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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.


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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.

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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.

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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.


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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.


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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

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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

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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.


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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.


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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


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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.


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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

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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.

The Importance Of Marriage In Establishing A Family


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In our recent generation, people think that marriage is a simple representation of formality in the relationship. They often see it as something that is a waste of time and money as well as effort. They judge and make assumptions as to whether it’s necessary or not. Some people devalue its worth and continue to ignore its benefits in building a family.



When we talk about forming the foundation of a unit, marriage is essential. It pushes the couple to exert significant power in attaining a healthy and well-established relationship and view the holy healed happy marriage as their strength in facing the trials along the way. There’s mutual respect, devotion, appreciation, fear, motivation, love, and commitment. Marriage gives people a chance to experience happiness and fulfillment.

The strongest relationships are ones that support both independence and dependence. Each partner feels supported as an independent individual and is encouraged to depend on the other for comfort and encouragement. — LESLIE BECKER-PHELPS, PHD

One significant advantage of marriage is its contribution to society when it comes to forming a family. Married couples tend to be more appreciative and responsible for the things that surround them. It helps them make effective decisions that can influence other people too. When it comes to relationship issues, married couples tend to be more aware of the consequences of their actions and try to avoid mistakes as much as possible. I’m not saying that marriage can represent a perfect relationship, but it somehow helps the couple find their purpose in life because it allows them to have enough reasons to stay together.


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When people value the importance of marriage, they tend to evaluate the significance of building a family. It somehow pushes them to become a role model for their kids in the future. In that sense, it gives them a chance to prepare themselves for the inconsistencies of life.

When we talk about family, children are always part of the issue. The married couple tends to value the importance of giving their child all the necessary support they need to be able to attain a well-deserved balanced development. Marriage somehow gives them an idea of the things that should matter to them instead of trying to decide on their own. Aside from that, it supports children in achieving lasting mental and emotional improvement in all aspect of their lives.

Dr. Gottman’s research concludes it’s the way a couple argues that indicates whether they will remain together. He cites contempt as the number one culprit. — Angela Bisignano, PhD

As far as the relationship is the concern, married couples prove to have a stronger bond, and that’s because they know their priorities well enough to support their goals in life. They often consider the things around them and assess themselves as to whether or not they can contribute to other people, society, the environment, and themselves. Again, I’m not insisting that people with different opinions should tie the knot and stick with someone who doesn’t bring out the best in them. It still needs more understanding than that.


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Both men and women tend to see the importance of marriage from a different perspective. And when it comes to learning new things, they try to experience different approaches as well. If the union quite turns out to be an option, the couple should understand their roles and responsibilities in providing a quality contribution to the world and to the people around them.

Relationships can be hard, but they can also be very rewarding.  If you and your partner are willing to put in the time to nurture your union, you can count on having someone on your side for the long haul. — Amy Quinn, MA, MS, LMFT

How Divorce Affects A Family

A strong foundation of a family gives joy and peace to every member. It is an essential factor of life that helps in motivating people to work hard and appreciate life. But what if it talks about divorce? How can each of its members find the courage to stay positive even if the situation is out of hand? Well, one thing is for sure – divorce is something that can change every person’s life.

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The ability to repent for an act of betrayal requires a level of evolution that most people never aspire to reaching. Saying I’m sorry means admitting fault, as does acknowledging that the action has deeply hurt another person. — Andra Brosh, PhD

What Divorce Can Bring In The Family

Even if you think divorce is beneficial in some ways, it doesn’t hide the fact that it can hurt a lot of people.  Honestly speaking, it gives a lot of emotional and mental trauma not only to the couples experiencing it but also to their children. It weakens the connection and creates a massive complication as to where the members should practically accept the situation and try to move on with their lives. Sometimes, they ignore the fact that the process of recovery could take months or even years.


