Character Traits of Resilient Children

Are the characteristics of resilient children different from those of other children? Most definitely. But we will not focus on comparisons; we will focus on the positive traits of children raised under the precepts of resilience. I will show you some of the competencies and behaviors that distinguish them and make them stand out in any context.

God tells us in the Scriptures “I command you: be strong and steadfast! Do not fear nor be dismayed…” (Joshua 1:9). Resilient children acquire courage and steadfastness which are evident in the characteristics I will show you below.

These are the main characteristics of resilient children

The characteristics of resilient children describe their ability to use internal and external resources to cope with adverse conditions, overcome them and become stronger. I will tell you a little about the ones you will be able to recognize most easily:

  • They solve problems skillfully

First of all, a resilient child has developed a special ability to handle and solve different kinds of problems. When faced with an obstacle, they calm down, calm their thoughts and emotions and act without losing their cool. They think carefully, choosing the solution that seems best for them.

If they do not get it right, they do not let themselves be overcome by negativity. They reflect again on the problem and make, once more, what they consider to be the best decision. This ability makes them confront any adverse situation with a healthy and positive attitude. Moreover, they are prepared to assimilate and manage change.

  • They practice emotional intelligence

They are children who have learned to recognize, accept, name, and express their emotions. This allows them to have greater emotional control, especially when it comes to negative emotions such as anger or panic.

A resilient child or adolescent is not afraid of his or her emotions because they have been raised in a context of acceptance and respect. They are aware of them, they know emotions are a part of themselves and they cannot lose control.

  • They are empathetic

When you raise a resilient child, you are helping them to develop empathy; not only towards other people but towards any living being. They are able to put themselves in the other person’s shoes and understand, from their heart, the motivation behind a smile, a cry, a tear.

This is essential in a world where ” egoism ” and the inability to feel the needs of others are often prevalent.

  • Have positive self-esteem

Some parents ask me if self-esteem can turn into pride or arrogance. Yes, it can, but resilient children are aware of their capabilities. Our role as parents, in these cases, is to remind them that humility is a virtue and that they should not allow their self-esteem to end up running over others.

In addition, they learn not to let themselves get carried away by the arrogance of believing that a problem is too easy when it is not. Trial and error are the best teachers for a resilient child.

  • They show a good sense of humor

This is a very common trait in resilient children. They are very pleasant to deal with and have a healthy sense of humor. They can face even the most difficult moments with a smile or a joking remark that takes the tension out of the moment.

This is not because they do not take the situation seriously or underestimate the seriousness of a problem; this attitude stems from their emotional control. In many cases, it stems from their faith and trust in God, so they seek to cheer up (even if only a little) people who are going through a bad time.

  • They know their creative potential

Having the freedom to solve problems, make decisions, and think increases their creative potential. This ability is not restricted to the imagination; it includes generating creative and original solutions to complex situations. A difficult circumstance in the hands of a resilient child can be transformed into something beautiful and useful.

  • They are optimistic

I am not talking about delusional optimism, but about optimism focused on reality and on the chances of success in the face of a setback. In general, their understanding of the world and of life is positive, because they know their resources and capabilities.

Other unique features

What I have just listed are perhaps the most outstanding qualities of resilient children. But there are many that you may have already noticed in your child, look for them in this list:

  • They are perceptive and knowledgeable about human nature.
  • They are tenacious and persevering. Do you think your child is stubborn? Take a closer look, what do you see now?
  • These children are organized and autonomous.
  • They are systematic, but not inflexible.
  • They are not controlling.
  • These children are not trapped by guilt.
  • They suffer from low levels of uncertainty.

If these qualities seem familiar to you and you think your child has them, look for ways to maximize them. Don’t forget that “To give an appropriate answer is a joy; how good is a word at the right time” (Proverbs 15:23). This is the right time to give your child the tools of resilience and strengthen the ones they already have.

Resilient children for an adult world

Sometimes, when we leave childhood and adolescence behind, we tend to forget what we were; we refuse to remember that being a child in an adult world is not as easy as it seems. We love our children, we care for them, we provide them with everything materially necessary, but what tools do we put in their hands for life?

Let us reflect a little; let us raise our eyes to God and ask ourselves, are we educating them to face adversity? Because they will experience adversity, whether we want them to or not: a change of country, the death of a parent, economic bankruptcy. These are events that happen when we least expect them.

A study of children aged 9 to 12 from single-parent families found high resilience in these children; the children were encouraged to develop autonomy and problem-solving skills, traits that can be enhanced before such situations occur.

Do you have any questions on this subject? If you would like more detailed and personalized guidance, call 407 618 0212 and ask all your questions.

How to love your partner the way he/she needs to be loved

Love is a word of great meaning and responsibility. Everyone thinks they know what love your partner means, but they will face setbacks on more than one occasion in their lives. Showing the love you feel for your spouse is not as easy as you might expect because he or she may speak a completely different love language from you.

What is a love language? Imagine the following scenario: tomorrow is your spouse’s birthday. For that occasion, as you love big celebrations, you prepare a surprise party for him/her. You spend time organizing it, invite all his/her friends and try your best to make it the night of his/her life.

But what happens if your spouse does not like large gatherings? He/she is introverted and prefers to be around fewer people. Thus, it becomes evident that husband and wife are not speaking the same love language.

How can you figure out what language is being used? How many types of love languages are there? I want to go more in depth with you into this matter and much more.

How to love your partner?

