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Premarital Surveys

Before the foundation for a new house is begun, the land is first surveyed. The contractor wants to become familiar with the characteristics of the site, where does it need to be leveled out, what is the best spot for the house, which direction should the house face, etc? Then the blueprints have to be carefully designed to meet safety codes as well as the specifications of the future owner. The same thought and planning needs to go into a marriage, the foundation of the family.

Premarital Surveys provide premarital couples with an opportunity to survey their relationship. Areas of exploration include the family of origin (the family you grew up in, the place where you acquired your blueprint for how a family should be built), communication, conflict resolution, decision- making, intimacy and sexuality, religion and spirituality. Couples are encouraged, (but not required), to request a Premarital Survey before the wedding date has been set.

Marriage Inspections

Houses benefit from regular inspections for the presence of pests, leaks, or structural weakness. These problems are more effectively corrected when discovered early. The same is true of marital relationships. Marriage Inspections provide couples with an opportunity to inspect their relationship in an effort to identify where they are, where they would like to be, and how to get there successfully.

Parenting Inspections

Parenting is one of those jobs presumably governed by instinct. However, while there may be some as yet undiscovered genetic factors that contribute to one's predisposition for parenting, my observation and experience, along with a great deal of evidence, would suggest that parenting is largely learned. Although we all serve as apprentices for a period of about 18 years, (some apprenticeships being more helpful than others), none of us is adequately prepared for the awesome responsibility of parenting.

As marriage and family therapists we are trained to help people communicate more effectively. However, I have found that if people don't know what they are talking about, how they talk about it really doesn't matter. I have been amazed at how little parents know about child/adolescent development, adopting realistic expecta tions, setting and enforcing limits, providing age-appropriate choices, and demon strating encouragement. Apparently, a great deal of the parenting going on is mere reaction rather than informed, premeditated action.

The Parenting Inspection is intended to be a tool parents can use to evaluate their own parenting, to aid them in thinking about what it is they are doing, could be doing, need to be doing in order to build, maintain, and even repair relationships with their children. The parent-child relationship is the foundation for every other relationship that our children will ever have. As marriage and family therapists we can help parents craft tools that will allow them to build relationships with their children that are solid and strong - relationships that are built to last.

The parenting inspection is a 37 items checklist used to measure dimensions of parenting such as:

  • Childhood Experience
  • Respectfulness
  • Parenting Enjoyment
  • Discipline
  • Parenting Confidence
  • Expressiveness
  • Verbal Communication
  • Involvement in Education
  • Support System
  • Parenting Team
  • Peer Influence Awareness
  • Developmental Awareness

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