Meet the doctors
Hello, my name is Robert Stewart and I have been learning about marriage and teaching others how to improve their marriage for over a decade. For the record, I also quite enjoy being married (and that wasn’t simply added in case my wife reads this bio 😉 )
“Learning about marriage”:
I have a PhD in Family and Human Development from Utah State University, an MBA from the University of Phoenix, and a Bachelor’s degree in Marriage, Family, and Human Development from Brigham Young University.
“Teaching others about marriage”:
I have taught a decade’s worth of family classes at BYU-Idaho and Utah State University and, as of the time of this writing, have yet to be run out of the classroom by angry students or administrators – though that could change any day now 😉. Marriage and Preparing for Marriage have been my favorite subjects to teach at the university level – though I have taught a variety of other family courses as well. I have also taught marriage classes in the community and at BYU-Idaho Education Week.
My sweet wife and I met at BYU-Idaho (then Ricks College) in 1998. We met at a dance during the last song of the evening. Eight months later we were married. We have now been married for almost 18 years and have been blessed with 5 wonderful children – ages 6 to 14. While life is sometimes hard (it is for everyone); there are so many principles that can help couples improve their marital satisfaction (regardless of how happy they are presently). In fact, helping others maximize the happiness in their marriage is my primary motivation for this blog!
I enjoyed growing up in Seattle Washington, though we now happily call Rexburg Idaho home. Some of my hobbies include, spending time with family, cheering on my wife and children with their varied activities, golfing, running, all things “history” (historical fiction novels, Netflix documentaries, etc.) and, as of 2015, blogging.
Prior to returning to school to earn my doctorate, I had spent a decade in business working for various corporations. Presently, I am the Director of Online Learning Operations at BYU-Idaho (though I still make time to teach university marriage classes each semester).
Imperfectly Passionate About Parenting
Let’s get one thing clear, although I may know a fair amount about parenting but often lack the character necessary. Perfect parents do not exist…at least on this planet. So I hope that none of you read my posts with the idea that what I know is always reflected in what I do. Even though I have a long way to go, I am ridonculously passionate about studying, writing about, and teaching accurate and truth-based parenting principles. (Take it from me, when your wife tells you during a Friday night date that she would like to talk about something else besides parenting—you probably need to chill out.) But I’d like to think that I have more than just passion to qualify me to blog on parenting, so I’ll try to make that case with the rest of this bio.
“Wanna Talk About Me…”
My wife and I both graduated (on the same day) from the University of Utah with a degree in Human Development & Family Studies. My day job since 2011 has been as a professor in Marriage, Family, & Child Development at Brigham Young University—Idaho. This means that I study and “profess” things in areas such as Parenting, Child Development, and Child & Family Advocacy and Policy to name a few. Before working at BYU-Idaho, I studied and taught at Kansas State University for 5 years—home of the Wildcats—where I also completed a Masters and Doctorate in Marriage, Family, & Human Development.
I have conducted research among emerging adults (18-25 year olds) studying their life-goal pursuits, happiness and life satisfaction, and views on marriage and family. I like research but I LOVE teaching and speaking so I fill up a lot of my free time with extra stuff like that. I have spoken about children, marriage, and families at conferences and events in China, all over the United States, and several times at the United Nations in New York City during the Commission on the Status of Women.
Another one of my passions is Family Advocacy & Policy. I currently serve on the advisory board for United Families International and served on the organizing committee for the World Congress of Families IX. So don’t be too shocked if I weave child and family advocacy into some of my blog posts.
What Matters Most
On a personal and more important note, Jodi (my wife) and I have been married since 2000 and we have 1 son and 3 daughters. My children will probably be mentioned in my posts more often than you or they would like so I will refrain from telling you much about them here.
Jodi and I have a unique dynamic in that I introduced her to musicals and Anne of Green Gables, I am probably more emotional than she is, and she is amazing at building at fixing things (yes, I still have my man card). She is a listener and I am a talker, so over the years I have helped her to speak up and she has helped me to shut up.I enjoy playing basketball, tennis, golf, the guitar and the piano, as often as occasion permits (which is rarely). And I may or may not be addicted to Nielsen’s frozen custard and banana milkshakes.
Why Do This Blog When You Have a Good Job?
I am driven to help parents—single or married—that the we are more often the problem than the children. Too many parenting books are how to fix kids and assume the parents requests and perspectives are healthy and accurate. I work hard to help parents see healthy parenting objectively rather than what is comfortable or “common sense.” I assert that there is a truth about parenting and it is not determined by subjective or popular opinion. My hope is to help with whom I associate come to a better knowledge of the Truth. There is no such thing as a strong family without some level of conflict, dysfunction, and problems. As you and I strive to be a little better each day in our families we can truly trust that there are always Good Things to Come.
Behind the Scenes
Web & Graphic Guy
Web & Graphic designer, husband, father of 5. When I’m not playing racquetball, I love to make things look great. And my favorite app is Oregon Trail. www.benpingel.me
Student, wife, and family advocate. Secretly obsessed with workout videos. I enjoy writing, doing family history research, and winning board games
Recent Blog Posts
…let me suggest a gift that you can give that will be more important than other gifts you will give this holiday season – the gift of increased love for your spouse? Allow me to explain…
Are you inadvertently damaging your marriage by the way you communicate? Family Good Things content manager Elizabeth shares some common but harmful communication patterns and how to overcome them.
Be honest: how many movies have you seen where the culminating event, the anticipated conclusion, or the “happy ending” was a wedding? Why is that? What is it deep within us that yearns not just for marriage, but for a tremendously happy marriage? While we may believe...
Ever feel like you just *have* to check your phone, Facebook, or your favorite YouTube channel? Guest blogger Paige Gibbs writes about how technology addiction affects family life and what we can do to solve the problem.