In order to love your partner the way he/she needs to be loved, we must first understand what love is.

Love is a powerful feeling of affection, which is shown in different ways. There are millions of points of views regarding love and getting them all to converge is complicated.

Love can be expressed in so many ways that some of them could cause disappointment — disappointment from not receiving the answer you expect from your partner.

When a man and a woman are satisfied with the love they feel and the way they communicate, that’s great news. In fact, it is God’s plan for us, to be on the same page in our marriages, that we are happy with each other. However, this is not the reality for all marriages.

If you do not feel satisfied with the way your spouse offers you his/her love, I recommend that you start an appropriate talk with him/her about this matter. Both of you must understand the importance of synchronizing the ways in which you feel loved. How does your partner feel most loved? You will know find out by discovering the love languages.

Love languages

One of the most essential lessons you must learn to love your partner the way he/she wants to be loved is determining which love language he/she uses. You may not have heard of them, but they are preferences that every person has when it comes to receiving and showing love. Not only does it apply in a loving relationship, but it also applies in other types of relationships, such as family relationships or friendships.

According to writer Gary Chapman, there are five love languages that are essential for relationships to improve and succeed. The main idea is to determine which types of languages are preferred and use this to your advantage. They are:

1.    Words

There are people who are able to express their love through words. Expressing your affection through words of love, congratulations, words of support, or kindness has a great positive effect on the other person. The words that were just a simple compliment for you are, perhaps, for your wife, the recognition she expects.

In order to express yourself through this language, you can use direct and meaningful words. For example: “I love you so much” or “You are special to me.” Do not use words that you do not really feel, they have to come from the bottom of your heart, be credible, and you must say them in the right context. If you do not feel comfortable talking like this, maybe this is not your favorite love language.

2.    Quality time

The world seems to be going faster than we can handle. Therefore, do not waste time and show your love to your loved ones by giving them quality time. You can share more of your day-to-day with them, just focusing on them.

The less rush and fewer distractions you have, the higher the quality of what you are doing will be. It may not seem important, but it is very important if you think about it.

3.    Gifts

I do not mean that love can be measured by the price of a material gift, but that certain gifts can show dedication and love.

For example, if your wife has been exhausted lately due to her routine, giving her a spa day so she can relax would be an option. Or, if your husband constantly complains about his desk always being unstable, giving him a new one would be an excellent gift. In both cases, the spouses are thinking about their other partner’s well-being, about what he/she needs. Thus, it is considered one of the love languages.

4.    Acts of service

Doing acts of service like cleaning, cooking, and fixing things is one of the many love languages. These acts of service are not done with the hope of receiving something in exchange, they are not mandatory. However, doing them will make the one you love smile.

The food your mother prepared for you, or your father repairing your old bicycle over and over again, were both ways in which they were expressing their love to you.

5.    Physical contact

Finally, the simplest and most direct form of communication is physical contact. From touching, caressing, or kissing, it is normal for couples to show their love this way. Even so, showing physical affection such as pats on the shoulder or hugs are also a good way to show your love to your children, family members or friends.

How do I identify what my partner likes?

In order to find out how to love your partner and what he/she prefers, first you need to understand what love language you speak. How do you prefer to receive love? How do you tend to express it? Think about how you react to different love languages because you will need to tell the one you love.

Invite your partner to open up to you and to be honest about the gestures of love that he/she likes the most. To really love is to care about your partner’s feelings as much as you care about your own. Only in that way cab we understand its power. Love is definitely a language we can all speak.

Do you want to know more about this subject? You can do so by calling 407 618 0212.

6 Ways to Love Others

It is not easy to define love, nor is it easy to learn to express it in the right ways. Really loving someone is to make a commitment that involves more than just words — it involves actions and shows real ways to love.

Trying to find the definition of love would mean continually talking about a subject we should know perfectly, thanks to the fact that the greatest example of love is being given to us by our Lord every day of our lives. He knows our flaws, mistakes, and desires. With all that, He still loves us.

Ways to love others

Love can see beyond imperfections. It can become our inspiration and guide. But I regularly find that my patients are unable to express their love to their spouses, their life partners, and to those with whom they share a family. Why is this happening? Because something very interesting happens with love. It is not enough just to feel it, it is also necessary to show it. That is why there are so many ways to love.

I want to talk to you about some efficient ways to show love to your spouse, your children, mother/father, or in general, to any person you appreciate.

1.    Listen to them without judging

When you love someone, you need to focus on that person, on giving him/her your full attention, and listen to him/her carefully. Throughout my career, I have found that some of the deepest hurts in broken marriages are related to poor communication or lack of attention on the part of the other person.

If your partner asks you to put your cell phone away so that he/she can talk to you, what you must do is to put it away and listen to your partner as he/she asks. Also, it must be internalized that there is a time for each thing. It is not good to pretend to listen to your spouse when your head is still focused on work. Couple conversations are sacred, do not take them lightly regardless of how superfluous they may seem.

Likewise, if, for example, your son or daughter comes to you to talk about the problems he/she may be having at school, it is your duty to listen to him/her without judging him/her. Giving advice and showing him/her that he/she will always have your support is essential.

2.    Use the power of your words

Some people are more absent-minded than others. Some people do not understand all the love languages. Therefore, make sure you are showing the love you feel in an evident way by expressing it in direct words. It is one of the most basic ways to love.