The Assessment

The parent’s decision in trying to end their marriage is a complicated battle between what they want and what they should do. In some cases, some couples tend to disregard their children’s needs because they focus on addressing a toxic relationship. Perhaps it’s beneficial for the both of them. However, it doesn’t assure a long-lasting happiness due to the sacrifices and adjustments that they need to face in the long run.

Relationships descend from being unhealthy into being toxic when at least one partner works against the other one in an overpowering way. — LESLIE BECKER-PHELPS, PHD

It’s not that they don’t want to stick with the person they promised to love forever, but it’s about what gives the couple their peace of mind. When it comes to separation, of course, there’s a need for assessment as to why they should or should not stick with each other. However, couples who experience a lot of arguments and misunderstandings inside the family will only create much more intolerable inconsistencies. Therefore, the situation needs a concrete decision making.


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The Probable Effect

When it comes to children, different approaches are present. Some children might take it harshly due to its impact on their emotional and psychological state. It can cause trauma and affect their social life at some point. Sometimes, it gives the children fewer advantages for overall development because of its excruciating results. They often regard it as something that takes away their life and happiness which is not good in the sense of emotional stability and psychological improvement. However, there are those children that use the experience to maintain mental and emotional balance. They use the traumatic experience as a way to motivate themselves to a faster recovery. Sometimes, their experience from divorcing parents pushes them to positively stay away from the same situation and work hard on their future. The circumstance becomes the life lesson that keeps them away from intentionally creating a wrong decision.

Dramatic losses in income may contribute to additional life stresses such as moving to a smaller residence in neighborhoods with increased crime, lower quality schools, and loss of familiar and developed community supports. — Angela Avery, MA, LLPC, NCC

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A family is the source of every person’s emotional, mental, and behavioral improvement. Married couples learn different kinds of things while in it such as sacrifices, motivations, adjustments, considerations, and unconditional love. As for children, they first develop their personality inside a family that supports their skills, social interaction, decision making, and happiness.  So it’s important that every couple should think about the consequences of divorce.

Inappropriate Outbursts: Calming Your Children’s Anger Issues

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Undoubtedly, as parents, you’ve uttered, “Been there, experienced that,” at least once in your parenting life, especially when it’s about how you’ve dealt with your children’s outbursts.

But did you know that there are appropriate ways of handling your kids’ flare-ups? Instead of getting easily enraged and then regretting saying something out of your uncontrolled emotion, you can do the following:

While a meltdown can be upsetting to watch and your child’s behavior may trigger you to react, don’t take it personally. Tell yourself that your child is having a hard time and that it has nothing to do with you. — Ashley Diehl Ph.D.

Not Fight Fire With Fire

The flames of anger will just double, and once it dies down, you’ll sulk and wonder if you’ve gone too far. Kids, especially toddlers, scream or yell whenever they feel emotionally distressed. For them, talking at a high pitch is the only way to get their message through. Therefore, staying calm amid a tantrum will provide perspective. Also, remaining still while your children are having an outburst will make them relax as well. Once they’ve found their chill, that’s the time to talk to them. After all, there’s no use talking some sense into your child if he or she is in the middle of a tirade.

Not Getting Physical

Out of frustration, stress, and exhaustion, parents sometimes lose their cool and result in getting physical with their children. As much as possible, be rational about a tensed situation involving your children because most of the time, they don’t mean what they say and are just trying to get some attention or affection. If your child has done wrong, hitting him or she will only fuel the child’s anger and might escalate the situation. Getting physical with a child can result in two things – fear or anger towards the parents.

Apologize If You’ve Made A Mistake

Parents are only humans who can cause severe trauma or hurt to their children. Therefore, if you got into a fight with your child, no matter whose mistake it was, learn to let your guard down and apologize. In cases where you weren’t able to find your cool and out of nowhere slapped or shoved your child due to his or her outburst, make sure that when the storm’s over, talk calmly to your child. Furthermore, making them realize that people make mistakes and finding a way to resolve or make amends will teach them the value of acceptance and forgiveness.

