National Resource Center for Healthy Marriage and Families
The Director's Corner
October 2013 will be remembered more for the Federal Government Shutdown
than for its pumpkins and autumn leaves. For 15 days, the doors were
shut and the majority of the employees were on furlough. Although the
federal employees will receive retroactive pay, they still had to pay
bills and buy groceries in the meantime. Additionally, the 15 day
shutdown had an economic ripple effect across the country. For example,
the restaurants, hotels, and other businesses dependent on National Park
visitors will not regain the lost revenue. Ironically, it’s also National Work and Family Month
-a designation intended to bring awareness to the issues impacting
working families as they struggle to balance the demands of work with
the complex needs of family life.
Financial stress is one issue that undermines relationships at home and
productivity at work. It is often said that many Americans live
paycheck-to-paycheck and as a result are only two paychecks from
homelessness. Without a financial safety-net, missing one monthly rent
payment and car payment could spark a financial disaster. Encourage
colleagues and clients to use the communication tips below to have an
honest conversation about family finances. Financial Analysts suggest an
emergency savings equal to three months of expenses. Let’s start with a
conversation about an emergency fund to cover 15 days.
Robyn Cenizal, Project Director
Tip of the Month
Your monthly tip to strengthen the relationships of those you serve. Share it - Post it - Pass it on!
Many of the principles and skills that make for healthy intimate
relationships apply equally to workplace relationships. That means we
can strengthen our work life, family life, and work-life balance all at
once. Check out - and pass along - conflict management tips from the
Resource Center's Strong Relationships, Strong Families curriculum series:
- Tip #1: Use soft startups. To use a soft startup,
describe the concern in a neutral, factual manner. Next, describe how
the concern makes you feel. Be as specific as possible. Finally, state a
positive need (e.g., I’d like to come up with a system for sharing the
- Tip #2: Use calming techniques. Unmanaged negative
emotions can undermine healthy patterns of communication and can lead to
poor relationship quality and individual health. Use self-soothing
strategies such as humor, taking a time-out, and deep breathing.
- Tip #3: Maintain a positive environment. Couples
and colleagues can help prevent and lessen conflict by creating a
culture of positivity - one where each person takes time often to notice
small tokens of appreciation (and, for couples, of affection toward one
another). This helps us to recall the positives, even during conflicts.
The Resource Center's Virtual Library
has collected more than 500 materials in a variety of formats
including fact sheets, research-to-practice briefs, brochures,
pamphlets, training resources, program reports or evaluations, and
Select the links below to view our featured October resources:
- Social Service Providers Have Families Too: Healthy Marriage and Relationship Education as Personal and Professional Development (Fact Sheet)
This fact sheet discusses how safety-net service providers can use
healthy marriage and relationship skills to improve their own
relationships, work performance, and ability to serve their clients.
- Coming soon! Promoting Healthy Relationship Skills for Employees: A Guide for Workplace Professionals
Keep an eye out for a new toolkit from the National Resource Center
for Healthy Marriage and Families that makes the case for
family-friendly workplace practices and policies that can strengthen
working families and relationships. This toolkit highlights promising
practices by leading American companies from various industries that
recognize the importance of investing in the health and well-being of
their employees. More information coming soon!
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
- National Council on Family Relations(NCFR) 2013 Annual Conference in San Antonio, TX, November 6-9, 2013:
The NCFR hosts researchers, practitioners and program
evaluators, policy makers, community members, etc. to examine the
well-being of child and adolescent family members. The multidimensional
concept of well-being is associated with individual characteristics,
family and social contexts, political and historical contexts, and their
interactions. The conference should empower and inform participants to
take the next steps to better understand and enhance the well-being of
children and adolescents, and, in turn, their families and communities.
The Resource Center will be exhibiting at this event.
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
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.