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The Joyful Parent: How to Get There

Family Life Today / Dave & Ann Wilson, Bob Lepine
The Truth Network Radio
February 20, 2022 9:00 pm

The Joyful Parent: How to Get There

Family Life Today / Dave & Ann Wilson, Bob Lepine

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February 20, 2022 9:00 pm

Wanna know how to be a joyful parent? On FamilyLife Today, authors Marcus Warner and Chris Coursey share habits that build joy into you --and your kids too!

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Hi, so bring in our firstborn home from the hospital. Oh yes you know what 30 household is a 35 years of CJ 35 years old now married, but when he was an infant brought them home, put them in the crib in our rental house by rev less and literally stood over the crib looking down, and what was I thinking. I had no idea what to do with as I have no clue welcome to family life today where we want to help you pursue relationships that matter most kind and Wilson and Dave Wilson and you can find us if we live or on our family life is family life today you are the do, but I also was again I never had a dad so I don't know how to be a dad never had a baby.

I remember picking up your brothers, Ted when he was a baby and everybody in the house was torn them up in here and I've never done that because I'd never been her own baby.

So I take him throw a beer Nate's a sealing member you like. I am now, dad and I have no clue what to do and I think most parents feel like that and they bring their baby home in their thinking. Now what.

And then they enter at the toddlers or the two and three-year-old it's hard many teenagers and each stage you're trying to figure out how it away. So were all looking for help, yet I am excited to tell you we have in the studio with us today. Help for all parents. We have two dads right. Who are we better before because you know it in. I call you guys. You're the brain guys we got Dr. Mark Warner with us today and Chris Corsi you been with this brief forwarding to say welcome back to family today to appreciate is you to be here two years ago you were here you wrote a book called the four habits of joy filled marriages that I say right you did that I got so you don't know this but after that time with you guys. We stole that material I preached to have my insured.

We exited a message on it on the family life love like you mean it cruising well all that we actually did because it was enlightening to us and to anyone that reads and hears us how the brain functions in terms of joy. So all I all I gotta say is I got you because proper credentials.

Marcus is a conference speaker and author is spent over 30 years helping people organize and navigate some of life's toughest challenges, you're the president of deeper walk international, which is what deeper walk is our name right. We help people have a deeper walk with God identify and overcome the obstacles to get in the way so a lot of that's woundedness but a lot of it's also skills and just what is look like the heavens and see what God I love that one of our friends Pam Matt's text us and she said Marcus is one of the most practical theologians you will ever meet and complement it as fans of the wonderful person we love her. We need to and Chris you spent 20 years developing interactive exercises that build relational skills improve connection and by the way, every time I got to one of those exercises in the book right. I'm like I always like I was the guy said no can do stupid exercise and when you do it and you're like oh my goodness, it really it were just looking at each other smiling like right now my heart is about your new book, the four habits of raising joy filled kids a simple model for developing your child's maturity at every stage now leaning in that right now they're not quite working to talk about this and working to talk about brain science with yeah I mean that's why explain what I mean by year.

The brain guys will both of us were mentored by Dr. Jim Wilder, who is a brain science researcher. He ran a counseling center in Southern California for 30 years and he was in on the original stuff coming out of UCLA med center when they first were able to take three-dimensional pictures of the brain so's been studying this stuff and he's really about 10 years ahead in creating exercises and putting this into practice how you actually help people get better and so Chris was mentored by Jim and the two of them was working with Jim. The Chris began developing exercises to help people learn. This is what looks like to live a greater joy because all these and find out is nobody ever says you know my problem is I just got you much joy this week because I just don't know what he says that right so what is it about joy that is so contagious so important and finding out that it's literally the fuel that on which the brain works is been driving a lot more been doing every person I know including all the city right now every person listening is longing for joy. Run a search for joy you and you'll even talk about how the brain has a joy switch just one year of the books yes well you know your brains and amplifier. God made our brain to amplify something and usually it will amplify whatever's in the environment. So if it's the strain on joy. You can even go into a bad day and yet you can still amplify joy even under the really tough conditions. If your brain is not trained by joy you talk to someone in their mad annexing you know you're mad or they're anxious.

The next thing you know your anxious marriage yes yes so Marcus and I wanted to give a language that you don't joy as possible.

God designed the human brain to run on. Glad to be together. Joy were faces light up here in the voice you see it in the mannerisms you see it in the body that you walk into that room and somebody is glad it's you to just walk through that door, saying, this is really important because those words, joy filled are both in your marriage, and in this parenting book joy failure saying this is one of the most important things you can bring into a family our home.

Why is that most people enjoys the icing on the cake of life.

Actually the fuel that drives it, and what happens your life is either going to be run on joy or fear is really those of the two fuels and so what were saying is we want joy filled kids in the opposite would be fear filled kids right nobody wants to raise a fear filled kids so if you're going to help them overcome those fears. They have to learn how to I get back to joy from my various emotions, because we all feel shame, we all feel anger we all feel all the emotions.