You do not have to start an elaborate or a very eloquent speech about how deep your love is, but, nevertheless, saying how much your partner or friend means to you, how grateful you are that he/she is part of your life, is important. Those are the kinds of gestures that do not cost you great effort, but that meaningful person will surely remember them more than once during the day.

3.    Give him/her space

Another curious way to love someone is by respecting his/her limits. I say “curious” because some people have the idea that to love is not to be apart from the loved one. But, setting boundaries means recognizing where one person ends and the other one begins. Understanding that everyone has their own needs and desires is healthy.

There is nothing wrong with taking time to be alone or letting your loved one to take time to be alone too. Something similar happens when two friends do not share the same hobby. It is not harmful to enjoy different hobbies. This is one of the many ways to love.

4.    Ask the other person how he/she wants to be loved

“No one has ever seen God, but if we love one another, God remains among us, and among us His love has been fully manifested. 1 John 4:12“. Our Lord invites us to love one another, but have you thought about how each person is unique in their very own way? Not everyone sees the world the same way, we do not all feel the same way, and that is not a bad thing.

The error is to assume that we own the absolute truth, when we actually do not own it. Your partner may not like certain displays of affection in public or a certain attitude you have towards him/her. You should learn about those aspects and learn about them, and, speaking truthfully is the fastest way to get to this point.

Having regular talks with your partner about these kinds of matters will be rewarding for both of you. It is something you can also apply in any relationship you have with someone you appreciate. Talk more frequently with your loved ones and you will be surprised at what you will discover about them.

5.    Show them your gratitude

Showing gratitude has great mental and physical benefits. Apply this fact to your relationships and take the necessary time to thank those you love. It doesn’t matter if you’re expressing it for small things, like washing the dishes or taking out the trash. What matters is expressing how grateful we are for their gesture. No one wants to feel ignored by their partner or someone they love.

6.    Dedicate time

Hanging out with your partner or children is not the same as spending quality time with them. Due to the pace of life and the fact that they are your family, you will spend a lot of time together. However, how much of that time is devoted exclusively to them?

We all need attention and time to talk about ourselves. So, it is impossible to compare spouses who are having dinner alone with a couple with their children included in the picture. The reality is that we waste a lot time being distracted by the TV, helping our children with their homework, or doing other activities that disconnect us and prevent warmer communication.

As a couple, do more activities that help your intimacy grow. It could be cooking together or going for a walk in each other’s company. In the case of children, practicing an outdoor sport or reading the Sacred Scriptures as a family will be sharing quality time.


Would you like more tips to express your love in a more effective and positive way? You can learn more by calling 407 618 0212.

Do you know what anger means and how we can manifest it?

Anger is an emotional state that varies in intensity. It varies from minor irritation to intense rage. Like other emotions, it goes alongside psychological and biological changes.

When you experience fury, your heart rate and blood pressure increase and the same happens with your energy hormones, adrenaline, and, noradrenaline.

Many people justify their expression of this feeling by saying that Jesus got angry at the religious leaders of his day, and even he said offensive words. This false belief regarding anger often uses to mistreat other people.

God and Anger

This is an emotion that God put in our bodies. It allows us to react against injustice, sin, and things that are wrong. Pablo says, “in your anger do not sin.” This means that there is a limit where anger becomes a sin.

Every manifestation of anger must do inside the concept of Agape love. But, for this to happen, the Holy Spirit must live inside us to help provide the love and self-love necessary to express it within the limits, those that reflect the relational image of God.

People who get angry easily usually have what we call low tolerance to frustration. It means that they feel they should not be subjected to frustration, irritability, or drawbacks. They cannot take things calmly, and they get angry, especially if the situation seems somewhat unfair. For example, when other people correct them because of a small mistake.

What makes these people behave this way?

There are several factors. One of them might have a genetic or physiological origin. There is evidence that shows that some children are born irritable and sensitive, and they get angry easily. These signs are present from a very early age. Another factor might be linked to the way they are taught to deal with anger.

Fury is often considered something negative. Many of us have been taught that it is fine to express anxiety, depression, and other emotions, but it is not fine to express anger. As a result, we do not learn how to deal with it and channel it constructively.

Research has also found that family history plays an important role. Usually, people who get angry easily come from troubled and chaotic families in which there is no room for emotional communication.

Anger styles

One part of learning how to control anger, and also part of the lessons a professional might teach you, is based on managing different types of anger. Not everyone expresses their anger the same way. Also, there is no need to feel fear or guilt because of being angry. Anger is a normal reaction in life.

But the way we express anger is what can make of it something dangerous, both for the couple or for ourselves.

A person can express more than one type of irritation, depending on the situation. There are four basic ways in which we show anger. Let´see.


This is the type of aggressiveness that is visible and externalized. It is not intended to be hidden. Many people yell and scream and “vent” when they are angry. They explode, lashing out against others, either verbally or physically. This can provide a satisfactory relief for them in the short term, but it can have devastating consequences in the long term for them and their relationships.

“Stupid #@$%!”

“I am right; all the other people are wrong, and they deserve to pay!”


With this type of fury, aggressiveness is shown, but not violently. Rather, it’s a well-disguised way, for example, with indirect actions or sabotage.

The rage is locked inside the person. It causes harm inside him/her as they pretend that everything is fine. Some people consider anger something scary or unacceptable. They avoid recognizing or expressing feelings of anger and, instead, convince themselves that they are not angry. The problem this coping mechanism presents is that people do not set their feelings free or express them, which can lead to building resentment and unhappiness.

