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Purposed Parent Connected Child Podcast Episode 068 - Are You Teaching Your Child to Fall Victim to Emotions

Purposed Parent Connected Child Podcast Episode 068 - Are You Teaching Your Child to Fall Victim to Emotions

Welcome to the Purposed Parent/Connected Child podcast – Episode 068 – Are You Teaching Your Child to Fall Victim to Emotions?

Goodness! I remember when we brought our youngest daughter home from China, life was a whirlwind. So many beautiful and hard times intertwined. We had just lost my mother and at the time, I keep my gaze lifted to God, waiting for Him to carry me through each moment. Although everything went very well considering the pressures I had been under, and the history of my child, my youngest was in a situation where absolutely everything was new and scary. Think of how that would feel! She had no control over anything happening to her. So, of course she tried to take control when she could, and I tried to make sure she felt control when I could.

Our girl tended to cry when things seemed overwhelming. Those tears or what we called, “meltdowns” usually weren’t too often, but when they came they were loud – and lasted a long time. One meltdown could last at least two hours. When emotions, thoughts, or feelings get too big and you don’t have the words or trust to describe what is happening, it’s easy to cry loud and long.

Emotions can certainly overwhelm, as was the case for my youngest daughter. It doesn’t matter whether you’re young, old, or in between. Emotions are big at any age. For some children, however, emotions become so large and scary that it becomes easy to resort to undesirable behaviors. In fact, it’s not only children wo are affected by these behaviors. Many adults have learned to cope with emotions by hiding them behind actions that ward others off. Do you have any behaviors that your child is beginning to mirror?

Your core beliefs as a woman and mother impact your thoughts, emotions, responses, and behavior. These are passed on to your children through your words, actions, and reactions. When your emotions produce bad habits, your child experiences a learned response that will most likely stick for life, unless you work to correct it within yourself now.

As a believer, there should be a noticeable difference in the way you act. Your core beliefs, thoughts, emotions, responses, and behavior should be guided by a higher, holier measure. Your emotions shouldn’t be guarded by reactive or protective responses, but from a relationship with Jesus that believes and teaches truth from the ultimate Source.

The best ways to teach your child not to live by emotions is by godly example. Consider yourself as I pose a few questions.

In what ways do you help your child respond emotionally in godly ways?

Are you modeling godly emotional responses?

What steps are you taking to ensure your beliefs align with God’s truths so you will mentor emotions and actions correctly to your children?

How often do you mentor the following lifestyle choices to your children?

1. Gratefulness/Thankfulness – Do you teach your child through words (such as prayers and conversations), attitude, and actions? Being thankful means carrying and exhibiting gratitude for the things we want or like and the things we don’t.

2. Thought Patterns – Do you teach your child that you choose to dwell on the positive, not negative aspects of life, situations, and problems – including people?

3. Emotions – Do you teach that it is good and natural for feelings to be expressed, but also mentor appropriate ways to do so?

4. Critical Thinking/Problem Solving – Do you look for ways to teach your child critical thinking skills when dealing with emotions? Do you help them identify emotions and problem solve to see what will best help them before overwhelm occurs?

5. Service – Do you serve with your child? There is always someone in a harder situation or with less of what we desire. Do you teach your child to find ways to be of service to them.

6. Victim Mentality – Have you taught your child that Jesus warned we would face tribulation? This world isn’t fair, but knowing that Jesus went before us and purposely told us what to expect, and also promised to carry us through the difficulties should set a strong mental foundation built on truth. Do you remind your child that Jesus is there to carry and console them? Do you point the way to God through trials?

7. Tantrums – Do you teach your child how to regulate emotions? They often don’t have words to express what they feel, think, fear, or believe. Do you help them work through issues or leave them to deal with emotions alone?

8. Reactions – Do you allow everything you think or feel to show on your face or in your reactions? Are you training your child to attract overwhelm by your habits or reactions? They see and hear every word and reaction. Without knowing it, they absorb and evaluate what you do, catalog your behavior in their memories, and eventually mirror your consistent, continued habits. Let what they learn from you lead them to Christ and you.

When kids don’t have control over emotions, it may lead to school, friendship, and trust issues, illnesses, mental health problems, or self-harming behaviors. Children are sensitive. They react emotionally and physically to stress, fear, illness, confusion, and more. When this happens, instead of melting down with your child, look at the situation as an opportunity to help them (and yourself) form godly reactions and character. I’ve learned that as I help my children identify and express emotions, I learn right along with them. It allows us to move nearer to God and each other.

Remember, acting out is a response to your child’s emotions. Teaching children how to respond in new ways takes time, just like it does for new habits to form for adults. However, working with your child to express feelings, emotions, and fears in these new ways will decrease the need for tantrums and tears or whatever behavior your child acquires. Instead of simply seeing the way your child responds as negative, view it as a time for godly instruction. Just as God patiently guides you, your child is literally crying out in various ways for your help. Don’t let your emotions or fears guide your response. Instead, let them be a godly guide that molds character instead of an impulsive reaction to silence noise and discomfort. Partner with your child to find beneficial ways of expressing thoughts and feelings.

