Outside pressures on family's time among greatest challenges of the day

In a workshop on strengthening family relationships, Scott and Angelle Anderson said they had conducted several surveys of young couples raising children. When asked what was the greatest challenge they saw in young families today, those surveyed almost unanimously gave the same answers: all the outside pressures pushing in on their families, and the challenge of finding time to do what is most important.

At the governor's conference on families, the Andersons spoke of four areas of personal development that will help a parent become more balanced: physical, emotional/social, intellectual, and spiritual/moral/ethical aspect. "Each area needs food and needs help," the Andersons said."Stable men and stable women make stable marriages," declared Brother Anderson in emphasizing the importance of balance.

They said the first area, physical, is relatively easy since what one needs basically are sleep, food and some kind of exercise.

The second area, social/emotional balance, comes from having nurturing relationships, they said. Friends, as well as family members, might feed this area. "If you don't have a meaningful relationship in your life that is feeding you emotionally, then you starve," Brother Anderson said. "It's not just what you receive from someone else but also what you give. The social/emotional help is done more by what we give and what's coming out from us than all those things that are coming toward us."

The third area, intellectual, comes in part through constant learning, and learning does not stop at graduation from school or college, the Andersons noted. Sister Anderson recounted the story of King Arthur who, when his kingdom was falling apart, remembered that Merlin had told him to learn something. "That's a great bit of advice," Sister Anderson said. "Learning something is a vibrant energy to go on."

The fourth area, spiritual/moral/ethical aspect, is more personalized, the Andersons said. "To feed this area, each of us individually needs to find a source of strength so that when things get tough - and they do - we have somewhere to look." The Andersons suggested some ways in which this area might be strengthened:

"Write in a journal. Some clinical studies about people who write their feelings show these people are on their way to being healed a lot quicker than people who do not put things on paper."

"Find some time to meditate."

"Realize and look to what makes you strong and gives you your strength."

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