Author Archive: Ross Gilbert

Developing Resilience In The Family





Most, if not all, of us want to keep our child protected from harm and struggle. We would be more than willing to carry their burdens for them just so they won’t be hurt. They would be much happier, right? Nope, usually not.

Kids are happy when their parents help them develop their capacity to manage and overcome life’s difficult experiences. This kind of help is needed when your children are at a very young age. As they grow into adulthood, parents who have instilled resilience will see how their teenagers recover from their failures, deal with stress, adjust to changes, and cope with heartbreak and loss.


Resilience is actually inherent. It is rooted in the ways that children have learned to reason and respond to whatever problems, big or small. They are confronted with. The path to resilience arises ultimately from their supportive bonds with their parents, teachers, and significant others. These bonds are the networks of strength when children go through stressful circumstances and hurtful emotions. When the youth develop a strategy in life that sees tackling problems as a crucial part of their success, they begin to learn how to be resilient. The family plays an essential role in cultivating this value.

Why It’s Important For Children To Be Resilient

Studies have revealed that resilience is important for humans to thrive, and the ability is required in order to develop stable and mentally healthy young adults. It’s the thing that allows children to rise from daunting experiences with positivity and self-confidence. We see resilience in kids when we notice how determined they are and how they are able to deal with their problems with courage and tenacity and cope with their various issues in school and life in general.



The capacity of someone to surpass trials in ways that preserve or enhance his well-being plays a crucial role in how children attain their personal and academic goals. Resilient children have a sense of authority over their own fates. They are aware that they can seek help from others when they necessary, and they are willing to take the initiative in finding resolutions to their problems. Parents, on the other hand, enable resilience by providing help to their children so that they will learn to consider different strategies in going through and overcoming adversity. They are also a source of strength and support, encouraging their kids to decide for themselves.

Here’s a list of tips you can begin practicing today to develop your child’s capacity to recover and surpass life’s various challenges.


  • Learn from previous mistakes. Often we want our children to be perfect, so we try hard to teach them not to commit errors. However, studies revealed that as children grow, they learn much more when they make mistakes. Disappointments are a daily encounter for them – with homework, peers, and sports, among others. The family helps build the foundations of resilience in the youth when they view these experiences as prospects for learning and improvement.


  • Recall stories of heroes. Most often, kids and even adults see heroes as mere legends instead of representations of human beings who were triumphant in breaking boundaries that used to limit them. By recalling and learning about these heroes in books and online, families encourage children to contemplate surpassing and succeeding in their own obstacles.


  • Establish healthy and positive relationships. Out of the ten best strategies of building resilience listed by the American Psychological Association, establishing positive connections was at the top. Parents should be role models in practicing healthy relationships skills and help children gain more self-confidence. This also promotes resilience, among other equally important values.


  • Be involved in difficult conversations. From time to time, including teens in family issues and other sensitive topics will enable them to open their minds and learn to decipher right from wrong, eventually guiding them into developing resiliency. You can ask them to express their feelings and opinions, especially when the conversation entails them to feel grief or sadness.


  • Nurture your children’s strengths. A range of character strengths and values will be crucial in identifying our capacity to confront life’s difficult situations. Among the greatest ways for parents to understand these strengths better is by initially looking into their own. They might consider doing a self-evaluation, assessing which characters are their strongest and which ones are their weakest. Then they will know the kind of person they are and what they need to improve on. Once this is done, they can now take gradual steps in fostering character building in their children.


  • Take care of your emotional well-being. Emotional health is a strong contributor to your child’s ability to manage and deal successfully with his problems. It plays a crucial role in his capacity to be resilient in every aspect of his life. When parents support their children, provide them with support and quality time, cultivate kindness and forgiveness, and encourage them to believe in what they can do, they are ultimately boosting their emotional health and helping them increase their capacity to survive the many seasons of life and its storms.


I Hate This Lockdown – I’m Losing My Sanity Due To My Toxic Family

I don’t usually rant about stuff, especially if it involves my family. Honestly, I do not intend to talk about them because I don’t see the point of letting others know about my family issues and life struggles. However, I feel motivated to express my thoughts right now because that is a way to get rid of the emotional and mental burden I am currently having. Thus, I want to share my story and hope that others could also learn from my experiences.


What’s The Issue?

Ever since this COVID-19 began, each member of my family became toxic. I do recognize the stress and all the frustration, though. But what I don’t understand is their attitude towards each other amidst the situation. Most times, I am losing all my patience with their immature traits.