What are some of the ways you can best respond to your child during times of high emotions?

1. Look them in the eye

2. Kneel to their height

3. Maintain calm, no matter what you feel inside

4. Hold your child close or sit next to them

5. Speak softly

6. Validate what you are seeing. For example, “I see that you seem sad.” Or “It seems like you might feel lonely.”

7. Let them respond without interruption.

8. Listen without correcting when they relay feelings or thoughts.

9. Encourage them to try to identify what emotion they are feeling and when it started.

What are the best methods to help with self-regulation? First, you have to remember that children may not know why they feel a certain way. Or they may not know how to label that feeling. One of the keys to self-regulation is to teach your child to replace how they feelwith an emotion they know. Emotions will begin as a sensationin the body, while feelings originate from thoughts.

An example might be when they begin to get a headache after certain events or they notice they are clenching their teeth at certain times or their muscles tighten just before they get mad. If you teach your child to feel a sensation begin, you can then instruct them on different options to reduce or prevent meltdowns or disruptive, inappropriate behavior.

Teaching your child to approach the emotion they recognize with a new strategy empowers them with the ability to self-regulate beforeemotions overwhelm them. Remember, first, talk to your child about emotions. Ask them to discuss the emotion they’ve felt, then identity an approach that would work for them.

For example, if your child finds that when they are in a room with a lot of noise it is difficult to think or it makes them feel abandoned, help them brainstorm about what will work for them before the feelings that trigger the meltdown arise. Perhaps they could come to you and take your hand to let you know they need to move to a quiet area. Finding a strategy that works for your child and family may take several attempts as they learn to assess and identify emotions and what triggers them. Be patient. Work with your unique child. There are many emotions and strategies that could be applied. Consider the age of your child, their experience, their background, the behavior you are trying to stop, and find what will work best. The strategies you choose may also be changed over time.

Finally, teach your child to observe how they feel when emotions hit, then how they feel after applying the strategy to avoid overwhelm. Over time, they will be able to overcome overwhelm and may no longer need the strategies. Above all, as you teach your child to recognize emotions and apply approaches, teach them to pray. Teach them to talk to God, to ask for His wisdom and help. Help them realize that God is giving ideas as you both ask for guidance. Teach them that God knows their innermost thoughts and feelings, their emotions because He created them with a beautiful purpose. Let them know that God cares and will guide you to answers as you trust and follow Him. Let your child know you are praying for him, and pray for your child with them. Working together to curb the big emotions your child carries and to lay your own emotions in God’s capable hands is a journey of trust and faith you can walk together.

Dear Heavenly Father, You are so good to us. We are thankful for Your grace, Your mercy, and Your love. We know You are a God of emotions, because we are created in Your image. You have so generously allowed us to experience emotions, but we need You to carry us through them. Sometimes they can feel so big or overwhelming and our children need us to mentor godly ways to express emotions so they will learn to do the same. Carry us, Father, when life doesn’t run smoothly and our children are overwhelmed. Draw nearer to us and keep us on Your path for godly homes and training that honors You and sets our children up for a lifetime pursuit of You with joy. Jesus said that with man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible. We know our families are in Your capable hands. Please help us release self and children to You. You tell us that those who wait for You shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint. Help us to have Your strength in life and the ability to help our children with an eternal viewpoint that parents for the future, not just the ease of today. We know that we are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed because our hope and trust are in You. In the precious name of Jesus we pray. Amen.

Supporting and encouraging mothers to rest in Christ and pursue a holy relationship with Him so they purposely raise set-apart children is the cry of my heart. I believe godly parenting is rooted in relationship with Christ and the mindset a mother carries. That’s why I’ve created the Set-Apart Collective. Would you like to walk with other like-minded mothers to deepen your walk with Christ, learn a Christ-centered Motherhood Mindset Model, and create a Purposed Parenting Plan? I want to share special news with my podcast listeners. The Set-Apart Collective wait list is open now. Send me an email at to let me know you’d like to receive information and a special code to receive a discount if you find you’d like to join the collective. It’s time for mothers to be purposed in preparing their children for a lifetime pursuit of Christ.

If you connected in some way with this episode, would you please rate and review the podcast on Apple or Spotify? It only takes a minute or so and makes a big difference in people finding the podcast. You and I know that the best reviews are by word of mouth, so would you please choose a friend to recommend the show to? Let them know that the podcast is found at, Apple Podcasts, iHeart Radio, and Spotify. Imagine the change we could see in the way mothers parent for Christ if they are intentional, too.

Remember, if you’re not purposed in knowing Jesus and showing Him to the next generation, the world will likely sway your children away from Christ. I pray that what you hear on this podcast enables you to stop being a good mom and focus on being a godly parent. Until next week, keep looking Up while focusing on new ways to parent with eternal purpose and connection.

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