They say, “it is fine” when it is not or when they want to say “no.” These are passive-aggressive behaviors. They express negative emotions indirectly instead of manifesting them openly. Passive-aggressive people are sneaky when it comes to their anger. They say one thing but do a different thing. They do not show that they are angry, but they get even.

Avoidant anger:

Some people find it difficult to deal with this feeling, so they do everything they can to avoid it. They bottle anger up. They try to hide inside their “caves” every time they feel angry or when people around them are mad. Often, they say things like:

  • “I cannot deal with this right now.”
  • “Let’s talk about something else and let’s get along.”
  • “I cannot say anything because it would cause a fight.”
  • “It is not that bad.”
  • “Nothing is going to change.”


Now, anger is properly managed and communicated if necessary. It is what each individual should do when dealing with anger.

It is important to know the types of anger since by doing so, we can be aware of the way we act and how we can take actions that will allow us to handle it in a better way so that we do not hurt ourselves and the people around us.

Do you identify with one of the types? Do you feel that one of them defines the way you act? How could you improve the way you react when you feel angry?

Share your answers with us in the comments section so that we can enrich our experience of having better interpersonal relationships with the people around us and so that we can have a balanced inner world. God bless you!

How to forgive when you cannot forget?

The complexity of romantic relationships, and how they are affected by different life events, is quite extensive. Much more so if we get into the subject of how to forgive when you cannot forget.

A grudge or resentment is something we have all experienced at one time or another, but when the person to whom this burden is being directed is someone close, the consequences will be greater. A father, a mother, a child or sibling, and of course, our romantic partners.

Even so, you have to consider a great truth of life, one that I am going to reveal to you at this moment, and that is that you do not have to forget to forgive. Forgiveness is often just remembering without hurting, getting rid of negative burdens and moving on.

God has taught us over and over again the value of forgiveness, its importance in this world, and how capable we are of doing His will. So, it is up to you to find the best tools for this purpose.

The keys for how to forgive

In my consultations, it is painful to see how some marriages consider that forgiveness a one-time event. Forgiveness is a process. In the same way that a wound takes time to heal, the emotional wound produced by the wrongdoing also takes time to heal. For this reason, after you decide to extend the gift of forgiveness, you will find yourself remembering the painful experience.

If your spouse decides to forgive you today for forgetting the wedding anniversary, it does not mean that tomorrow everything will be solved with a “sorry.” The same thing happens with bigger mistakes, so if you as a couple and as individuals have decided to provide the gift of forgiveness to your spouse, it is important to be patient through this healing process.

Hiding feelings, disguising resentment, and consistently being paranoid is not healthy for anyone. The pain may not go away instantly, but it can be worked through. The process will depend on the seriousness of the offense. If you are committed to forgiving a difficult spouse, a book that I recommend reading is Dr. Gary and Ted Cunningham’s From Anger to Intimacy., which talks more in depth about the digressions that marriages face in relation to forgiveness.

I would also like to give you some tips on how to forgive a difficult spouse in a wise and emotionally healthy way:

Combating the retaliatory attitude

As children, we learn to retaliate against what we don’t like. For example, if your playmate hits you, you hit back. If they said something bad to you, you do the same, or you may have done something worse. This is a behavior that we probably continue to repeat as adults, but in a more disguised way. Why?

Because we believe that by responding in the same way, we will hurt the other person as much as they hurt us. So, it shouldn’t “hurt as much,” right?

When we commit ourselves before God to another person, we form a very intimate bond, one capable of revealing weaknesses never said in public. So therein lies a very sensitive piece of information. The husband knows how to hurt the wife, and vice versa, leading to serious retaliation in marriages.

God has always known this, and that is why He warns that retaliation is forbidden. “Retaliation” will feel good immediately, of course, but at what cost? Our Lord knows the harm of retaliation and how it can destroy human life. Don’t fall for it.

Recognize that you can only change yourself

You are not responsible or capable of changing your spouse’s behavior, so keep this in mind. When hope for fighting for a marriage vanishes on one side, the relationship will decline.

But it is never too late for hope to revive. So when, for example, a spouse speaks discouraging words or is not expressive enough with his or her emotions, you need to talk to him or her. In the first instances, they may not understand, but you must insist until you see the results.

Two people who were married in love do not stop being in love because they got married. It is right to blame the lack of communication or the lack of capacity to cheer up. All of this can be solved. By speaking up, expressing yourself and committing, the road to change is possible.

You can work on yourself with passion and devotion, accepting God’s grace in your heart. It is a task for both of you.

Love your spouse unconditionally

When we marry, we place no conditions or invisible rules on love and commitment. Jesus teaches us that love for a spouse is unconditional, just as God loves us.

Sometimes it is necessary to take the first step. Did Jesus wait for the spectators to repent as He hung on the cross? No, He asked His Father to forgive them because they did not have the capacity to understand what they were doing. You are capable of showing this attitude to those you love.

Responding to God instead of reacting to your spouse

If you are not able to forgive, you should question your relationship with God.

Forgiveness is not an easy thing to give, but if time passes, and you continue to harbor negative feelings, only the Lord can help you lighten your burdens.

Are you really listening to Him?

How to forgive and therapeutic change

What happens when you can’t forgive no matter how hard you try and keep stalling? Signs of this are avoidant, defensive, and depressive behaviors, all of which indicate that forgiveness is missing in the relationship. This is confirmed by the study “The efficacy of the Christian-adapted reach forgiveness intervention with African American Christian women.”