Understandably, with “no work no pay” policy, I can sympathize with my mother’s agitation towards my dad. My mom is handling all the pressure in the house, and she is trying her best to stay in her balance. We are five in the family, and my mom takes care of us all the time. But sometimes, things can get a little too overwhelming that she breaks down. That’s fine. It’s normal, I guess. But what I don’t like about her is when she finds herself caught up with all the stress, she blames my dad. She forces him to find ways to make things better. And when he can’t do it, she insults him. My mom often throws negative and degrading words out of her mouth. And she doesn’t seem sorry for it. If I were to judge it, that’s not helpful. Not only my mother insinuates future arguments, but she also tears down my dad’s self-esteem. I have read in a BetterHelp article, low self-esteem can cause a lot of emotional and mental troubles.


As for my dad, I guess people would assume that he’s the victim. But for me, he’s toxic as well. My dad is not irresponsible when it comes to financial support. In fact, he knows he must provide us everything we need, especially during this lockdown. But what I hate about him is he never tries to help my mom. I mean, he knows how stressful it is for her to take care of three children and the house. But my dad often ignores my mom’s requests for help. It is as if he’s telling her through his actions that everything in the house is my mother’s sole responsibility. My father seems tied to the idea that putting food on the table is the only liability he needs to fulfill. Honestly, if I can comment on that, I can say that my dad is somehow immature in handling unpredictable situations. He’s incapable of even handling his own well-being.


Writing this, I was hoping I can never find reasons to complain about my siblings. But apparently, I have a lot of things to say about them. I am the youngest, and being on that birth order is frustrating. Both my brother and sister is a pain in the ass. Instead of helping the family, they are the ones who often ignite the argument inside the house. They believe they have the right to act the way they want. They blame our parents for not having this and that. It’s so unreasonable. No one of them tries to help my dad and mom because they think parents should do everything. They don’t even bother asking our parents if they are okay. They’re both teenagers who don’t put a little care for their family.

People might say I am overreacting, but I am not. Our family is toxic when together, and this lockdown is making everything worse. I just hope we can survive all of these uncertainties.

The Added Stress To Your Life Due To The Pandemic

Understandably, your life is stressful enough with school, work, family, and relationships. But with the pandemic, everything becomes more stressful and challenging to manage. Sometimes, even the best ways you do won’t seem to work anymore because things are too much to handle. In unfortunate cases, instead of finding reasons to fight the situation, you get too tired and weak emotionally, physically, and mentally. Then, you chose to give up and don’t care at anything at all.


Getting Too Tired Of Thinking For Better Ways To Live

With all the limitations that you can do, you soon become more indulge in overthinking. The thoughts in your head take a toll on you because of your desire to live better despite the world’s health condition. Honestly, that is okay. Yes, it is hard to convince yourself to stay strong continuously, but you have to. Approaching the pandemic stress with a practical, calm perspective is essential. It is vital to remind yourself that the situation is only temporary. That no matter how hard the struggle is, you will still make it through this. Of course, the process is going to be exhausting, but it should not stop you from having the motivation to live.


Too Much Worry For Other People

As the situation of this global pandemic arises, it is okay to feel concerned about other people. It is part of human nature to care for one another. However, too much worry can increase the stress hormone in your body. In some cases, the concerns and anxiety you feel suppress the capability of your whole immune system. So the best way to keep yourself and others away from getting infected is to stay home. If you want to get emotionally connected with your loved ones, you can use text and chats. Use your time as well to make plans on what adventure and activities you and your loved ones can do once the pandemic is over.


The Financial Stress And Burden

Since all non-essential employees in different companies are ordered to stay home, may people are now out of work. Understandably, going without a paycheck brings up a lot of financial troubles that can lead to all sorts of mental and emotional damage. Honestly, there is nothing much you can do with a monetary matter in this time of crisis because the situation needs you to follow safety protocol. For now, all you have to do is understand the condition and value of every available help. You need to learn to appreciate what you got and use it properly. If you think your supply is insufficient, find an alternative. Just avoid complaining so you can focus more on resolutions.


Interrupted Routines And Normal Schedules

As much as people understand the value of social distancing, it is not a secret that all the preventive measure is causing interruptions in people’s life routines. These include going to school, work, gym, restaurant, and so on. Admittedly, you find it hard to adjust to this situation. Sometimes you get fed up with all the limitations that force you to change your habits. But regardless of the annoying, unexpected changes in your life’s routine, you should still comply with it. Make use of your time to look for productive things to do. That way, you can ease yourself from feeling bored and alone all the time.

