National Resource Center for Healthy Marriage and Families
The Director's Corner
Spring has sprung! Even if Old Man Winter has been a little slow to
leave us! Spring is a wonderful time of year when flowers and new
relationships often blossom. New relationships can be exciting, but care
should be taken not to move too quickly, especially when children are
involved. To support you and the families you serve in navigating new
relationships, the Resource Center offers free research-based
Strong Relationships, Strong Families: Module II – Integrating Healthy Relationship Education Skills Into Social Services, which introduces seven key aspects of healthy marriages and committed relationships:
1. Care for Self: Being Physically and Mentally Healthy.
Discusses the importance of caring for one’s own mental and physical
well-being, including the interconnection between self-care and healthy
2. Getting to Know Partners Well. Emphasizes that an
awareness and understanding of one’s partner must be maintained and
grown through sustained effort over time.
3. Nurturing the Relationship. Focuses on devoting time and energy in order to strengthen and grow a relationship.
4. Showing Affection and Respect. Describes strengths-based processes that can help partners demonstrate care towards each other.
5. Developing and Maintaining Friendship. Highlights the need for friendship between partners and the importance of continually working to build that friendship.
6. Dealing with Differences in Healthy Ways. Identifies healthy skills for managing the conflict that is inevitable in a relationship.
7. Engaging in a Positive Social Network. Stresses the benefits of having a strong support network outside of the relationship.
The curriculum discusses each aspect in relation to underlying
skills–such as communication, conflict resolution, parenting, and
financial literacy–and their connection with families’ self-sufficiency
As always, we hope this resource and the others mentioned below will
be helpful to you and the families you serve as we all work together to
create safe, healthy environments for children.
Robyn Cenizal, CFLE
Tip of the Month
Your monthly tip to strengthen the relationships of those you serve. Share it - Post it
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Healthy couples strengthen their relationship over time
through an ongoing, balanced process of mutual sharing and
responsiveness. Sharing core beliefs, expectations, habits, and goals,
as well as applying conflict resolutions skills to mutually resolve
differences in key areas, helps build the intimacy that fosters
continuous relationship growth. This principle also applies to
In our comprehensive online course, Integrating Healthy Relationship Education Skills Into Social Services,
“Getting to Know Partners Well” is one of seven chapters. Each chapter
includes conversation starters, activities, and informational handouts
to help you integrate relationship tips and talking points into your
work with families. Here’s a sneak peek—two activities from Chapter 2,
“Getting to Know Partners Well:”
Qualities That Matter In Our Relationship
Love Maps – 20 Questions
The Resource Center's Virtual Library
more than 700 materials in a variety of formats including fact sheets,
research-to-practice briefs, brochures, pamphlets, training
resources, program reports or evaluations, and research materials.
Select the links below to view our featured April resources:
- Getting to Know You, Your Co-Spender, and Money
This fact sheet provides an instrument to evaluate communication
about money in family. This instrument consists of 25 pairs of
statements evaluating couples' personal values of money and a test on
knowledge about his/her basic expenses. Couples are required to complete
the instrument individually and compare their answers. Couples with
large inconsistency in their answers need to make communication about
money a priority.
- Closeness in a Couple Relationship
It is normal for couple relationships to shift back and forth
between togetherness and separateness depending on what is happening in
the relationship. This fact sheet discusses the challenges that can
occur in merging individuals from two families into a cohesive couple
relationship and makes suggestions for balancing separateness and
- Eight Needs of Every Partner, Parent, and Child
When individuals, couples, and parents learn how to meet their
personal needs consistently, they can better help others and their
children learn how to meet their own needs. This tip sheet identifies
eight needs that are important to address in order to feel happy,
satisfied, and fulfilled, as well as a way to track progress in meeting
- 9 Important Communication Skills for Every Relationship
Effective communication is critical to successful relationships.
This tip sheet describes basic information which focuses on the 4 Don'ts
and the 5 Dos of Communication (9 Skills) from John Gottman, one of the
nation's leading researchers and practitioners on marriage. It also
includes a tracking sheet for implementing the 9 communication skills.
The Resource Center's Events Calendar offers
a listing of Resource Center events and other national, regional, and community-wide events that might be of interest. Upcoming
- 41st Annual Head Start Conference in Long Beach, CA, April 21- May 1, 2014:
NHSA's annual conference is an opportunity for Head Start and Early
Head Start leaders to gather and discuss Early Childhood Education
against the backdrop of important national developments. At this
important juncture it’s more important than ever that we cut through the
clutter of misinformation and work through the facts about what is
happening, what could happen, and what the NHSA as a community needs to
do to ensure the successful and sustainable future of Head Start.
The Resource Center will be hosting a free webinar, Making It Work: How Relationship Skills Support Economic Self-Sufficiency
on Tuesday, May 13, 2014 at 2:00 PM EST. This webinar will connect how
integrating healthy marriage and relationship education skills can lead
to more stable employment for individuals and more productive workplaces
for employers. The webinar will highlight the National Resource Center
for Healthy Marriage and Families’ Promoting Healthy Relationship Skills for Employees: A Guide for Workforce Professionals toolkit and feature the experience of a well-established direct service provider. Details on how to register coming soon!
Feedback and Technical Assistance:
If you have suggestions or wish to speak with a Resource Center staff member, please
contact us and we will be happy to assist you. If you would like to
request Technical Assistance, please submit a Training and Technical Assistance
Request Form and our Technical Assistance Coordinator will contact you.
To learn more about the Resource Center visit us at www.healthymarriageandfamilies.org
The National Resource Center for Healthy Marriage and Families
service providers as they integrate healthy marriage and relationship
education skills into service delivery systems as part of a
comprehensive, culturally appropriate, family-centered approach designed
to promote self-sufficiency.