Monday, November 17, 2014


Divorce in America is breaking families and the lives of children; Parent should think more than twice about this and give very deep though regarding the decision of breaking the relationship. Divorce has many negative consequences not only in the lives of those that break the relationship but also in the children especially when they are at a young age.  Divorcing with kids is like cutting children in half. But before getting deeper in this topic, first I would like you to allow me to talk a little bit about how to avoid divorce.
There are so many resources available to get wisdom in how to deal with marriage to avoid divorce, many individuals just think on divorce, and don’t even think on making it work.
I have included a list of great books at the end of this article.
One of the main problems is that we believe that it is over and that there is nothing else to do, we also think that the other person will not change, secondly we are lazy and we don’t want to work on our marriage; because of these reasons we regret knowledge by not reading good books on marriage and by not going to counseling sections that can drastically change the way our marriage is headed. Divorce in most marriages can be avoidable, if we only do our part and play our roles. Staying married is not easy, it is easier to give up and run from its problems. We need to understand that in order to enjoy the benefits of having a healthy marriage we need to work hard at it. Don’t let marriage get to the point where you don’t want to live with your spouse anymore. Take the complaints of your spouse seriously at an early stage and look for ways to resolve them before it gets too late. An alternative to marriage is a brief separation to think things over.
If you are not married consider delaying marriage a few months or years to make sure that that is the right person for you and educate yourself on how marriage functions and what is expected from you. Don’t ever rush into this important decision, try not to let your emotions control you.
To some getting divorce is the norm, they saw it in their parents so they opt out in marriage because what they think this is the only way out. That’s why so many young couples cohabitate fearing divorce. Now there are some that get “married” and sadly before getting married they sign a postnuptial agreement in case they get divorce, this agreement usually states, you are not getting my stuff. In a sense there is a mistrust included even before the marriage has begun. Studies show that couples that have a pre-nuptial agreement are more likely to give up on the relationship. (1)
A recent study show that cohabitating couples have not intention on getting married, many couples pointed to financial reasons, another study suggests that these couple experience more problems, negative communication and including physical aggression. (2)
Divorce affects you and also your generation, Children many times blame themselves, and they think that they were the problem that they were not good enough to get their parents to stay together. As they grow there is a void in their lives that needs to be filled. They feel confused and afraid, they usually don’t want to talk about it.
Now in many states of the US we have “not fault divorce” meaning the court will not assign fault to either party for the divorce, and for the simple fact that if you are not getting alone, then you can get divorce. In the state of Massachusetts not fault divorce became effective in 1975, before this couples there was Fault Divorce and it was needed to show there was abuse in the relationship or that one of the parties was being unfaithful to the marriage commitment. Even though there is no fault divorce, many individuals that married knowing that there is a greater commitment, and do not take marriage commitment likely.
Lawyers had to change from fault divorce to no-fault divorce because there were a lot of individuals lying about why they needed to divorce. The first state to introduce no-fault divorce was the state of California in 1970. The only state that does not have no-fault divorce in the US is the state of New York.
Some southern states have the higher divorce rates because their laws are very soft on the issue, states like Alabama, Georgia, Florida and Tennessee; another states such as Louisiana, Arkansas and Arizona give the options to couples on which law they would like to apply if they end up divorcing, covenant marriage law or the no-fault law; covenant marriage being more strict to dissolved the marriage. (3)
Divorce often times comes with child support debates, many court battles and relocation and all of these things have a negative affect not only on the individuals that have separated, but also on the children.
Child Support usually goes the person that has the custody of the children and is calculated based on the individual’s income, and the court battle begins many time wearing individuals out and creating more distance between them, Retraining Orders sometimes are in place to keep the separated individuals from having a bad encounter.
Divorce battle are not easy, but know that if you have gotten divorce is not the end of the world, there are also some good books that can help you move forward after making that tough decision.
So when is divorced okay? In my opinion divorce is okay when all the resources have been exhausted. Is the relationship in such a bad shape that is unhealthy for them to continue to be together? Is there constantly physical and verbal abuse? Have your spouse been unfaithful and does not want to restore the marriage? Is your spouse addicted to a drug and is not recognizing it? Is your spouse a gambler and is wasting all the money and not recognizing it?
Then yes, but if they willing to cooperate and work in the marriage to make things better, work at it and make it happen.
Being married is not having a piece of paper is being fully committed to your spouse in whatever life may bring. In marriage many times we need to hold our emotions and use our head. Love is a choice not a feeling. To forgive is a decision we need to make constantly.

Works Cited:
1.    Israel, Esq., Laurie. "Prenup Can Destroy Your Marriage." IVKDLaw. Srael, Van Kooy & Days, LLC, 2010. Web. 18 Nov. 2014.
2.    Kunz, Jenifer. "The Family Variation." Think Marriages & Families. Boston: Pearson, 2013. 154. Print.
3.    Meyer, Cathy. "The Issue of No-Fault Divorce." About., n.d. Web. 18 Nov. 2014.

