How Empathetic Are You?

Empathy can change the world. We need more of it.

Simply put, empathy is putting yourself in someone else’s shoes and feeling what they’re feeling. This means:

  • Loving one another
  • Rejoicing with those who rejoice
  • Weeping with those who weep
  • Bearing one another’s burdens
  • Having an understanding mind
  • Being tenderhearted
  • Being kind to one another
  • Forgiving one another

Empathy has long been established as a cornerstone of emotional intelligence. Therefore, people with high emotional intelligence demonstrate great empathy.

Jesus wept (John 11:35).

This classic biblical scripture is a perfect embodiment of empathy. Jesus showed great empathy for the sick, the blind, the deaf, the destitute, the forsaken, the least of these, and more; he modeled high emotional intelligence.

So how empathetic are you? Check out this fun video clip to test your empathy.

Because My Daddy Said So…

Ever had to contend with your kid’s reasoning:

Because my daddy (or mommy) said so?

As Princess Z continues to transition from toddler to “big girl” (because she’s no longer a “little girl”), her reasoning powers and surprisingly logical arguments keep me on my toes.

I find myself having to focus more on hearing and listening to what she says because tuning out the loudness doesn’t cut it anymore. When I don’t pay attention, I find myself in precarious situations having to explain a comment or promise I made while not listening—anything I say can and will be used against me!

In comes the “because my daddy said so” reasoning. Princess Z is fast realizing that she can pitch her arguments better when she uses daddy’s word as evidence to back up a need (because to her, everything is a need not a want).

So when she needs to watch TV, play iPad, go for a walk at bedtime, eat ice cream, not sleep…she’ll throw in “because my daddy said,” hoping that this justifies her need. And I can’t always say no; I have to choose my battles carefully, otherwise I’ll be constantly arguing; toddler kids are relentless!

All in all, this drives home the importance of being consistent as parents and keeping a united front. The kid is watching and listening and will use what we say against us!

Is your kid outsmarting you?

Stop, Think, and Act: Teaching Kids About Emotional Intelligence

It’s never too early to teach children how to manage their emotions. A large and growing body of research demonstrates that emotional intelligence is associated with positive outcomes in children beginning as early as preschool.

According to Daniel Goleman, author of the best-selling book Emotional Intelligence:

Emotional intelligence is a different way of being smart. It includes knowing what your feelings are and using your feelings to make good decisions in life. It’s being able to manage distressing moods well and control impulses. It’s being motivated and remaining hopeful and optimistic when you have setbacks in working toward goals. It’s empathy; knowing what the people around you are feeling. And it’s social skill—getting along well with other people, managing emotions in relationships, being able to persuade or lead others.

Increasing Emotional Literacy

A big aspect of emotional intelligence is teaching kids how to appropriately identify and label their emotions. By developing and expanding their emotional literacy (vocabulary), children can adequately focus on discovering and defending their true selves. And we know that confident children are less easily swayed by negative peer pressure influences.

With bullying and hate speech rampant in our society, we must teach our children how to nurture their inner voice. Identity is so crucial to a prosperous and healthy soul; personally, I don’t want society defining who or what my child is or will become.

The Stoplight Technique for Impulse Control

There are numerous techniques for cultivating a culture or environment of healthy emotional responses in children. One such technique called “The Stoplight” teaches kids about impulse control and how to respond when distressed, upset, or facing a problem.

The Stoplight offers children concrete steps for dealing with challenging situations:

Red light—Stop!
Calm down and think before you act

Yellow light—Think!
Say the problem and how you feel
Set a positive goal
Think of lots of solutions
Think ahead to the consequences

Green light—Act!
Go ahead and try the best plan

I’ll be sure to implement this strategy next time my daughter acts up or is in distress.

I Feel Way Up Blessed

My Princess Z gifted me with this gorgeous flower straight from her imagination. To some, it may appear simplistic; to me, it’s symbolic of her compassion and maturity.

She knows I love flowers, so this is her way of telling me she sees and values me. I feel blessed, wayyy up blessed.

