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

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

by Les and Leslie Parrott, Leslie Parrott
     
 

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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

…  See more details below

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.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780310270478
Publisher:
Zondervan
Publication date:
05/28/2006
Pages:
128
Sales rank:
936,229
Product dimensions:
5.33(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.38(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

Read an Excerpt

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.

Meet the Author

A psychologist and a marriage and family therapist, Drs. Les and Leslie Parrott are founders of the Center for Relationship Development at Seattle Pacific University. Their bestselling books include Love Talk, Crazy Good Sex The Complete Guide to Marriage Mentoring, 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, O’Reilly Factor, Good Morning America, Today Show, The View, and Oprah. They live with their two sons in Seattle. Visit LesandLeslie.com.

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