51 Creative Ideas for Marriage Mentors: Connecting Couples to Build Better Marriages

Overview

51 Creative Ideas for Marriage Mentorsoffers an “idea box” of activities and innovative ways to deepen relationships between mentoring couples. It can be used in any of the three areas of the marriage mentoring triad:

* Preparing---mentoring engaged and newlywed couples
* Maximizing---mentoring couples from good to great
* Restoring---mentoring couples in distress

Creative ideas for marriage mentors are grouped into these three areas. There is also an entire section of ideas ...

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51 Creative Ideas for Marriage Mentors: Connecting Couples to Build Better Marriages

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Overview

51 Creative Ideas for Marriage Mentorsoffers an “idea box” of activities and innovative ways to deepen relationships between mentoring couples. It can be used in any of the three areas of the marriage mentoring triad:

* Preparing---mentoring engaged and newlywed couples
* Maximizing---mentoring couples from good to great
* Restoring---mentoring couples in distress

Creative ideas for marriage mentors are grouped into these three areas. There is also an entire section of ideas appropriate for mentoring any couple. With activities that vary from quickly implemented suggestions to more involved interactions, this easy-to-use reference will help alleviate the stress of couples overwhelmed by mentoring … and take experienced mentors to a whole new level.

Designed to work on its own or in tandem with the Parrotts’ other marriage mentoring resources, 51Creative Ideas for Marriage Mentors will inspire fresh ideas, increase a sense of vision for the marriage mentoring process, and build the confidence of all marriage mentors, regardless of age or stage.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780310270478
  • Publisher: Zondervan
  • Publication date: 5/28/2006
  • Pages: 128
  • Sales rank: 1,408,782
  • Product dimensions: 5.33 (w) x 8.00 (h) x 0.38 (d)

Meet the Author

Drs. Les and Leslie Parrott are founders of RealRelationships.com and the Center for Relationship Development at Seattle Pacific University. Their bestselling books include Love Talk, Crazy Good Sex, and the award-winning Saving Your Marriage Before It Starts. Their work has been featured in the New York Times and USA Today, and they have appeared on CNN, Good Morning America, and Oprah. They live with their two young sons in Seattle.
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Read an Excerpt

51 Creative Ideas for Marriage Mentors

Connecting Couples to Build Better Marriages
By Les Parrott Leslie Parrott

Zondervan

Copyright © 2006 The Foundation for Healthy Relationships
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0-310-27047-2


Chapter One

PRACTICE THE THIRTY-SECOND RULE

This little idea is a winner that works for every marriage mentoring relationship. And it's simple. Within the first thirty seconds of a meeting with your mentorees, say something encouraging to them. Give them an uplifting compliment.

This can be more challenging than you might think. Most of the time, upon meeting someone, we human beings focus on ourselves, searching for ways to make ourselves look good. Out of habit, we ask the generic "How are you doing?" Or, "Tell me about your day." That's fine, especially when it is genuinely focused on the mentoree couple, but if you truly want to see the spirits of your mentoree couple soar, try this thirty-second rule. Deposit good words in them before you even get started. Once you begin to practice this regularly, you'll see it really doesn't take all that much effort.

Everyone feels better when you give them attention and affirmation. So be sure to focus your attention, genuinely, on your mentorees right upfront. If you're distracted by something else at the beginning, that sets the tone for your time together.

Next, go out of your way to affirm them. Say something like, "You two always look so sharp," "I love the enthusiasm that exudes from you two," or "You guys have really been working hard, haven't you?" If nothing else, you can always affirm your mentorees for being mentored: "I'm so proud to be mentoring you two."

In thirty seconds' time, you just might say some of the most uplifting words they've heard all day.

Chapter Two

CURB MARRIAGE GOSSIP

Early on in any marriage mentoring relationship it is imperative to discuss confidentiality. Your mentorees will be put at ease if you assure them of your confidence. After all, they will only share information to the level that they know you are not going to be blabbing it to others - even strangers.

So take some time to explore this matter with them. Tell them flat out that the information that they share with you stays with you. Assure them that you would never betray their trust and that you will protect the information they share.