Princess Flower

#Blessed #WayUpBlessed

Weekly Photo Challenge: Inspiration

The Daily Post’s weekly photo challenge asks, “What is your inspiration? What moves you? What is it that never fails to motivate you, to get you going, or make you happy?”

This:

Creation. Nature. Light. Truth. Authenticity. Quiet. Peace. Stillness.
Because in stillness, you connect with God and His creation. And in Him there is no lie.

Nature selfie

What inspires you?

365 Moments (D4): I’ve Never Been So Excited to See Poop!

Baby pooping

Don’t worry, I’ll spare you the actual poopy pile

The transition to solid foods hasn’t been easy for my Prince. He’s been plagued with constipation ever since beginning solids a few weeks ago. We’ve kept his nutrition pretty basic, offering fibre-rich veggies, fruit, and water, yet his digestive system remains somewhat sluggish.

Constipation sucks.

Especially in a frustrated lethargic infant. We’ve tried the usual tricks: leg raises, water, food holiday, but after 2.5 days, nothing.

Under doctor’s advisement, we gave our Prince diluted prune juice and waited for the tract-cleansing powers to kick in.

Hallelujah, after a few hours of stinky false-alarm farts, my baby boy pooped, a big ol healthy poo. You could immediately see the relief on his face followed by voracious hunger.

We accomplished sh!t today and it was a glorious.


This post is part of an ongoing series: Quick Tips for Creating a 365-day Motivation Guide

Reddit Science AMAs: Elevating Scientific & Medical Discussion

For all you science lovers, I have an exciting discovery to share!

Scientific education and communication has come a long way since I was in graduate school (which is not that long ago!). Science has become way more fun, accessible, and interactive. And conversations on diverse perspectives on science and medicine are often kept alive via social media. It’s definitely an exciting time to be a student and scientist.

Maybe you’re familiar with the Science Ask Me Anything (AMA) live chats on redditscience(/r/science), the popular online gathering place for researchers, students, and others interested in science. It’s a really fantastic platform for discussing scientific/medical developments with experts in the field, and you can pretty much ask them about anything—and everything!

Via Reddit Science AMAs, you can have direct conversations and gain insight into the personalities of unique individuals, including President Barack Obama, Sir David Attenborough, Bill Gates, Stephen Hawking, and many others.

As a science graduate, journal clubs were a huge part of my training. During these small group sessions, we’d discuss selected journal articles with the hope of gaining insight into the objectives, methods, and findings of the authors.

But wouldn’t it be more cool to have journal clubs where you can actually communicate with authors rather than speculate on their research objectives and findings?

One such avenue is the ‘PLOS Science Wednesday AMA where published authors from the PLOS (The Public Library of Science) journal—a nonprofit publisher and advocate of Open Access research—share their stories behind their research. Interested participants can chat directly with the featured PLOS author (or team), while anyone with an Internet connection is free to read along. Live chats are usually ongoing on Twitter @PLOS as well.

Have you participated in a Reddit Science AMA? What was your experience?

Check out this link for previous Science AMAs.

Nothing Concealed Will Remain Hidden…Love Rejoices When Truth Wins

More and more it’s becoming evident that Light and Truth always prevail.

In the wake of the rampant injustice, oppression, prejudice, bigotry, and ignorance that continue to pollute our societies, I’m reminded of the many Bible messages that encourage us not to be afraid, “for there is nothing concealed that will not be disclosed, or hidden that will not be made known” (Matthew 10:26).

With the widespread access to social media and video evidence, many evil practices that were previously hidden are now being exposed. Things that used to be craftily covered are being uncovered, and media houses, bloggers, and the average Joe/Jane have no choice but to cover what is uncovered. What happens in ___________, stays in ___________ is no longer very applicable.

A just society is in the business of doing good, seeking justice, helping the oppressed, defending the fatherless, and fighting for the rights of widows. As carriers of light, we should remain incorruptible, full of integrity, even in the midst of lawlessness. Our character and name should stand for something, with loving kindness at the helm.

Love does not rejoice about injustice, but rejoices whenever the truth wins out (1 Corinthians 13:6).