We don’t need to “boost” our children’s self-esteem. Instead, we want to ease the harsh self-focus that’s the root cause of low self-esteem by helping them connect with something bigger than themselves. — Eileen Kennedy-Moore Ph.D.

Define The Bad Behavior Amidst The Anger

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Children throw a fit for a reason. As parents, you have to find out the cause of their temper tantrum; know why they were angry in the first place. Once you’ve identified the mistake, call them out for it and give consequences. Emotions, whether negative or positive, are derived from a specific thought or yearning. Therefore, when your children start screaming because you’ve turned off the television, point out the reason why you did it and make them identify what they’ve done wrong. Remind them that you’ve previously agreed to a specific period for watching television and it should be followed. As a consequence of bending the rules, restrict TV privileges for a week. It’s easier to deal with children’s behavior if you know what they’re upset about.

Indulge in Self-Care

Parents who are overworked and over-stressed tend to become irrational at times and would always use the parent card against their children’s bad behavior as an easy way out. However, this does not yield positive results with how your children consider you as an effective educator, guidance counselor, and a parent.

Staying put and just letting them rant is only a viable route if the angry person is not actually being hurtful or harmful. But remember, you do not have to stay and listen, especially if you feel you are in danger. — Wendy Rice, Psy.D.

While parents are overly concerned about their kids’ outbursts, they should also be mindful of themselves because as humans, parents also have limitations. Once those limitations have been stretched, patience and understanding grow thin, leading to parental flare-ups. For this reason, parents should also take a step back from parenting and just be human beings for a moment. Self-care is essential to regain perspective and strength in dealing with daily struggles, especially when handling frustrations with kids.

Children are expected to throw in uncontrolled rage and frustrations every once in a while. Though it may seem daunting to manage, it is possible with the proper conditioning of, not only the child but also the parents. Parenting is hard work. You always have to be well equipped physically, mentally, and emotionally to handle whatever issue that comes your way.

7 Habits To Improve Your Life

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So, you feel that life has you cornered you on all fronts. Your work, life, relationships, and physical health are at an all-time slump. You want to shake it off, but you don’t know where to start. Hope feels distant and out of reach.

One word of advice – do not worry about it since this “feeling” is familiar to everyone. People will always be due to their bad days, but the real test of character can rise above it. Everyone deserves to be the best version of themselves, including yourself. You’ll just have to give yourself a push and go forward, even if it is hard.

With that being said, read on below to help get you started on the seven habits you can perform to improve your life.

Listening to yourself enables you to live with more well-being, especially if you combine listening to yourself with listening to others.  Listening to your body keeps you physically healthy. — Susan Heitler Ph.D.

Prioritize Your Wants And Needs

We’re often distracted by the allure of instant gratification instead of our long-term goals. While it is healthy to have distractions at times so that you can refocus, having too many wants and needs in high frequency, can make you lose sight or side-track you from your goals. Differentiate fleeting happiness from enduring satisfaction, and you have to make conscious decisions as you build towards your goals. Do it in order of priority.

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No Excuses

If you do not feel like doing something, you will surely find a way to rationalize not doing it. Take responsibility for your commitments and see them through. Excuses lead to procrastination and further you from the goal that you want to achieve. Own your decisions and push yourself – it may be difficult if you’ve become used to making excuses, but each step can lead you to a better, more disciplined self. Just push on every single time, and you will make it.

Take Things In Stride

There will be times when you might be subject to adverse comments and criticisms that will poke at your self-esteem. Know, however, that these are usually unmerited to put you down and is more a reflection of the commenter than yourself. Learn to take things in stride and rise above the toxic comments. It will be difficult because we are sensitive, and comments of others may hold weight on us, but you have to let it go. Stay focused on your goal and your development. You don’t have to please everyone. Please yourself and your creator – that’s what you have to do.

In an industrialized society, it’s easy to forget the powerful healing that nature can offer. — Andra Brosh, PhD

Start Exercising

Exercise can release endorphins that will make you happy and relieve stress. It also lets you clear your mind, making it sharper to tackle obstacles you find worrisome before. Remember that physical wellness promotes mental wellness as well, and you will make better decisions in the long run.

