I Am ME: Bree Kuykindall, Memphis, Tennessee
Through the Fatherhood Program at the Shelby County Correction Center, Bree Kuykindall helps couples separated by incarceration discover that communication is key to healthy relationships and a building block to prevent recidivism.
“You have to have the skills to calmly talk it out and come up with solutions in order to have a healthy relationship.”
~ Bree Kuykindall
Shelby County Correction Center
Marriage Education (ME) is touching the lives of couples, families and children across the country. “I Am ME” profiles people teaching relationship, fatherhood and marriage education classes in their local communities.
Bree Kuykindall met her husband, Brandon, in high school. They’ve now been married for six and a half years and have two children, Brandon Jr. and Brielle. Bree was certified to teach PAIRS marriage, fatherhood and relationship education classes in 2009 through the Fatherhood Program at the Shelby County Correction Center in Memphis, Tennessee. She enjoys teaching PAIRS classes because she believes teaching couples how to effectively listen and communicate with each other is key to healthy relationships and reducing recidivism.
1. What led you to want to teach relationship and marriage education?
I work for the Fatherhood Program at the Shelby County Correction Center and I enjoy assisting couples on how to best communicate with one another.
2. How are the challenges facing young couples today different?
Well I am a young person myself and I can sympathize with young couples. Today, with the economy the way it is, is hard for everyone. However, it is still possible for couples to survive and find happiness. Sure there will be obstacles along the way, but you must have the skills necessary to calmly talk it out and come up with solutions to have a healthy relationship.
3. How has being a marriage education instructor affected your family?
Being a marriage education instructor has changed my relationship dramatically! My husband and I have learned to lower our voices and LISTEN and REITERATE what we have heard. Listening and repeating what your partner stated is so crucial, so you won’t misinterpret what was said. I teach this skill to couples in PAIRS classes through a tool called “Talking Tips”. Using this skill with my husband avoids unnecessary confrontation.
4. What are some favorite hobbies you enjoy as a family?
Brandon and I love to go to Lasertron with our children and watch movies. My daughter and I love to cook together; my husband and son enjoy Playstation.
5. What qualities would you like your family to most admire about you?
My fairness, my sense of adventure and willingness to do things at the spur of the moment, and my loving manner.
Shelby County Division of Corrections
Memphis, TN 38134
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U.S. Department of Health and Human Services: Promoting Responsible Fatherhood