And while you're on the subject, you also might talk about "marital gossip." This is the all-too-common scenario that evolves when one spouse begins to talk to a friend or relative about their marital issues. Is this always inappropriate? Of course not. But it can soon become harmful if it makes the other spouse feel uncomfortable or embarrassed.

For example, if he doesn't want others to know he locked himself out of the car which in turn became the source of a marital spat, she should keep that information to herself. If she doesn't want others to know that she regularly loses her temper with the kids, he should keep that information to himself. But by expressing general frustration to a trusted, supportive friend in order to gain objectivity about a situation, they are not unduly embarrassing their partner nor are they complaining about specific behavior.

You get the idea. It basically comes down to helping them see the difference between seeking support from somebody outside the relationship versus venting feelings by complaining. And venting is almost always unhealthy for a marriage and damaging to a couple's sense of loyalty to each other. In fact, you can let mentorees know that if either of them wants to vent, you - as their marriage mentors - are a safe place for doing just that, as long as both spouses are present. (If you do this one-on-one, it creates an unhealthy triangle in your relationship with your mentoree couple.)

Here's a final thought that may help curb marital gossip. Have your mentorees consider the remarkable energy that would be restored to their marriage if they "gossiped" about good things instead of bad. If, for example, a wife confided in a friend how sweet her husband was to clean up the kitchen. Or if a husband told his friend how generous his wife was in giving to the needy. This is another way of saying that if you want to curb marital gossip, you can't go wrong by becoming your partner's publicist. In short, urge them to gab about the good with other people and never betray one another's confidence.

(Continues...)



Excerpted from 51 Creative Ideas for Marriage Mentors by Les Parrott Leslie Parrott Copyright © 2006 by The Foundation for Healthy Relationships. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Table of Contents

Contents
Acknowledgments 11
Introduction: Getting Big Results from This Little Book 13
Part One
Ideas for Mentoring Any Couple
1. Practice the Thirty-Second Rule..... 21
2. Curb Marriage Gossip..... 22
3. Place a Photo of Your Mentoree Couple in Your Home..... 24
4. Keep Contact Information Handy..... 25
5. Send a Word of Encouragement..... 26
6. Ask the One Question That Could Change
Their Marriage..... 27
7. Pass Along a Helpful Article or Email..... 29
8. Teach the Single Most Powerful Marriage Principle..... 30
9. Let Them Know about a Local Marriage Seminar..... 32
10. Be Aware of “What’s On”..... 34
11. Open the Church Doors..... 35
12. Practice Old-Fashioned Hospitality..... 36
13. Be One of the First to Send a Christmas Greeting..... 37
14. Double Your Serve..... 38
15. Remember Their Anniversary..... 40
Your Additional Ideas for Mentoring Any Couple
. 41
Part Two
Ideas for Mentoring Engaged and Newlywed Couples
16. Identify Their Top Ten Needs..... 45
17. Help Them Sink Their Roots Down Deep..... 47
18. Cautiously Connect with Your Mentorees’ Parents..... 49
19. Do Some Coupon Cutting..... 51
20. Consider a Babysitting Opportunity..... 52
21. Give the In-Law Inventory..... 53
22. Make a Splash with a Low-Cost Gift..... 55
23. Chart Their Spiritual Journey..... 56
24. Make Their First Noel One to Remember..... 58
25. Explore Their Roles..... 59
26. Note the Little Things..... 60
27. Envision Their Golden Anniversary..... 62
Your Additional Ideas for Mentoring Engaged and Newlywed Couples..... 63
Part Three
Ideas for Mentoring Couples
Moving from Good to Great
28. Dream Big..... 67
29. Find Inspiration Around You..... 69
30. Turn the Tables..... 71
31. More Time or More Money?..... 73
32. The Most Influential Person..... 75
33. Homeward Bound..... 76
34. “I Love You More Than.....”..... 77
35. Decisions, Decisions!..... 78
36. Monkey See, Monkey Do..... 79
37. Start a Date Club..... 80
38. Pay Now, Play Later..... 82
39. The Big Question..... 84
Your Additional Ideas for Mentoring Couples
Moving from Good to Great..... 85
Part Four
Ideas for Mentoring Couples in Distress
40. Take Inventory..... 89
41. Steer Clear of the Number-One Marriage Problem..... 91
42. Turn Murphy’s Law on Its Ear..... 93
43. What Would You Miss?..... 95
44. Reveal the Two Most Overlooked “Romantic” Phrases..... 97
45. Give Them a Reputation to Uphold..... 98
46. The Couples-
Communication Strengths Finder..... 99
47. Explore the Lesson of an Old Farm Couple
...... 101
48. Avoid the Blame Game..... 103
49. Shoulda, Coulda, Woulda..... 105
50. What’s Your Favorite?..... 107
51. What Have You Been Looking For?..... 109
Your Additional Ideas for Mentoring Couples in Distress..... 112
Conclusion: Where Do We Go from Here?..... 115
Notes..... 117
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First Chapter

