Marriage and parenting advice are readily available online. Some suggestions seem unrealistic, while others resonate with readers and begin making the social media rounds.
Although there are many views on how to be the "most efficient mom" or "most adoring husband," this year there have been some advice articles on DeseretNews.com that have struck a chord with many of our readers.
Whether it's learning how to be "the meanest mom," how to recover from a divorce or why you didn't marry your soul mate — these most popular advice articles from 2013 have something for a broad range of family situations.
"The six words your spouse and children need to hear today"
Rachel Macy Stafford shares her appreciation for her husband and daughters in this post that originally appeared on her blog, "Hands Free Mama."
"When simply watching someone makes your heart feel as if it could explode right out of your chest, you really should let that person know.
It is as simple and lovely as that."
"Marriage isn't for you"
The following post by Seth Adam Smith originally appeared on his blog ForwardWalking.com and can now be found on SethAdamSmith.com.
"Kim and I were going through a rough patch, a real rough patch there because of her grad school and moving to Tampa, and her being involved in grad school so much," Smith told the Deseret News.
"Because of that, I started to withdraw from her and push her away, and, like it says in the article, it all came to a head. Emotions erupted — and I say it was some time ago — it was two weeks ago. This article was sort of cathartic; it was getting over it all."
"You're a stay-at-home mom? What do you do all day?
This post by talk radio host Matt Walsh originally appeared on his website, The Matt Walsh Blog.
In his post, Walsh recalls a conversation he had with another woman about his wife choosing to stay at home.
"I shouldn’t need to explain why it’s insane for anyone — particularly other women — to have such contempt and hostility for 'stay at home' mothers. Are we really so shallow? Are we really so confused? Are we really the first culture in the history of mankind to fail to grasp the glory and seriousness of motherhood?"
"50 lessons I want to teach my daughter"
This piece, by Lisa-Jo Baker, originally appeared on her blog, lisajobaker.com.
"I have a daughter," Baker wrote.
"It’s changed everything. My gorgeous, rough and tumble boys — I love them as hard as they love all things mud, dirt and mortal combat. But raising a girl — I ache to give her a head start in this Pinterest, Photoshopped world."
Baker then lists 50 lessons she hopes to teach her daughter, including "Your brothers will teach you how boys should treat you" and "Good girls aren’t boring."
"Dear parents, you need to control your kids; sincerely non-parents"
This post by talk radio host Matt Walsh originally appeared on his website, The Matt Walsh Blog. In the article Walsh addresses a situation he ran into at the grocery store.
"I’m no math major, but that calculus makes no sense. A kid going berserk at a grocery store doesn’t indicate the quality of his parents, anymore than a guy getting pneumonia after he spends six hours naked in the snow indicates the quality of his doctor," Walsh wrote.
"The occasional meltdown is unavoidable, the real test is how you deal with it. This mother handled it like a pro. She was like mom-ninja; she was calm and poised, but stern and in command."
10 compliments your husband needs to hear
This article was written by Heather Hale and originally appeared on Family Share.
"The things we say have a big impact on our marriages. Men sometimes get the reputation for being the less communicative gender, but that doesn't mean they don't thrive on affirming words from their wives," Hale wrote.
"Whether or not your husband is begging for verbal affection, here are 10 compliments that your husband needs to hear."
In Hale's list she includes phrases such as, "I'm so glad I married you," and "I'm so proud of you."
"Recovering from divorce: 10 marriage tips every wife needs to hear"
This post by Karen Lodato originally appeared on her blog, Eighth Rising. In this piece she references another blog post written by a divorced man where he listed marriage advice he wished he had adhered to. In this post, Lodato creates her own list from a woman's perspective.
"My husband and I had both been through divorce before we married each other, and with that brings a unique perspective into many do’s and don’ts of how to treat your spouse. Don’t get me wrong — our marriage isn’t perfect, but our failures in past relationships have shaped decisions we make about the way we treat each other, and to be honest, I’m glad I went through it. We’ve learned better, so now we do better.
"And with that, I’d like to offer up my version of his wise marriage tips — from a woman who has triumphed the murky waters of divorce."
"My husband is not my soul mate"
This article by Hannah originally appeared on her blog, The Art in Life.
"It might seem odd that on this, our one-year anniversary, I am beginning a post with the declaration that my husband is not my soul mate. But he isn't," Hannah writes.
"I wouldn't want to be married to anyone else other than James, which is good, because I plan on being married to him forever, and he has to let me die first. But I reject the entire premise of soul mates."
"The tired mother's creed: for the days you are running on empty"
This piece by Lisa-Jo Baker originally appeared on her blog, lisajobaker.com.
"For the days we are running on empty. For the days we just don't think we have it in us to read one more story, play one more game of Uno, wash one more round of sheets. For the days when we think everyone else has it together. For the days we're sure anyone else would do this job better," Baker writes.
"For those days. You know the ones. Repeat after me ..."
Baker then lists 20 uplifting statements moms need to remember, such as, "I shall remember that a messy house at peace is better than an immaculate house tied up in knots."
"You'd rather be dressed in white: A Mormon convert's letter to her daughter about Miley Cyrus"
This post by Kayla Lemmon originally appeared on her blog, All Our Lemmony Things.
In this article, Lemmon writes a letter to her future daughter after seeing Miley Cyrus perform at the MTV Video Music Awards.
"I thought of you when I saw her on that stage. Not because I fear you'll be like that, but because we live in a world where that is almost expected now. As a woman, you're expected to dress 'sexy.' You're expected to care more about what you put on your face then what comes out of your mouth," Lemmon wrote.