Getting Too Concerned About Physical Health

Of course, you should be worried about your physical health during this COVID-19 outbreak. But you have to understand that getting excessively anxious all the time is also dangerous to your mental health. Yes, it is crucial to keep your physical health safe. But you should not ignore your mental health as well. Instead of stressing yourself, make sure to incorporate a healthy lifestyle by exercising and eating healthy.

Cultivating Children’s Self-Esteem: Need-To-Know Fundamentals


Self-esteem is a huge factor in the way a person feels and thinks about oneself. People who have established self-esteem carry positive outlook on life, are resilient to conflicts and changes, are accepting of themselves, and most importantly, they are oozing with confidence.


Possessing a high level of self-esteem does not necessarily mean a person is self-centered or arrogant; it mainly says that a person is aware enough about oneself to appreciate his or her worth in taking on any responsibility while not compromising care and respect for other people.




Effect Of Increased Self-Esteem On Kids

Children who have insurmountable self-esteem are generally happy and are efficient at socializing with friends and colleagues. They do not hesitate in helping those who are in need and are more likely to engage in community service or volunteer in charity events. Wherever they go, children with a tremendous amount of self-esteem enjoy social gatherings and are not isolated from people. These children are not afraid to play alone or with other kids in their neighborhood. Their creativity is boundless, and they are not hesitant to share what they think to their family and friends.

A healthy coping strategy would be to start studying early, so she has plenty of time to go over old quizzes and homework assignments, and ask for extra help from the teacher. But if the student is focused on protecting her self-esteem, she won’t do any of those because she won’t want to look or feel “dumb.” — Eileen Kennedy-Moore Ph.D.



The Importance Of Self-Esteem

A child who is infused with enough self-esteem can go through their days with little to no worries, bearing the thought that they can surpass whatever life throws at them either at school or within the community. Their positive attitude will affect the way they form relationships and how to interact with other people in specific situations. Helping your children cultivate self-esteem dramatically affects how they will survive adulthood.


Furthermore, self-esteem significantly helps children to:

  • Not be intimated by other children and be courageous to be on their own
  • Believe and be firm with their values
  • Arrive at the most suitable decision even under pressure
  • Appropriately interact with people with sophistication and poise
  • Handle life’s challenges and stressors
  • Make the right choices regarding their health
  • Know when to agree or disagree with activities that might negatively affect their well-being


In other words, having impassable self-esteem makes you become a better and kinder person – someone who is strong enough to stand by their beliefs and principles notwithstanding critics or pessimists.


Developing Children’s Self-esteem

Development of self-esteem starts at home, to children’s healthy and positive attachment to their parents. The moment mothers give birth they are already flourishing their children’s self-esteem by showing them acceptance, affection, and love. The act of proper parenting makes babies feel that they are valued.


Giving encouragements and praises are also stepping stones in building your children’s confidence and trust in oneself. Later in life, as your child goes through puberty, you can create structures and rules to hone your children’s confidence while giving them opportunities to arrive at decisions, thereby improving their independence.

If you are dealing with meltdowns, don’t resort to punishment. Allow your child to release their emotions while supporting and validating their feelings. — Ashley Diehl Ph.D.



What are the other things that you can do to foster your children’s self-esteem?


  1. Be Showy. First and foremost, do not withhold love, affection, compassion, and acceptance; these are building blocks to foster your children’s self-esteem. It is imperative that you make your children feel that they matter by always being there and spending time with them. In other words, show up.


  1. Identify And Learn From Mistakes. Make your children realize their mistakes and help them learn from their errors by paving different scenarios of possible consequences that may occur. Instead of berating them endlessly, tell them that committing mistakes is integral to positive growth and development because it teaches people valuable lessons in life. More so, show them how they can avoid making those mistakes again and make up for it.


  1. Practice Responsibility. Hone your children to become better at handling responsibilities by providing opportunities to contribute at home through assigning chores. Once your children have accomplished the task, give genuine praise to let them know that their presence is vital.

…talk with your child and ask how he/she plans to solve the problem to teach them how to be more rational and solve problems creatively and in a more civilized manner. — Wendy Rice, Psy.D.

  1. Learn At Every Turn. Grab every troublesome scenario or event as a moment of learning. When your children fail to be part of something that they’ve been yearning for, like being part of the sports team or glee club, always impart some wisdom and make them realize that losing is as important as winning. Losing gives your kids the chance to dust themselves off and become better in their craft. The critical takeaway is that they will keep on trying until they succeed.