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Be Fearless

Summon some courage and throw yourself into something you’ve always wanted to do. Putting in the work will instill you with the willpower to keep going. Filter out negativity from detractors as they will be prone to criticize negatively – usually, these kinds of detractors are those afraid to take risks themselves, contenting themselves in safe choices.

A moment’s success is often built atop a mountain of failures. Any successful person will not criticize you for failing, for getting out of the mindset of making safe choices.

In a way it’s about reframing perfectionism, and getting life as perfect as it can be overall. — Seth J. Gillihan Ph.D.

Necessary Questions To Ask Before Getting Hitched

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Marriage is unpredictable; you don’t know the extent of pain and struggle until you’ve encountered the scenarios within the relationship. Which is why it is necessary to ask yourself and your future spouse specific questions that are going to be part of your marriage one way or another.

Whether it’s because of lack of interest, shyness, or desire to conserve romantic mystery, a lot of couples fail to ask each other difficult, important, sometimes uncomfortable questions that will help create and strengthen the marriage’s stable foundation. Dealing with issues before getting hitched is like unburdening and coming clean.

It is generally the case that couples with thriving, strong relationships have well-developed emotional intelligence. Emotional intelligence describes a person’s ability to be aware of, control, and express emotions in a healthy manner. — Angela Bisignano, PhD

Besides, it can be quite tricky to keep those skeletons in the closet once you get married; eventually, those unrevealed secrets will come out and can severely injure a relationship.

The Right Questions

Below are some of the critical questions that you need to ask your soon-to-be spouse. Whether intimate or awkward, these questions will ignite an honest discussion among couples and hopefully find a resolution before exchanging vows.

  1. What Is Your Stance On Religion?

This is one of the most controversial, inconvenient questions that you can ask your partner. Religion is a sensitive topic most couples don’t touch on. However, it is important to note that this topic is part of a person’s life especially if you or your partner was brought up in a religious environment by religious parents. Are you going to celebrate holidays related to each other’s religion? If you get to have kids, are you going to impose your religious beliefs on them? If your partner is the religious type, do you have to participate in his or her religious activities?

…husbands who had close relationships with their in-laws were 20% less likely to divorce than those who had strained in-law bonds. — John Smith Ph.D.

  1. How Much Do You Like My Parents?

It doesn’t matter if you have an atrocious relationship with your partner’s parents, for as long as you and your partner are steady in being united, any form of animosity can be dealt with. However, if your partner is aloof in addressing parental issues, it can result in an unhealthy relationship. Furthermore, you have to consider the weaknesses and strengths of your parents to illuminate unforeseeable patterns of distancing or attachment within the relationship.

  1. How Are We Going To Fight?

Arguments and endless discussions about differences and issues inside or outside of marriage are healthy; yet, there are times wherein the other half becomes distant or does not want to talk about it. Shutting down important issues is never a healthy sign of proper communication, which is necessary for every relationship. Remember that the success of your bond is entirely dependent on how couples talk about and deal with their differences.

One of the best ways to make a partner feel comfortable, understood, and “on the same team” is to copy their expressions and body language. — Jeremy Nicholson M.S.W., Ph.D.

  1. Are We Going To Have Kids?

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Every family is different. Just because other couples have kids doesn’t mean that you or your partner would want one. Sometimes, it depends on the individuals involved in the relationship. If you don’t want to have kids, be honest about it and do not mislead your partner into thinking that you are into having children. Saying something just for the sake of not breaking your partner’s heart will lead to consequences the moment you get married. If the decision of having kids is mutual, the next question would be how many and how the responsibilities are shared.

Remember, asking questions upfront before marrying someone is safer and more beneficial to your relationship. Also, it reveals the real personality of your future spouse. Besides, asking these questions will save you a lot of headaches and heartaches if in case both of you realize how different you are.