At the therapeutic level, this fear needs to be eliminated, but when the process is not adequate, the neural pathways created by the conditioning will only serve to reduce that fear. That fear will eventually return in the form of negative memories, thoughts, and feelings.

Therefore, in these cases, guidance and therapies customized to the particular experiences will be needed.

Final words

To forgive every day is a sign of virtue and overcoming, a sign that God’s grace is in us. That is why I would like you to share your experiences or opinions about this article, so that I may be able to help you.

How to teach our children emotional intelligence

As a parent, you will not be able to encourage emotional intelligence in your children without first understanding it in detail, and your role as a guide. That is why I want us to go deeper into what makes up emotional intelligence. Besides, we should also know what kind of behavior is appropriate for this task.

What are the components of emotional intelligence?

Talking about emotional intelligence without looking into the work of Daniel Goleman would be a mistake, thus it is necessary to understand his work. According to Goleman, emotional intelligence can be understood as a type that goes beyond the rational or logical.

It is composed of five principles that work together to help us resolve conflicts. These components or principles are:

Emotional Self-Awareness

Emotional self-awareness refers to the ability to understand one’s own emotions and moods. It consists of an intellectual process in which we can relate what we feel to what we express and what others experience.

It is through it that we can analyze how our actions affect others and understand that the emotions you feel can change the world around you.

Emotional Self-Regulation

Emotional self-regulation is the ability to control impulses and emotions with assertiveness. Self-regulation is what prevents us getting carried away by our primary instincts, controlling them instead. A person lacking emotional self-regulation will tend to cause conflicts and altercations in their environment because they do not know how to control themselves.

Lack of control over emotions is dangerous because it will create a bad self-image. On the other hand, those who do have this kind of self-regulation are able to adapt to their environment and do not let emotions overflow. Thinking before speaking is a good way to summarize emotional self-regulation.


The third component of emotional intelligence is motivation, which is a psychological process composed of our ability to direct our emotional states towards a specific goal. This has to be in a positive and energetic way, as it will help to face setbacks with vigor.

Motivation helps us stay on track in our lives, to be persistent, and avoid distractions. When there is no motivation, you will notice that fatigue and boredom will set in. So will sadness and negativity.


Empathy is a very valuable quality in the world we live in. I think this because of how blind we can sometimes be to the feelings of others, and how distant we feel from our neighbor, when it should be the opposite.

Empathy contributes to emotional intelligence as the ability to put ourselves in the place of others, allowing us to interpret others’ feelings and live their emotions.

Using it, we can be more open-minded and we can also be of more help in complicated moments when we do not know how to act.

Social Skills

The last of the elements are social skills, which are a series of abilities that allow us to relate better to the surrounding individuals. They are recognized as being key to professional and personal development.

Without social skills, we would not be able to communicate effectively, nor know the needs of our environment. That is what we are made for, to live in community and togetherness, just as God teaches us through His word. The problem is that those who lack highly developed social skills feel nervous when interacting with others, for example.

Here, we come back to the issue of the importance for children. They are constantly being pushed to socialize in their schools from a very young age. And a child who finds it difficult to work in a team will have a more difficult time adapting in the educational system.

The first school to teach emotional intelligence is at home

Do you want your children to have high emotional intelligence? My main advice is that everything starts at home. It is not the first time I have said it, but this is the reality that I need to emphasize again and again. Children are the reflection of their parents. Therefore, it is necessary for them to see how emotional intelligence works at home.

God has placed the greatest task of creation in the hands of mothers and fathers, that of conceiving life, and guiding it along the right path. To give immeasurable love, as He Himself gives us in his infinite mercy as our creator.

So have you evaluated whether you are a good example of emotional intelligence for your children? If the answer is negative after analyzing yourself, you must understand that parents who are not emotionally intelligent will not be able to teach their children to practice it. You can’t give what you don’t have, it’s as simple as that.

You must also internalize that the emotional dynamic that parents experience is the same that their children experience. Children will handle their emotions the same way their parents do. You are the mirror in which your child will reflect, so it is a team effort. It is work that not only depends on the little ones, but also on the adults in the house.

What kind of parent are you?

The relationship between parents and children is a beautiful bond. It must be strengthened and enriched day by day. However, we agree that it will not be easy to keep it stable all the time due to its complexity. It is true especially during the development stage, a fundamental stage to solidify this sacred bond. The path of emotional growth is full of responsibility and requires constant self-education.

One of the ways to do this is to identify the type of parent you are. For this task, the American psychologist and clinician John Gottman has classified parents according to several types:

  • Careless parents. They are the type of parents who belittle and ridicule their children’s negative emotions.
  • Punishing parents. They are the ones who impose punishments and reprimand their children. They abound in negative feelings.
  • Parents who do not set limits. These parents are in a middle. Although they accept the child’s negative emotions, they are not able to set limits on their behaviors.
  • “Emotional Coach” Parents. This is the ideal. These parents identify their children’s feelings and encourage them to talk about it and try to find a solution together.

You yourself have the power to be your child’s emotional coach. But for that, you must have skills such as:

  • knowing how to identify the child’s emotions,
  • taking advantage of opportunities to teach them,
  • listening to them with empathy and
  • validating their feelings.

It is also necessary teaching them to define them. As well as establishing limits to negative feelings and giving them accessible solutions.

Why Emotional Intelligence is important for children?

