Exploratory Study of the DadTime Smartphone App Intervention

Explore this report, which explores the feasibility, usability, and impact of the DadTime smartphone app to promote fathers’ attendance in a parenting intervention called Just Beginning, as implemented by three Responsible Fatherhood programs as part of the Building Bridges and Bonds (B3) Study.

Read the Report >

2. Helping couples achieve relationship success: A decade of progress in couple relationship education research and practice, 2010–2019

3. Does alcohol make you argue with your partner?

4.  Illinois’ Family First Prevention Plan approved by US Department of Health and Human Services

5. Bishops urged to implement framework for marriage and family ministry

Dennis Sadowski, Catholic News Service

6. How Children Can Become Caring Community Members


7. Evaluation of family hubs

8. What can parents do to help their children thrive and excel in school?

9. Reading with children in a native language is key to bilingual learning

By Ashley Moser, KSL-TV |

10. How playfulness develops and spurs a drive to learn

By Katrin Heimann

11. Living-in before marriage is a bad idea

Jemy Gatdula

12. Her Pleasure First

Gary Thomas

Thanks and Happy Thanksgiving to all!

Candidates for IFS Friday Five #398 (early bird edition)

1. Many women have left the workforce. When will they return?


2. The impact of COVID-19 on adolescents’ mental health

3. Final Reports on the 2015 Healthy Marriage and Responsible Fatherhood Grantee Programs and Clients

4. Pope to married couples: Don’t be afraid of crises

5. Cairo offers marriage prep course to young couples as divorce rises

Ibrahim Ayyad

6. Childhood Emotional Abuse Is Associated With the Desire to Get Married and Have Children in Korean Young Adults

Jeewon Lee 1, Shin-Gyeom Kim 1, HyunChul Youn 1, Soyoung Irene Lee 1

7. National Adoption Month 2021
Every Conversation Matters


in FL

Candidates for IFS Friday Five

1. DOD Celebrates 'National Veterans and Military Families Month'



The Family Institute at Northwestern University

3. Effect of a Universal Postpartum Nurse Home Visiting Program on Child Maltreatment and Emergency Medical Care at 5 Years of Age A Randomized Clinical Trial

W. Benjamin Goodman, PhD1; Kenneth A. Dodge, PhD1; Yu Bai, PhD1; et al

4. Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Child and Adolescent Mental Health Policy and Practice Implementation

by Lawrence A. Palinkas 1,*,Jessenia De Leon 1,Erika Salinas 1,Sonali Chu 1,Katharine Hunter 2,Timothy M. Marshall 3,Eric Tadehara 4,Christopher M. Strnad 5,Jonathan Purtle 6,Sarah McCue Horwitz 7,Mary M. McKay 8 andKimberly E. Hoagwood 7

5. Relative Strangers: The importance of social capital for marriage


Couples who meet on dating apps are more likely to divorce in early marriage, study finds

Randi Richardson

6. How a natural disaster can bring couples closer

7. The Art and Science of Family Dinner | Psychology Today Canada

Stephen Gray Wallace, Psychology Today

8. Healing the Family and Saving the Country

Katharine Cornell Gorka

Director, Civil Society and the American Dialogue

9. Does Insurance Cover Marriage Counseling?

Elizabeth Derickson, MSW, LCSW

10. To Those Who Can’t Imagine Parenting Without Alcohol

Post author: Doug Johnson