"But my dear daughter, you are anything but that. So is Miley. But she doesn't know it."
"17 things 'The Princess Bride' taught me about autism parenting"
This advice from Bec Oakley originally appeared on her blog, Snagglebox.
Oakley said: "Sure there’ll be laughs, adventure, pain and tears — but at the heart of it all, it's about love."
Some of the lessons Oakley learned included, "Affection doesn't have to mean saying I love you," and "Having a target will help you stay focused."
"10 things I learned when I stopped yelling at my kids"
The Orange Rhino Challenge meant this mom couldn't yell at her four boys for an entire year. After completing the goal, she posted what she learned on her blog.
A few of her insights included "My kids are my most important audience," "I can’t always control my kids’ actions, but I can always control my reaction" and "Taking care of me helps me to not yell."
"Wake up and smell the sexting, parents"
Coming in at No. 7 is parenting advice given by Kristen Thompson, which originally appeared on her blog, Blood, Sweat and Cheers!
In this post, Thompson shares a parent's guide to several social media sites, encouraging parents to understand what their children are using and how they are using it.
"I will get some criticism for writing about this, but it's important for all parents to hear. And when I say 'All,' I mean ALL, even those with babies and younger children. You need to know what is in store for you because it's only going to get worse.
Sorry in advance, kids. To parents, you're welcome. Listen up!"
"How I know my wife married the 'wrong person'
This advice piece on marriage by Tyler McKenzie originally appeared on his blog, Cross-Shaped Stuff.
In his post, McKenzie states: "Singles today (and most married couples too) are searching for super-spouses that simply don't exist. People expect far too much from their spouse in all the wrong areas.
That's why I know beyond doubt, at least by society's standards, that Lindsay married the wrong person."
McKenzie then gives four pieces of advice on what to do when you realize your spouse is the "wrong" person.
"How to see a woman: A conversation between a father and a son"
With 17,000 shares on social media, this post by Nate Pyle, a pastor for Christ’s Community Church in Fishers, Ind., comes in as the fifth best-performing advice article.
It originally appeared on Pyle's blog, From One Degree to Another. In the post, Pyle writes what he plans on telling his son when the time comes.
"A lot of people will try and tell you that a woman should watch how she dresses so she doesn’t tempt you to look at her wrongly. Here is what I will tell you. It is a woman’s responsibility to dress herself in the morning. It is your responsibility to look at her like a human being regardless of what she is wearing."
"50 ways to be a fantastic parent"
This post featured 50 tips that had been compiled throughout the year from Parents Magazine, written by Barrie Gillies.
Some of the tips include, "Don't try to fix everything," "Read books together every day," "Fess up when you blow it" and "Talk about what it means to be a good person."
"How to miss a childhood: The dangers of paying more attention to your cell phone than your children"
This is the fourth most popular advice post from 2013, written by Rachel Macy Stafford and originally appearing on "Hands Free Mama."
Stafford first relates an email message she received from a woman who was concerned with how modern technology may come between parents and their children.
"Now I see you on the phone, pushing your kids on the swings while distracted by your devices. You think you are spending time with them, but you are not present really. When I see you pick up your kids at day care while your'e on the phone, it breaks my heart. They hear your adult conversations. What do they overhear? What is the message they receive? I am not important; I am not important," the letter read.
Stafford then lists several ways that a phone or tablet may cause a parent to miss out on their kids' childhood.
"18-point iPhone contract from a mother to her son"
This 18-point iPhone contract was created by Janell Burley Hofmann and originally appeared on Hofmann's blog, www.janellburleyhofmann.com.
Hofmann included in her post a letter she wrote to her son that went along with his Christmas gift of an iPhone:
Merry Christmas! You are now the proud owner of an iPhone. You are a good and responsible 13-year-old boy, and you deserve this gift. But with the acceptance of this present come rules and regulations.
"Please read through the following contract. I hope that you understand it is my job to raise you into a well-rounded, healthy young man that can function in the world and coexist with technology, not be ruled by it.
"Failure to comply with the following list will result in termination of your iPhone ownership."
Hofman then lists rules such as "Keep your eyes up," and "Learn to live without it."
"FYI (if you're a teenage girl)"
This letter was written by Kim Hall and originally appeared on her blog, Given Breath. Hall, a mother of three boys, wrote a letter to the teenage girls her boys are friends with, stating that she's not too keen on the suggestive pictures they post on Facebook.
"If you are friends with a Hall boy on Facebook or Instagram or Twitter, then you are friends with the whole Hall family.
"Please know that we genuinely like staying connected with you this way! We enjoy seeing things through your unique and colorful — you are funny, insightful, and often very wise.
"Which is what makes your latest self-portrait so extremely unfortunate."
This post received national attention as mothers, and women in general, discussed whether Hall had overstepped her bounds by calling out teenage girls — some claiming she needs to do the same to boys.
"How (and why) to be the meanest mom in the world"
This is the top performing advice article on DeseretNews.com in 2013. Originally appearing on Family Share and written by Megan Wallgren, this piece has been shared more than 290,000 times on social media.
"Once, I walked out of the store without giving into my child’s tantrum for a cookie. A woman stopped me in the parking lot and told me I was the best parent in the shopping center. My daughter wasn’t so sure. When your kids tell you you’re mean, take it as a compliment," Wallgren says in her article.
She then continues to give 12 pieces of advice, such as "Make them work for free," and "Don't give your kids dessert every day."