Recommended Books:
o   Making Marriage Work: New Rules for an Old Institution Paperback by Lynn Toler
o   The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work: A Practical Guide from the Country's Foremost Relationship Expert by John M. Gottman

o   Making Marriage Work by Joyce Meyer

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Is the media influencing you?

The influence of Media in today’s world is in the rise, as we include tablets and phones we become media transporters, there is not secret, that main stream media has a great influence in our lives, it can be so powerful that it could change our views and it could change the way we think. It depicts the real image of many aspects of our lives. The media tells us how we should dress and the way should act. Also depicts what a successful person is.
Television is one of the most influential venues in the US (1), in average teens spends about 3-4 hours a day watching TV (2). Video Games are another trap where many young people are restrain people from exercising outside and interacting with one another.

When we watch and hear we are able to retain more, in a subtle way it changes the way think and act. Individuals sometimes do not realized that they are even being influenced by the mass media. It limits our self-awareness and instinct.  In the US the left wing owns most of the cable networks making it easier for them to shape the way of thinking in the direction that they want. When it comes to sexual behavior TV stations, present as promiscuous behavior as normal and put not value on abstinence, commitment and unconditional love.
The glorification of risky sex, drugs, alcohol consumption and violent behaviors, makes young individuals make decisions that leads them in a path of destruction and irresponsibility. The media should not take all the blame, parents are still the most influential persons in the lives of the children. The issue here is that many parents are “absent parents” not engaging with their children and not investing quality time with them. Parents should monitor and control their children’s viewing habits.
“True, media violence is not likely to turn an otherwise fine child into a violent criminal. But, just as every cigarette one smokes increases a little bit the likelihood of a lung tumor someday, every violent show one watches increases just a little bit the likelihood of behaving more aggressively in some situation.” —Psychologists Brad Bushman and L. Rowell Huesmann (3)

According to Margaret J. Meeker “Over the last forty-five years, the amount of time kids spend with their parents has gone down by ten to twenty hours we week. At the high end, that’s almost three hours a day gone from your relationship with your children.” (4)
Fathers talk WITH their children for eight minutes a day, while working mothers talk for 11 minutes. (5)
That’s way is so important that parents be involved in the lives of their kids as they are grow parents can shape and in most instances raise a child that can have a good influence in society and not be a headache to them.
This is one of the reasons that many of the millennials do not know what is happening around them in regards to many important issues in this nation and mayor events that occurs around the world. The vast majority of entertainment draws them to steal their time, and most of them stare a screen that in many cases does not add any valuable knowledge to them.
Another big issue, is obesity and eating disorders are a contribution of media, not only because it prevents us from exercising but because it promotes a lot of junk food; teenagers are bombarded with 4400- 7600 junk food ads a year on TV alone. (6)
The media plays a crucial role in the formation of body self-image affecting females causing them to suffer from distorted body image and eating disorders (7)
We are constantly being attacked by the media telling us what we should wear, how our body should look. This type mentality of great body image is everywhere; Barbie dolls reinforce the unrealistic body size and has a focus on beauty and an expectation that girls should look like them.
Teenagers need to realize that society’s ideal body image is not achievable. The photos we see in magazines are not real either. Many people don’t realize that those photos have gone through many touch ups and have been air-brushed to make the models look perfect. Teenagers striving to attain society’s unattainable ideal image will just end up increasing their feelings of inadequacy.
Media uses repetition; Hitler said: 'If you tell a big enough lie and tell it frequently enough, it will be believed” Individuals will accept as true and right, ideas that are contrary to our own moral values, and yet we know that aren’t right at all, and we embraced because it becomes politically incorrect if we do go with it.
Media constantly uses celebrities because we tend to uphold these individuals at a higher standard. Many times not knowing that their life is not worth following because they are not good role models, this is not in all cases, but the vast majority are not happy with themselves because of the strains that fame brings.(8)

1.     "Mass Media Influence on Society." Mass Media Influence on Society. University of North Carolina at Pembroke, n.d. Web. 24 Oct. 2014.
2.     "TV and Your Teen." National Institute on Media and the Family, 30 Sept. 2009. Web. 24 Oct. 2014.
3.     Bushman BJ, Huesmann LR. Effects of televised violence on aggression. In: Singer DG, Singer JL eds. Handbook of Children and the Media. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage; 2001: 223–254
4.     Meeker, Margaret J. Strong Fathers, Strong Daughters: 10 Secrets Every Father Should Know. New York: Ballantine, 2007. Print.
5.     Pednekar, Puja. "Parents Too Busy to Talk to Their Kids, Finds Study | Latest News & Updates at Daily News & Analysis." Dna. N.p., 25 Apr. 2012. Web. 24 Oct. 2014.
6.     Tiller, Joel. "How Much Is Too Much? Exploring Children's Use of Media." - AboutKidsHealth. N.p., 05 June 2012. Web. 24 Oct. 2014.
7.     "Society and Eating Disorders." Eating Disorders. Mirror and Mirror, n.d. Web. 22 Oct. 2014.
8.     "The Media Influence Our Decisions in Many Ways. Understand How They Do It." N.p., n.d. Web. 24 Oct. 2014.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Teenagers in US Prisons

