Sometimes a divorce situation can get out of hand and hatful resentment can quickly ensue. Rose Sweet, author of “Rebuilding after Divorce,” explains how to manage such anger.
Going through a divorce can be a stressful and tense ordeal. Rose Sweet, author of “Rebuilding after Divorce,” brings to light some of the biggest mistakes that one should avoid during such a dramatic process.
Do you ever want to just comfort your divorced friend or relative but feel like whatever you say just makes things worse? Well Rose Sweet, author of “Rebuilding after Divorce,” explains here exactly what to say and what not to.
When is the prime time to start dating after a divorce? Rose Sweet, author of “Rebuilding after Divorce,” lays out the guidelines for starting a successful relationship after divorce.
How do you help you kids after the trauma of a divorce? Rose Sweet, author of “Rebuilding after Divorce,” explains some simple but effective tips for doing so.
Does the Church have a place for or even care about divorced personnel? Rose Sweet, author of “Rebuilding After Divorce,” affirms that yes, of course, the Church deeply loves and cares for those in a divorce.
In this video, Lisa Popcak, co-author of “Parenting with Grace,” continues to give advice on teaching your kids to pray.
How should you go about teaching your kids to pray? Lisa Popcak, co-author of “Parenting with Grace,” gives some practical steps for going about this in an effective manner.
By: Dr. Gregory Popcak
One of the most heartbreaking aspects of my work with victims of abuse—whether verbal, physical, sexual or some combination of all of these—is to hear them talk about how they feel “dirty”, “tainted,” “guilty” and a host of other adjectives that undermine their dignity and worth as persons. Intellectually, most of them know that they bear no blame for the things that were done to them, but the emotional and spiritual wounds run deep. When we’re treated like trash, we often internalize that treatment. In many cases, we carry the feelings of shame and the loss of our innocence long after the abuse is over.
The Truth Will Set You Free
As difficult as this can be to face, one truth that seems to really resonate for my clients is the idea that they cannot lose what didn’t belong to them from the beginning. What do I mean? The truth is that as Christians, we know that none of us can claim to be good or innocent on our own power. We are simple lumps of carbon; obstinate bags of water that, left to our own devices can claim no goodness, innocence or dignity.
But, as Christians, we also know that we can claim goodness, innocence, dignity and more as our inheritance because we are loved by the God who is the source and summit of all of those qualities. Because God loves us, he shares his goodness, hisinnocence, his dignity, his grace with us and through his merciful love, makes us good, innocent, dignified and grace-filled. When he shares these qualities with us, they do not become ours. Rather, they make us more his. That’s a tremendously important distinction, especially for the victim of abuse. Why?
Because the abuser pretends to have the power to take away his victim’s innocence, goodness and dignity. That’s part of the spell the abuser casts on his victim, making the person he preys upon believe that he has more power than he actually does. But while an abuser can hurt our bodies and wound our minds, he or she cannot take our innocence, dignity or goodness because these qualities are not ours to lose in the first place. They are God’s to give. And God would never give away those qualities that are part and parcel of his love for us. Nothing separates us from the love of God or the benefits that accompany his love. No one can take either his love or the benefits of his love from us either.
Loved Into Innocence
In other words, we are not innocent because nothing bad has ever happened to us. (BTW, That’s Pelagianism, not Christianity!) We are innocent because we are loved by God regardless of what we have done or have had done to us. Likewise, we are not good because we have not done anything bad or been subject to badness. We are good because we are loved despite the badness in our hearts or in the world in which we live. We do not have dignity because we have never suffered indignity. Rather, we enjoy dignity because God loves us no matter what indignities we have suffered.
I do not mean to suggest that the abuse victim’s pain should magically disappear because they might read these words. But I have found that reflecting on these truths in a spirit of prayer does open survivors’ hearts to new possibilities. Specifically, the possibility that they are good, and innocent and have dignity and that they have always been these things and always will be these things as long as God loves them, which is always and forever.
Your Innocence is Assured
If you are the survivor of abuse, first know that you have my deepest sympathy for your pain and your struggle. Second, be assured that I am lifting you up in my general intentions each evening. But thirdly, and most importantly, know that you are good, and innocent, and have dignity not because of or in spite of anything that has or has not happened to you or because of anything you have or have not done. You are good, and innocent, and have dignity because you are loved by God. Period. And no one could ever take that away from you no matter what they may pretend to the contrary.
By: Dr. Gregory Popcak
Emotional Intelligence is a term coined by psychologist, Daniel Goleman, that refers to a person’s ability to identify, manage, understand and process emotions so that you can effectively manage
stress, have healthy, rewarding relationships, handle conflict respectfully, and maintain good emotional health.
As the article I linked above explains, Emotional Intelligence has been shown to be even more important than IQ in determining career success and both relationship and life satisfaction. Considering all the benefits to be gained by developing Emotional Intelligence, it is something that every parent should be concerned with helping their children develop. The Catholic family, I think, should be especially concerned with cultivating Emotional Intelligence because this quality has everything to do with helping a family be the “community of love” and “school of virtue” that Church says families are called to be. Without Emotional Intelligence, it is impossible for a Catholic family to fulfill its mission, as spelled out in Evangelium Vitae, to be a community of people dedicated to living out relationships characterized by, “a respect for others, a sense of justice, cordial openness, dialogue, generous service, solidarity and all the other values which help people to live life as a gift” (EV #92).
Over at PsychCentral, Dr. Jonice Webb proposes 3 Tips for Raising an Emotionally Intelligent Child. They’re definitely worth considering.
1. Pay Attention. Work hard to see your child’s true nature. What does your child like, dislike, get angry about, feel afraid of, or struggle with? Feed these observations back to your child in a non-judgmental way so that your child can see herself through your eyes, and so that she can feel how well you know her.
Life Advantage: Your child will see herself reflected in your eyes, and she will know who she is. This will give her confidence in her life choices and will make her resilient to life’s challenges.
2. Feel an Emotional Connection to Your Child. Strive to feel what your child is feeling (empathy), whether you agree with it or not. When you feel your child’s emotion, he will feel an instant bond with you.
Life Advantage: Your child will learn empathy and will have healthier relationships throughout his life.
3. Respond Competently to Your Child’s Emotional Need. Do not judge your child’s feeling as right or wrong. Look beyond the feeling, to the source. Help your child name her emotion. Help her manage the emotion.
Life Advantage: Your child will have a healthy relationship with his own emotions. He will naturally know that his feelings are important and how to put them into words and manage them. READ MORE.
Those are some terrific tips. If you’d like to learn more about how to raise faithful, emotionally intelligent children, check out Parenting with Grace.