Part One
Ideas for
Mentoring
Any Couple
In this section you'll find several practical suggestions for mentoring any couple,
no matter their age or stage. Feel free to make these ideas your own by changing them in ways that may work best with your mentorees.
Chapter 1
Practice the
Thirty-Second Rule
This little idea is a winner that works for every marriage mentoring relationship. And it's simple. Within the first thirty seconds of a meeting with your mentorees, say something encouraging to them. Give them an uplifting compliment.
This can be more challenging than you might think. Most of the time, upon meeting someone, we human beings focus on ourselves,
searching for ways to make ourselves look good. Out of habit, we ask the generic 'How are you doing?' Or, 'Tell me about your day.' That's fine, especially when it is genuinely focused on the mentoree couple,
but if you truly want to see the spirits of your mentoree couple soar, try this thirty-second rule. Deposit good words in them before you even get started. Once you begin to practice this regularly, you'll see it really doesn't take all that much effort.
Everyone feels better when you give them attention and affirmation.
So be sure to focus your attention, genuinely, on your mentorees right upfront. If you're distracted by something else at the beginning,
that sets the tone for your time together.
Next, go out of your way to affirm them. Say something like, 'You two always look so sharp,' 'I love the enthusiasm that exudes from you two,' or 'You guys have really been working hard, haven't you?'
If nothing else, you can always affirm your mentorees for being mentored:
'I'm so proud to be mentoring you two.'
In thirty seconds' time, you just might say some of the most uplifting words they've heard all day.
Chapter 2
Curb Marriage
Gossip
Early on in any marriage mentoring relationship it is imperative to discuss confidentiality. Your mentorees will be put at ease if you assure them of your confidence. After all, they will only share information to the level that they know you are not going to be blabbing it to others --- even strangers.
So take some time to explore this matter with them. Tell them flat out that the information that they share with you stays with you.
Assure them that you would never betray their trust and that you will protect the information they share.
And while you're on the subject, you also might talk about 'marital gossip.' This is the all-too-common scenario that evolves when one spouse begins to talk to a friend or relative about their marital issues. Is this always inappropriate? Of course not. But it can soon become harmful if it makes the other spouse feel uncomfortable or embarrassed.
For example, if he doesn't want others to know he locked himself out of the car which in turn became the source of a marital spat, she should keep that information to herself. If she doesn't want others to know that she regularly loses her temper with the kids, he should keep that information to himself. But by expressing general frustration to a trusted, supportive friend in order to gain objectivity about a situation,
they are not unduly embarrassing their partner nor are they complaining about specific behavior.
You get the idea. It basically comes down to helping them see the difference between seeking support from somebody outside the relationship versus venting feelings by complaining. And venting is almost always unhealthy for a marriage and damaging to a couple's sense of loyalty to each other. In fact, you can let mentorees know that if either of them wants to vent, you --- as their marriage mentors --- are a safe place for doing just that, as long as both spouses are present. (If you do this one-on-one, it creates an unhealthy triangle in your relationship with your mentoree couple.)
Here's a final thought that may help curb marital gossip. Have your mentorees consider the remarkable energy that would be restored to their marriage if they 'gossiped' about good things instead of bad. If,
for example, a wife confided in a friend how sweet her husband was to clean up the kitchen. Or if a husband told his friend how generous his wife was in giving to the needy. This is another way of saying that if you want to curb marital gossip, you can't go wrong by becoming your partner's publicist. In short, urge them to gab about the good with other people and never betray one another's confidence.
Read More Show Less

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