National Resource Center for Healthy Marriage and Families
Issue 20
July 2014

National Resource Center for Healthy Marriage and Families

The Director's Corner


The Dog Days of Summer are upon us. The heat index steadily rises. School ends. Routines are thrown off. Sleep patterns change. That's a whole lot of stressors at one time! High stress, poor sleep, and summer heat are just a few of the things that can negatively affect our behavior and cause strain on our relationships. It's a good time to remind ourselves that we're not alone; these same stressors are affecting the families we serve. This month, our e-newsletter offers tips and resources to help you and the families you serve keep your cool and beat the Dog Days of Summer!

Best Regards,

Robyn Cenizal, CFLE
Project Director


Tip of the Month

Your monthly tip to strengthen the relationships of those you serve. Share it - Post it - Pass it on!

Help keep family relationships strong as the mercury rises by sharing these tips:

  • Communicate, communicate, communicate.
    • Talk with your children about needs and expectations (yours and theirs) when routines change. Talk with your partner about how to best manage the changes together without losing sleep or income.
    • Visit our Library to find communication tip and fact sheets, such as Communicating with your Teen, produced by Alabama Cooperative Extension.
  • To help ensure summer fun involves proper child supervision, ask children's teachers, friends, neighbors, and community organizations for recommendations on age-appropriate summer camps and events. Explore carpooling or babysitting exchanges with other parents.
  • Build in extra time to new schedules. Children's sense of time and "urgency" is often different from parents'. Extra time allows kids to be kids while reducing parents' stress over kids' seeming inability to get dressed and out the door efficiently.
  • If the news of children being left in cars has you secretly stressed out and/or you've been feeling overwhelmed lately, give yourself an extra reminder: Put something you'll need at your next destination--your cell phone, purse, or work ID badge--next to the infant/toddler seat. Visit Safe Kids Worldwide for more tips on keeping kids safe in and around cars.
  • Find ways to keep cool together--drink plenty of cold water; make a family outing to a public beach or pool; fan each other with homemade paper fans; have a friendly exchange of ice down each other's backs.

Featured Resources

The Resource Center's Virtual Library has collected 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 July resources:
  • FamilyTALK: Making It Work (Library Resource)
    This FamilyTALK fact sheet is designed to give participants research-based information for improving everyday communication among family members, especially for couples. It emphasizes skill-building with the overall goal to increase the capacity to help persons engage in mindful and respectful communication with their family members.
  • 9 Important Communication Skills for Every Relationship (Library Resource)
    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 events include:

  • 2014 National Pathways to Adulthood: A Convening on Youth in Transition in Philadelphia, PA, August 6-8, 2014
    The National Pathways to Adulthood 2014 conference will host state independent living coordinators, federal transitional living program grantees, and other social service providers who work with youth to examine innovative practices across systems promoting positive transitions to adulthood; highlight successful public and private collaborations assisting youth in transitioning to adulthood; showcase strategies involving youth and family members/caring adults in the development and delivery of transition services; and provide cross-system networking opportunities for those who work with youth who are transitioning to adulthood. The Resource Center will be exhibiting at this conference.

  • 2014 National Child Support Enforcement Association Annual Conference & Expo in Portland, OR, August 11-14, 2014
    The NCSEA conference provides a unique opportunity for IV-D Directors, researchers, policy experts, and child support professionals to discuss and learn about the most recent developments and initiatives on the federal, state, and local levels. Experts in the Legislative and Executive branches, as well as experts from within our own community, provide the latest information on issues that impact the child support program. The Resource Center will be exhibiting at this conference.

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

The National Resource Center for Healthy Marriage and Families supports safety-net 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.

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Funding for this project was provided by the United States Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Grant: [90FH0002]. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the United States Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families.