  1. Support Your Children’s Passion. Showing full support is very important in developing your children’s self-esteem for it enhances their talents and skills at something they are passionate about. Whatever your child feels like doing, support him or her and never question nor humiliate them because of their choices – it will only bring them down.


Life is a matter of self-discovery and one of the most critical aspects to survive the highs and lows is to have established self-esteem because, without it, your children’s journey will become problematic and unfruitful.



How Your Partner’s Substance Abuse Affects A Family Relationship

One of the biggest misconceptions about substance abuse is the idea that it can only affect one person in the family. The truth is, when your spouse is suffering from addiction, everything in the family can fall apart. Marital issues may arise, and complications to the overall health of each of the member of the family are also at risk.



Contempt is attacking your partner’s sense of self by conveying disgust. It can be expressed both verbally and non-verbally. — Angela Bisignano, PhD

Why Substance Abuse Is Damaging

Substance abuse hurts the people close to them because it dominates the abuser’s thoughts and actions. In some instances, it becomes a source of their behavioral malfunction that affects their skills in communication and empathy. Sometimes, your spouse’s addiction can turn a happy home into a miserable place where you and your children experience emotional and psychological suffering that strongly causes parental alienation due to disrespect, unwarranted fear, and manipulation. There are also instances that your partner will no longer value the importance of your marriage and will see it as a triggering point for his harmful actions. Substance abuse wastes a lot of time, money and attention that will eventually lead to separation and violent measures.




Why It Is Dangerous

When a person is experiencing an addiction, they become aggressively irrational when it comes to decision-making. They no longer function normally and often see things as something that encourages their mental and emotional incapability. It deteriorates an individual’s personality and tends to turn him into something unmanageable. His mind and body will no longer work properly and soon become toxic. Substance abuse changes his life perception and lowers down his potential in becoming a better person.

While there are no perfect relationships, it is important to distinguish between needing to smooth out some problems and being in an essentially unhealthy situation.  — LESLIE BECKER-PHELPS, PHD

How Substance Abuse Affects Your Partner

When your spouse is under any influence of drugs, his healthy ideas are limited to the things that he only wants to believe in. He will no longer see you as something that encourages his growth, but rather a person that tries to bring him down. It will cause a lot of complication to your marriage because substance abuse will support his negative thoughts, doubts, and fear. In most cases, it directly pushes your significant other to commit crimes as well as verbal, psychological, physical, and emotional violence. The addiction will limit his capabilities to act normal and will tend to develop a lasting impact on you and your children’s lives. Your partner’s way of thinking will no longer support his health and will eventually tear down your family as well.


What Can You Do?

Any type of addiction is dangerous to the family. As a member of the unit, you have to take into consideration as to where you should put your priorities first. When your spouse’s substance abuse is already putting your family at risk, you have to take actions and save everything that you can from the damaging situation. You have to motivate yourself to work on the positive things that can make your significant other realize your family’s worth.

Both partners must understand the importance of the process, the need for help, and the willingness to invest in the future of the relationship. Deidre A. Prewitt, MSMFC, LPC


Dealing with a person who suffers from addiction to any form of drugs is exhausting, terrifying, and damaging. You need to be physically brave and mentally strong to be able to fight for your family’s overall development.



Things That Couples Can’t Handle Inside Their Family



There are certain things that married couples tend to agree or disagree when it comes to their family. Sometimes, it even creates an ongoing stature of an issue due to irresponsible responses they give out to each other. They become more prone to self-inflicting irrationalities, uncontrolled demands, and even an intense level of dominance throughout the relationship.

In a relationship, a blind spot can mean any area a person fails to recognize is impacting their relationship either in a negative way or as a needed growth area. — Angela Bisignano, PhD

When we think about how couples handle their marriage, it becomes different when there is involvement from their kids and other sources of extended people. It takes a lot of effort and understanding to be able to master the art of controlling everything. So here are the things that couples sometimes can’t handle together inside their family unit.

The Bendable Rules – Both adults can have an opinion on almost everything inside the house. However, a complication may happen when couples tend to have a different ideology when it comes to ruling and discipline. Sometimes, due to specific actions, children become more prone to parental alienation. It somehow hinders the family to create a better bond due to mixed decisions that the kids can no longer understand. The different decisions can become a major problem inside the house when both parents cannot agree on something beneficial for everyone. Therefore, parents should talk to each other first and must agree on a precise decision that can help their kid’s development. This way, they can probably avoid arguments and long-term miscommunication.



