The word “dynamics” is rooted in the word for power or forces; family dynamics, or interactions, have the potential for significant impact on each family member’s day-to-day mood and life path. MSU Extension experts and agents offer information on a wide range of family-related topics, from child development to disaster preparation to strengthening relationships in traditional and blended families.
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- On the heels of a heated political season, make family peace a priority during the upcoming holidays.
Alisha Hardman, an assistant professor in the Mississippi State University School of Human Sciences, said holidays offer opportunities for family members to enjoy one another and make memories to last a lifetime.
"Some families have more trouble than others when it comes to controversial or sensitive subjects," Hardman said. "If something cannot be discussed in a constructive manner, it may be best to avoid the topic altogether."
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Family service providers know that parenting is never easy, especially when the children are not your own.
The Mississippi State University Extension Service is teaming up with the Mississippi Department of Human Services Division of Family and Children’s Services to provide workshops on topics such as parent/child communications, helping children cope with change, and coping with stress, depression and anger.
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- The foundation of a healthy marriage rests on the solid ground of communication.
Karen Benson, an agent of the Mississippi State University Extension Service in Neshoba County who conducts family life programs, said couples are able to grow closer emotionally when they open up about their hopes and needs.
“Conflict is inevitable, but marriage does not have to be a struggle,” she said. “We learn to negotiate and learn more about ourselves when we work out solutions to conflicts.”
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- One of the most difficult tasks a parent or provider will face is guiding children through the grief and instability brought on by tragedy.
Natural disasters, terrorism, mass shootings, deaths of loved ones, or acts of domestic or physical violence are traumatic for everyone. When faced with these events, children and adults alike experience feelings of fear, helplessness and anxiety. However, children have very little, if any, experience in properly dealing with those feelings.
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Grandparents provide a loving, low-cost and flexible alternative to center-based child care for many families across Mississippi. The benefits to the parents, children and grandparents in these situations are significant for many reasons.
Nearly 11 million children under the age of 5 in the United States go to some type of child care for an average of 36 hours each week. Some children are in multiple child care settings because of their parents’ nontraditional working hours.
Before she became the Hancock County Youth Court judge, Elise Deano was a school teacher. She jokes that she became a lawyer because she taught school, but Deano wants to make sure young people get an opportunity to turn their lives around.