Is Virtue a Thing?

Building Virtue and Trust with Social Media

On the eve of returning to school, parents are faced with many anxieties this year, mostly due to Covid. Trusting that your child will follow the expectations of the school and public health authorities to keep themselves safe and healthy is a big leap of faith.

Building trust in your child decision is a slow process that evolves under your guidance over many years. Early individual and social tasks are highly supervised by you and other trusted adults like teachers, coaches, extended family members, and neighbours. As children grow, allowing them some freedom to exercise decision-making is key to growing confident, healthy, and independent young adults. Learning from mistakes is sometimes part of this process.

The explosion of social media technologies has certainly complicated parenting today. Finding the right balance between supervision and intrusion is a delicate one that sometimes warrants the support of a third party such as an aunt, uncle, or grandparent.

Where conflict arises over persistent power struggles with your child over social media dependence, and perhaps risky online incidents, professional intervention by a qualified clinician or therapist is best. A professionally trained mental health counsellor with child and family experience will help your family find a happy middle ground that ensures your child is safe and that your rules are respected.

For the most part, parents who can trust the decisions and choices made by their children in everyday tasks are more likely to trust their children with online and social media activities. Being vigilant about the amount of time, favourite sites, and apps your child is exploring is extremely important. You need to keep the lines of communication open with your children in order to foster a tone of trust and care about their online activity and social media presence.

The sad reality is that there are some dangers to unsupervised online activities that children are far too vulnerable to navigate without adult guidance, and in some extreme cases intervention. Calls from the parents of your child’s friends, school, children’s aid society, or local police are strong indicators that your child’s online activity is risky.

Building virtue online is possible and a shared goal. Help your child by reviewing the following questions prior to creating a post OR commenting online:

  • Is my post kind and caring?
  • Will my words build up or break down someone else’s post?
  • Do I really need to post my comment ?
  • Am I concerned about comments or posts I read online?
  • Am I being unkind or hurtful on purpose?
  • Did I re-read my post before posting it?
  • Was I angry or sad when I posted a comment?
  • Who can I share my concerns with about these comments or posts at home or school? Am I afraid that I will get in trouble?
  • What might happen if I post a photo or comment on my social media?
  • Do I have permission to post a photograph that includes my friends?
  • Am I clear about how the privacy controls work on my apps?

Helping your children to develop problem-solving and decision-making skills that are thoughtful, caring, and compassionate starts well before they have access to technology. Hold your children to account where they have been mean, critical, or unkind to people online.

Modern technologies offer many positive aspects to shared learning and social experiences. DO your part to make virtual platforms safe for everybody – a kinder & gentler place for children to share with one another.

Sunny dispositions deserve to shine !!!!

#wellness #socialmedia #onlinerisk #parentingforvirtue

The Alluring Other

A Vow is a Promise

Helping couples to remain faithful to their vows is a special role of psychotherapy in individual and couple’s counselling. Many people experience feelings of attraction to someone other than their spouse, even after marriage.

Adult crushes are more common than you think, and these may not indicate a problem in your marriage.

There are several realms of attraction that may surprise a newlywed or young person. Discovering that you are physically or intellectually attracted to someone at work, school, or in your community may catch you off guard. Discovering that you are attractive to someone other than your spouse may also come as a surprise.

It is common to think about an exciting conversation or project you engaged in with someone at work or school long after it has finished. These alluring ruminations usually work to remind you about the initial fluttering of early love with your spouse. Falling in love is a unique experience that you will never forget. Having reminders about these feelings is a good thing, and often brings back the magic to your own relationship.

For most people who wisely “catch” themselves from the rousing allure of attraction with someone other than a spouse, these reminiscent feelings of excitement are usually enough. Discovering that you have feelings of intrigue are natural, especially when you spend many hours of your day with people other than your spouse.

Discussing your adult crush with your spouse is something you may wish to think about beforehand. Some people have a stable sense of self-confidence and self-esteem to withstand the normative feelings of concern that occurs when you learn that your partner is physically, emotionally, or intellectually attracted to someone else. Some people are far less self-assured.

Where your attraction to another person persists, and more importantly beings to pose a real threat to your fidelity, talking to a therapist or friend will help.

Marriage vows involve a promise of lifelong fidelity. Responding mindfully, maturely, and reflectively to the allurement of another preserves your promise to be true that you created at the beginning of your journey together.

Where persistent attractions distract you from your spouse, more clinical support is advised to explore your feelings and what you may believe is lacking in your monogamous relationship. You deserve to be happy in your marriage. You deserve to be happy in your life.

The inevitability of infidelity as portrayed in the movies is actually fantastical. Lifelong marriages remain the norm, and most couples are faithful to one another forever, as originally promised, and despite the sappy overuse of the term, forever. Love is everlasting.

Trust your marriage to the best, we care how you feel!!!!

By Dr. Lisa Romano-Dwyer RSW


Home Sweet Home

After months of isolation due to the deadly corona virus, the complete lockdown in many North American cities has lifted. The slow and gradual return to urban life includes new prevention practices that you have likely gotten used to by now. These include physical distancing, frequent handwashing and sanitizer use, and medical/custom mask-wearing indoors or in large crowds.

Your mental health may have suffered during this prolonged period of isolation. Some indicators that you have experienced a decline in your personal wellbeing include:

  • Unexplained weight-gain of more than 4.4 Kgs, or 10 lbs
  • Increased alcohol consumption
  • Increased dependence on marijuana to calm down
  • Changes in your sleep patterns, including either more or less sleep
  • Limited contact with friends and family by telephone, or virtually
  • A general sense of lethargy and lack of motivation
  • Increased irritability over minor problems
  • Poor eye contact
  • General sense of mistrust and paranoia
  • Extreme worry over physical symptoms and illness
  • Reduced physical exercise and sex
  • Feeling bored, unhappy, and lonely

As you re-engage in your life, you are likely to find comfort in the familiar. People, places, spaces, and activities that together constitute your experience of community will help to restore your general health to levels equivalent to a time before the pandemic.

In this way, a healthy and safe re-engagement in your local community is the first important step to regaining balance. It is also an opportunity to develop a mindful practice of gratitude for the people, places, activities, and spaces that contribute to your lifestyle. Gratitude for the familiar that you may have taken for granted in the past is a sure way to remind you about the many factors that contribute to your health and wellness.

Most certainly, there are many healthy practices that you do on your own to stay well. But the importance of people in your life like your neighbours, shopkeepers, baristas, places of worship, friends, and even kind strangers who take the time to greet you along the way are all small gifts of life-in-your-local.

Live-in-your-local is a client-centered wellness strategy clinically derived by Dr. Romano-Dwyer RSW. Proven effective with goals of behavioural re-activation, this approach centralizes people, places, spaces and activities of your client’s life in collaborative treatment planning. Live-in-your-local is an easy and effective model for clients to remember as they begin to DO the work required to Think and Feel Well.

Dr. Lisa Romano-Dwyer RSW is the owner of Lakeside Wellness Therapy Affiliates in Toronto where her team of Wellness Affiliates work with people to ease troubled minds and relationships.

#wellness #healthy #Do.Think.Feel Well.

By Dr. Lisa Romano-Dwyer RSW, Vanier Canada Graduate Scholar