I have lost count of the number of parents who have called me concerned about their children’s erratic behavior. For that reason, we will see what is Emotional Intelligence and how important is it for our children?

From little ones who are aggressive with their schoolmates, to withdraw children who have a hard time relating to others. As their parent, you will feel it is your responsibility to help them overcome these issues, so you may be looking for reasons to blame them or punishments to correct them.

Even so, have you ever wondered if your child is capable of handling their own emotions? The complexity of human relationships begins very early in life, therefore, a lack of emotional intelligence will result in the inability to control or manage their emotions.

Emotional intelligence is as important as other types of intelligence because it helps you know yourself and others as you grow up. By encouraging it in children, their learning will improve, they will be able to resolve conflicts more easily, and it will encourage better personal and social well-being.

If you feel that you invest a lot of effort into making your child do their homework, get good grades, or behave the way you want them to, keep in mind that proper development is not only focused on academic intelligence. It’s time for me to teach you what emotional intelligence is. Let’s start.

What is emotional intelligence?

Emotional intelligence is a set of skills for the correct management of emotions, for example, motivation, empathy, enthusiasm, and self-control. These skills can be acquired from birth or learned throughout life. That is why both adults and children are able to develop them.

This concept was first used by the American psychologists Peter Salovey & John Mayer in 1990. Later, it became the title of a book by author Daniel Goleman.

Unlike what you may believe, emotional intelligence does not having no emotional reaction to stimuli. On the contrary, it is about the reactions you have to them. You may be surprised by this, but the reactions provoked by emotions are many times greater than the emotion itself.

That is why an emotionally intelligent person will have the following characteristics:

  • They have a deep knowledge of their emotions: Those who develop emotional intelligence can analyze their emotions and interpret them. They just don’t just feel them.
  • These people do not repress their feelings: They show sincerity and authenticity regarding their feelings. Besides, they can also express their feelings clearly.
  • They show a balance in their emotions: It’s all about balance, and how they are able to identify the bad and the good. They are always looking for helpful solutions.

Considering all the above, it is logical to want our children to have this kind of intelligence. However, first it is fundamental that, as parents, we are able to educate ourselves and follow the path that has been established by our God.

What are emotions?

In a technical way, emotions are physiological reactions that we have to adapt to the environment we are in. In other words, our brain has the great capacity to modify our cognition to use behaviors that allow us to survive depending on the situation. Basically, emotions are adaptive functions.

At the same time, this function has physiological components (an involuntary reaction, such as accelerated breathing), cognitive components (a subjective experience), and behavioral components (the change of behavior, such as movements or facial gestures).

According to Paul Ekman, there are six basic or primary emotions:

  1. Fear: Associated with nervousness, restlessness, and anxiety.
  2. Anger: Associated with hostility, indignation, and rage.
  3. Joy: Associated with pleasure, amusement, and ecstasy.
  4. Surprise: Associated with discovery, expectation, and dynamism.
  5. Disgust: Associated with disgust or rejection.
  6. Sadness: Associated with isolation or decreased energy.

Why is emotional intelligence important?

If your child is, for example, not good at math, but instead of asking for your help, he or she screams and gets frustrated easily, you will understand the importance of emotional intelligence. Children who have it are able to solve problems by managing their emotions wisely.

But giving it to your children, it is not really something you can measure. There are no tests such as the intelligence quotient (IQ) to know if they have it. But vitality of emotional intelligence in child development is remarkable. A child who is emotionally intelligent will be able to respond well to the surrounding environment. Likewise, he/she will be able to establish better relationships with other children and adults.

I feel that encouraging emotional intelligence is ideal, especially for children who have difficulty concentrating or learning. With emotional intelligence, they will be able to improve their learning skills, and develop in this way.

As a parent, you need to put yourself in your child’s position at every difficult moment. So just imagine that you have learning and attention difficulties, you can’t solve tasks that are easy for your other classmates. Children with these kinds of complications often feel embarrassed and intimidated by learning. But by stimulating their emotional intelligence, you can prepare them for new challenges.

You should also consider the fact that having problems with emotional intelligence could be a sign that the child will have learning or attention difficulties in the future. This is why children with ADHD tend to develop their social skills later and have difficulty interpreting situations accurately.

If your child fits this description, or you identify with what I have said here, do not feel like there is no solution. It is quite the opposite, actually. Emotional intelligence can be modified for each child.


Forgiveness in a couple: exercises and tips

Forgiveness in a couple is a thorny issue to deal with, especially in relation to timing. Keep in mind that, for example, forgiveness will not happen magically, but only when the negative patterns cease, along with grudges and resentment. It is a long process and one in which both parties need to compromise.

I would also like to remind you that there is a way out of negativity and bitterness. That mistakes or failures can be forgiven and you can continue with a strong relationship in the face of adversity. How? Here are some valuable exercises and advice.

 Exercises for forgiveness in a couple

If your spouse has made a mistake, or several, getting to the point of forgiveness will be a team effort. The process of forgiveness in couples is not simple, but it is possible, so I will give you these exercises:

Exercise #1: Talk sessions

Couples need to agree to communicate and to commit to the forgiveness process. To do this, I recommend that they choose a time and place where they feel comfortable. They need to turn off their cell phones or any electronic equipment that may distract them. Distractions also include children and pets. They need to be taken care of before this moment. The couple needs privacy.

When you open these talk sessions, I suggest that you keep in mind that venting all your frustrations at once is counterproductive. Divide the talks into different sessions with a common theme.