Good communication is key in helping partners to become emotionally close. Also, when tensions arise, it is essential that you can both talk through differences constructively. — Leslie Becker-Phelps, PHD

Unsolicited Advice From Other People – We know that couples make decisions for their family and they are basing it on their everyday experience. However, it is incredibly possible that unsolicited advice can become a problem, especially if it comes from each of the couple’s side of the family. Sometimes, due to the kind of ties they have with their respective families, they tend to follow some different traditions that complicate how they handle their unit. With this kind of scenario, both mother and father must create a firm decision that only the two of them can agree upon and that their extended families are no longer part of the issue.




Financial Disposition – One of the worse things that the couple may find hard to handle is the financial disposition. In most cases, both couples may or may not agree on giving it importance. However, the fact that it creates a massive effect on each one of their family is a considering burden to all. The lack of monetary stability causes a family to a breakdown in all aspects of their relationship from communication and self-worth as it will create a battle of focus on the primary obligation of each member of the family. Couples may find it hard to work on financial resolutions that sometimes make them end up losing each other due to the financial crisis. Therefore, couples must start to make a living and provide the necessary needs for the family before they risk getting the things they don’t need.

Some couples pretend everything is fine because they do not want to feel judged or persecuted; meanwhile, their relationship is crumbling at their feet. — Deidre A. Prewitt, MSMFC, LPC

Couples who decide to maintain a good family relationship must understand that things will not always go in their favor. There are certain decisions that both of them should handle together to be able to get through the struggle of balancing their lives and family.

How Divorce Affects A Family Relationship



The shattered and broken feeling you may carry after separation or divorce may drive you toward a need to become “whole” again, but it might seem as if nothing anyone can say would restore the sense of belonging and connection you’ve lost. — Andra Brosh, PhD

There can never be a justification when it comes to the wrongful behavior you do in a relationship, and sometimes, it pervasively affects your daily life. Most of the time, the way you handle your relationship with your spouse or significant other also creates an impact on how you manage your family regarding decision making, ruling, and communicating. When things get out of hand, people merely call it quits and seek constitutional marital separation.




How People See Divorce

When we talk about divorce, it is something that people commonly think of as an escape from a relationship they can no longer hold on to. In most cases, due to its manageable process, couples tend to become more dependent on the said procedure and consider it as one of the critical factors of the marital amendment. Though not all legal separations end up with a win-win situation, divorce still holds the highest priority option when it comes to unresolved marital issues.

Some researchers have suggested that the economic hardship custodial parents face following divorce is the critical factor in predicting children’s post-divorce adjustment. — Angela Avery, MA, LLPC, NCC

How It Affects The Family

When we talk about a family relationship, marriage is one of the important foundations that keep it alive. However, when couples tend to get the divorce, it immediately ruins the pedestal of a unit and starts to break it into pieces. Therefore, it affects a family’s structure, relationship, and bond. Divorce is not healthy for a family because it causes parental alienation, trauma, mental disorders, and emotional dilemma. Not only does it affect both couples but also creates an impact on their kid’s lives as well.

How It Impacts A Toxic Relationship

Though we know that divorce is something that causes people to get emotional, behavioral, and psychological dysfunction, it has been a valid process when it comes to dealing with a toxic relationship. It helps people fight their stress and struggles in a way that makes them escape the agony of having an unhealthy relationship with the family. In most cases, when couples tend to decide for their benefit and use divorce as an amending resolution, it saves the whole family from suffering, pain, discomfort, and severe mental torture. Also, it even makes them create a sensible gap to motivate each of themselves to fight for their well-being and become a better person.

Resentment is by definition focused on the past; and the past is not something you can change. — LESLIE BECKER-PHELPS, PHD



When Is The Proper Time To Choose Divorce?

Honestly speaking, the decision will depend on the married couple. If their marital relationship seems to affect their family drastically, they might as well consider thinking about how the little changes can make a difference. When they happen to choose divorce as a getaway function of their un-reunited ideas, it will not only create a massive impact on their overall health but also affect their children’s way of handling each of their lives. With that said, both consenting adults are responsible for their kid’s development, and an irrational decision can somehow hinder the progress of their children’s emotional, behavioral, psychological health.

It’s understandable that you can’t blame the couples if ever they want to get divorced when things are not going smoothly in the relationship. However, whether you like it or not, it will still impact one or more aspects of each person involved in the family so decisions should undergo explicit consideration.