It’s so sad that so many teenagers are being incarcerated, it’s even sadder to know that some of the will be in prison for the rest of their lives. I do understand that they have to pay the consequences of their actions, at the same time I think that one, not the one, but one of the roots of the problem is the lack of higher education. Seems to be a trend when being poor most of the time has a lot to do with not being well educated meaning having a degree, which constitutes on having a job that doesn’t pay much there for not being able to move to a better neighborhood, or give their children a better public or private school or giving them the opportunity to grow in a different environment.
One of them in the video mentioned that not having that male role model, another having their parents divorce and also having their parents to be addicted to drugs in one way or another sets them in a path that when they realized that they are in it sometimes is too late. Higher education, at least in the United States, gives an individual the ability to obtain better jobs and the ability to afford many things that the low income family cannot afford giving the children a low quality of live. More incentives to study should be given.
I admired the many single mothers that are trying to do the best they can, the father being absent many times makes it very difficult for children to grow healthy environment many times causing the child to have a void inside that leads them to drugs, gangs, behavior disorders, to perform poorly in school and anger issues like we saw in the video, not to mention the sex abuse that many girls go through. Tougher punishment should to be implemented.
In the environment that we grew up in has a lot to do in how we are going to end up when we get to be adults. The influence of the parents being negative or positive will most of the time define the path that the child will take as well as his or her peers, also the media, video games has some sort of negative effect in the young children, adolescents and teenagers, nowadays we waste too much time playing video games According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the average American spends 93% of their life indoors.”(a)  
The “System” in my opinion can do a much better job, the cycle can be broken in many more inmates, there can be a better success rate using trainings, and programs like we saw and also “work to eat” should be implemented. The average cost to having an inmate in a US prison is about $31286.00 a year, in New York being around $60000.00;(b) they get 3 free meals a day and medical care. In 2011 an unemployed man in North Carolina “steals” $1.00 from a local bank to go to prison so he can get free medical care.(c) Something is obviously wrong with the system. Each prison should be able to be self-maintained or use those $31286.00 wisely using them in programs that have a very good success rates, in changing the way of thinking of these inmates. In Texas instead of an increase in inmates in the last five years has been a decrease to due to state funded programs.(c) We do know that not everyone is going to change but those that want to change will benefit from these type of programs.
Quote from American Experiment Website:
According to Sheryl Ramstad Hvass, Minnesota's commissioner of corrections, "When it comes to community resources, Teen Challenge is one of the best-kept secrets for helping those who have failed again and again in our system."(d)
Teen Challenge is a religious program that is mostly funded from churches that has a 70% success rate. If that is what is working let’s use it, not as a last resource but at the beginning. Teen Challenge argues that if the state funds it may want to dictate what the program needs to teach. If that’s the case is not going to work, because it hasn’t been working.
So if in the system we implement not only programs, but to make the inmates work for the food and have them to pay for their training to get them ready for when they come out these could look better in a near future. The system is not helping them in at the same time is not helping the taxpayer because we end up paying for a system that is not working. Instead of having the undocumented immigrants doing low paying jobs, these jobs can be done by inmates, if they don’t do it, well they don’t eat.
Now A huge problem that we have is that when the inmates get out they don’t have any training or any aspirations to go to school because most employers if they have a criminal background don’t even give them a chance to work and return to society and prove that they have changed, so they feel inferior and looked down upon, The CORI becomes their greatest barrier, and the ones that have changed cannot get a decent job because of it, so they do the math and say in the streets I was making more money either selling drugs, fire arms etc, so they think to themselves this time I am not going to get caught, so what ends up happening is that they go back to where they came from, they start getting involved again with the same crowd as before, because they cannot get a job that pays them well, And the cycle begins or continues. Change is possible if the system give the inmates an atmosphere to change.


(a)    "Brain Post: How Much Time Does the Average American Spend Outdoors?" Snow Brains, 5 June 2014. Web. 12 Aug. 2014.
(b)   Pilkington, Ed. "US Man Stages $1 Bank Robbery to Get State Healthcare." The Guardain, 21 June 2011. Web. 12 Aug. 2014.
(c)    Ward, Mike. "Texas Prison Population Shrinks as Rehabilitation Programs Take Root.", 11 Aug. 2012. Web. 12 Aug. 2014.

(d)   Kersten, Katherine. "Teen Challenge Operates on Faith but Then Pays for It." Center for the American Experiment, 17 Nov. 1999. Web. 12 Aug. 2014.