You both have to agree on that topic, and each one should express himself/herself in the way he/she wants. There are no time limits for this kind of meeting, and you should maintain eye contact.

Exercise #2: Listen, do not interrupt

When a couple talks, it is necessary to not interrupt the person who has the right to speak at that moment. Maybe the couple’s problem is that one partner always assumes they are right, so it is essential to let him or her defend his or her points of view.

You have to listen to your husband or wife with an open mind and adopt an attitude of support and  companionship, where they are there to listen to each other’s feelings.

However, if those feelings get the best of you, you need to stay calm and keep your thoughts calm. One of the most important pieces of advice I have for you is to look at everything objectively.

Exercise #3: Practice clarity

One factor that many couples lack is the ability to speak up. They do not practice clear enough communication, so when something is uncomfortable or you don’t feel you are getting what is fair, you need to talk about it, no matter how obvious it may sound or seem.

Men and women are children of God, but at the same time, our minds work very differently. As a man, you must understand this. As a woman, you must also understand this.

Sincerity cannot be lacking in a successful marriage.

Exercise #4: Forgiving small mistakes

Forgiveness in couples should be practiced daily because even if you don’t notice it at the moment, you may have done something small that hurt your partner. Today it seems insignificant, but when the negative actions accumulate, it could seriously deteriorate this bond.

Every time you feel that your partner committed an offense, point it out to him or her. The same applies to you. When we commit offenses, we should express our regret out loud. Saying something like, “I’m sorry, I didn’t understand how important this situation was to you. Please forgive me,” can work wonders.

It depends on the seriousness of the offense, of course, and forgiveness may not be given instantly, but it is a demonstration of goodwill. Be patient if your partner is not yet ready to forgive you.

Exercise #5: Forgive when ready

There is no point in rushing forgiveness in couples if it is not sincere. It will backfire, so when you are ready to forgive, do it. State your intentions out loud, and with your heart in your hand. The word has power, so use it.

Once you feel able to grant forgiveness, it’s time to move on. Analyze where you both failed as a couple, and change the offending behaviors. Gratitude and affection should remain more present than ever.

How to maintain forgiveness in a couple

When you have been able to grant forgiveness in a couple, the work is not over. This is because forgiveness is not the end of the process. You need to keep forgiving and demonstrate that forgiveness was a step towards a better relationship.

It is an arduous task, and there may be relapses, but you will find gains in the small details. Here are some tips:

Your dates are sacred

Despite work, children, and other responsibilities, married couples need time for themselves.

I advise having at least one weekend date, just for yourselves, where you can talk and connect more deeply about your life as a married couple. Both wife and husband need to feel important in a marriage.

If work separates the two of you, use calls as a method of communication.

Many couples come to my office drained after long work days. Those that do not share enough in the day. In that case, a call during a break does not take much time, but it will make a big change.

Talk more in bed

Going to bed early as a couple might be more beneficial than you think. If you do this, you will most likely have plenty of time to spare before you can fall asleep. In those minutes, the sweetest and most intimate chats take place.

Final words about forgiveness in a couple

Forgiveness in a couple is constant work and a daily learning process. But I sincerely believe that the first step for good results is to entrust ourselves with God. With His guidance and blessing, we will be on the right path.

If you want to learn more about how forgiveness influences our lives, I invite you to read my other articles as well. Do you have doubts or questions? Let me know them, too.

Warning Signs of Dating and Marriage Violence

Dating and marriage violence is a reality. Courtship is a facet in the relationship in which people get to know the other person and meet their families and friends. It is supposed to be a time full of good moments. However, it is also when abusers start to show certain signs of dating and marriage violence that need to be identified immediately before falling into their manipulations.

Signs of Dating and Marriage Violence

From subtle to the most obvious signs of dating and marriage violence, these are some of the signs that a courtship is unsafe1:

Insecure and possessive attitudes

A woman or a man who is stuck in an unhealthy courtship will be constantly watched by his/her counterpart. The initial excuses may sound somewhat consistent, such as the need to protect the other person or ward off bad influences, perhaps showing concern for the partner’s safety. However, the rationale behind each of these excuses will be lost as time passes.

The blame will always fall on a single party

A relationship comprises two people who share the same burden of duties and rights. The key to maintaining fruitful and healthy relationships is sharing responsibilities when something goes wrong. But for an abuser, disputes or bad times are never his/her fault, it is always someone else’s.

Pressuring their partner to do certain things

Manipulation and pressure to show “love” is what leads many victims to submit to situations they do not want. This is why they are in a vulnerable state, and what is much worse, a state where they do not know how or if they will be able to say “no.” For example, going to certain places, meeting certain people, or even pushing them to do things God does not accept. Everything is about control, control the victim will give without realizing it in order to see their partner happy.

Mocking and humiliating situations

We are usually vulnerable to what others say or the opinion that others have about us. That is why when a person goes to a social gathering with someone he/she appreciates, that person should take the other person’s side if there is an awkward moment.

But abusers do the opposite because they never miss an opportunity to humiliate someone or to let others know implicitly that their partner is irresponsible, imprudent, or not smart. While in a courtship relationship, all these offenses may be disguised with passive-aggressive words, not spoken in a direct or explicitly violent way.

Sometimes it is a matter of “harmless” expressions or comments when they are not, but, they need to be nipped in the bud. Most importantly, when the victim explains that he/she is hurt by the abuser’s attitude, he/she will minimize the situation.

1http: // The abuser will not take the victim’s pain into consideration because he/she thinks that the victim caused the situation and is overreacting.

How to recognize signs of dating and marriage violence

Emotional violence within married couples creates a much greater sense of suffocation for the affected person, since the sacred union of marriage makes it difficult to face the dark side of the other human being.

By joining two lives, a man and a woman create this bond. It is thought and intended to be for the rest of their lives. Despite this, when emotional violence occurs, questions raise that should not be denied:

  • Is pain love?
  • Do I deserve to go through this?
  • Don’t I deserve happiness?

It is essential to understand that marriage is a loving bond, but is also a commitment and a space to grow. Therefore, when one of the parties does not want to admit that there is a problem and does not make an effort to change, it is that person who is failing, not the person who is trying. Trying is the key to overcoming many negative situations, because it is a team effort.

Marriage violence

The symptoms of emotional violence within marriage are usually more aggressive and notorious. There is no longer just an emotional bond, there is also a legal one. If there are children, hundreds of important factors add. And hundreds more depending on the number of children the couple has. Each child is unique and each child may react differently to witnessing this kind of violence.

Children internalize everything they see around them. They may not immediately understand what they’re feeling, but they keep it inside their memory and heart. The following are signs of violence within marriage relationships:

  • Irritability when facing any situation: Hostility and frustration exercised by the aggressor due to unjustified situations. Disguising the behavior or showing restraint is no longer as necessary as it was during courtship.
  • Intense verbal abuse6: Loud insults, provocations, and trampling their partner’s feelings. All of this will happen in marriages where emotional violence occurs.
  • Manipulating children: When children enter the picture, everything gets a lot worse. Why? Because abusers tend to turn children into tools to blackmail the partner and make them take sides. When the victims file for divorce, for example, the abuser might ask for custody of the children’s. They also make false allegations to the authorities.3  Unfortunately, when the necessary advice is not available, abusers may get what they want.

A suggested reading in these cases is “Splitting: Protecting Yourself While Divorcing Someone with Borderline or Narcissistic Personality Disorder” by Bill Eddy.

I would like to know what you think about this article. I invite you to share it if it has been a blessing. If you are experiencing violence in your relationship, do not hesitate to seek help. You can write to me at or call 407-618-0212.


It is a matter of attitude part II

Let’s continue with the story of Mary’s husband Joseph and the attitude. We can see how his faith in God helped him trust the angel’s message when he was told that the baby Mary was expecting came from the Holy Spirit’s work. The attitude Joseph took when facing this news determined his role in raising Jesus Christ.

Lesson 1 of Joseph’s attitude

If we analyze Joseph’s attitude before such a divine proposition, we can learn three lessons for ourselves. First, Joseph was willing to accept God’s will regardless of the consequences. He could have said, what are my family members, neighbors, church brothers and sisters, and friends going to say when they see that Mary is pregnant? Are there no other couples in Nazareth? Why did you choose us?

What would have happened if Joseph had said, “I do not want to be part of that plan”? I do not know, but what I do know is that Joseph was a man of God, and he accepted God’s will in his life. Are you willing to accept God’s will in your life? What is it that God is asking you to do that you think makes no sense? What attitude do you have towards what God’s will is? I hope that you can say, like Joseph, “Lord, whatever You ask of me, that I will do.”

Lesson 2 of Joseph’s attitude

The second lesson we need to learn is to take care of other people. Joseph is mentioned only a few times in the Bible. He is not the center of the story. He has one mission, to take care of Mary and baby Jesus. Likewise, he could have said, “Mary and I are not engaged yet, why do I have to marry her?”, “I am not the father of that child, why do I have to take care of a child who is not my own son?” Joseph had a positive attitude and decided to fulfill his mission of taking care of Mary and baby Jesus.

When God calls on us to care for those in need who are around us, how do we react? Maybe we say, “I do not have time.” When was the last time you called a loved one because you were worried about him or her? Maybe you called your parents who are in a nursing home because you do not have time to take care of them. Joseph put all his plans aside and fulfilled the mission that Heaven had entrusted to him. Jesus said, “Whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me” (Matt. 25:40).

Lesson 3 of Joseph’s attitude

The third lesson is that we have to learn to give up everything for Jesus. Joseph gave everything to Jesus. He did not know that he would have to move to another country in order to save him. He did not know that he would have to be away from his family and the town where he was born in to help the child and Mary.

Furthermore, he never imagined the time it would take to care for the baby Jesus and Mary. But he gave up everything because he loved God and believed in the mission that Heaven had entrusted to him.

What about us and our attitude?

Are we willing to give everything up for Jesus? What is it that God is asking you to give him, and you do not want to do because you fear losing control? Maybe God is asking you to give Him your finances, your heart, your talents, or a cherished sin?

Whatever God is asking of you, give it to Him because the reward God will give you will be greater than what He is asking of you. If you give Him your life, He will give you Eternal Life. Think, if you give Him your finances, He will give you streets of gold. If you give Him your heart, He will give you a new one. It is worth giving everything to Jesus.

Wasn’t that what God did for us? He gave it all for love. John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.” Nowadays, we have Christmas because God gave EVERYTHING for us.

Joseph learned about giving everything to Jesus very early in his life. Have we learned to give everything to Jesus? God allow that while you search for gifts and buy them, you think about Joseph’s attitude toward Jesus and decide to give Jesus the gift of gifts, your heart.