The question is can I recover from those can I stay myself when I feel those that's what maturity is all about enjoying maturity are actually directly related is think about the most mature people in your life are the ones that you go to when you need to get some joy back is like I need to talk to somebody who can help me get my joy back the and you look for someone mature who isn't going to be overwhelmed by what you're saying is going to get blown away by this they got enough capacity to handle what you're talking about in the same way we want our kids to have capacity. We want them to have that emotional capacity be able to do the hard things in life and still live with joy and thinking of James one think that you might consider all joy, my brothers, when you encounter various trials, so is James saying that you no matter the trials that you're going through the persecution which the church was going through.

You can still be joy filled regardless of your circumstances, you know that's right and that's a very important distinction that Marcus and I make in the book that happiness is just you know I'm happy because a new movies coming out and I've been wanting to see this movie. Joy is I'm going to share this with you.

Even the trials even the tribulations you know I'm not alone, for someone is with me and we have a God who is a good Shepherd who is glad to be with the sheep. And so when we think about God being with us.

I mean part of what's beautiful about heaven as we know that joy is going to be there that God is going to be glad to be with us and so what Marcus and I are trying to do here share this message that you know it. Joy is a reflection of heaven and the brain is designed for joy that literally when you see someone light up to see you. It physically changes your brain.

Your brain is changed every time you see someone light up to see you like. That's right, there your brain is changed when someone lights up when they see absolutely that I think is apparent when you are talking about fear-based joy base with our kids.

My first thought was, well, what about us as parents because I think we live often in fear as a as a parent were afraid of some. I think when their little kid, you think you not afraid to get hurt. Then they become teachers.

You're like oh I used to be afraid.

Now I'm really afraid because now to make the decisions that are life altering.

So how does a parent because I'm guessing you're going to say apparent soreness to carry joy if you want to pass on to his kids. We get from fear to joy is less shocking is that most of the problems are run into his appearance come from our own fears. So our opening chapters. Why is printing so hard in the fundamental answers were afraid and that is one of these were afraid as we can be afraid because we know we don't have skills we know we grew up in a home that lacks skill help.

We you're like, this is Dave and I when we bring our son terrible backgrounds to mess this up. So I fear filled so you start off fear-based and at least wanted to result you either under parent for you over parent right so if you under parent I'm I'm avoiding parenting because I'm afraid to mess this up when I over parent I am. I'm trying to control everything because I'm afraid of the nemesis of you have just diagnosed the two of who's the over. I am definitely the over the under make sure she knew that I always thought I was right and she was wrong what you're saying. Both are wrong.

Saying both her fear being is a completely different system in the brain. So when you run on year. You're just trying to solve a problem. It's not relational.

You don't need the relational parts of your brain to just solve a problem my sons about the cross run into the street. I just have to stop that your brain doesn't need all relational pieces.

It just okay there's a problem fix it.

And so joy is desire driven. That means hey, I really want to be with you. I'm glad that you're here. I'm glad that it's you and I'm glad were in this together. So, I'm the under sort of guy Soto and again it you make me sound like I have no rules and no boundaries.

Always had that, but there was a tendency for me to say let him go. What's the fear in that one. My afraid of.

Well, some of that's good right now that I good. So what is happening here is that you what we want is our kids to learn how to face their fears and not be afraid of them. But what makes that possible is that they know that were going to be there with them there and I can be alone and it what really messes kids up to services when they get in there is overwhelming emotions and their essentially civil go to your room until you figure it out and I got three years old. You know I'm feeling rage and I just called you an idiot right because I'm free in your you know standing in front of me and I'm mad. You're like we don't do that here you go to your room young man works for dealing with the problem but were not dealing with a person right so or talk about here is getting away from that left brain parenting that treats our kids like problems to be solved, and getting into the right brain parenting that treats them like people connects to them attuned to them like people first and then gets the problem-solving second. At the end of the day. As parents we have to learn how to manage what we feel right and I'm as good as my ability to manage what I feel so my children are watching me. How does daddy handle this big feeling because ultimately our children will learn by our example, good bad or ugly right your relational brain learns by watching other people. So that's why we will sometimes do things we resent like I sound like my dad sound like my mom because your relational brain learns by watching other people. So with that example that Marcus gave the child has to learn. Show me how to handle this big feelings I want to act out right now and then you show me a better way. So when we punish them in and we don't stay relationally connected to show them a better way.

They're just gonna learn. You know whatever they have to work with, and often the things that we come up with on our own are not very good. We need other people who have traveled this road before, who have a very clear idea. This is who we are and this is how we behave under these conditions is good to you that you start how you've been talking about, like characteristics of low joy parenting. You know that I was reading some of those and identifying all all yeah and I have to admit this. I did everything wrong about that when we talk about low joy parenting. What are we seeing low joy. Parenting comes to the fact that I am fear-based and my parenting and it's usually because I didn't get what I needed. So we talk about six big negative emotions and the ideas on the right side of your brain.

There are six core emotions that we feel in instinctively as a reaction to things. It's not because were thinking about something we didn't is not like cognitive therapy were rethought her way into it were just reacting to these things and every child has to learn how to keep the higher levels of their brain on and functioning with all six of these emotions and so to which everyone you don't learn how to keep your higher-level brain functions on you find you have a hole in your maturity development.

So what can happen is like you might be really good with sadness and you might be really good with anger, but you know you can handle set as you can handle anger so about my hat is that represents a hole in your maturity development where I'm good with this motion are not good with that one. So a lot of us are good with parenting our kids when they're having shame or their having sadness or their having discussed or some of it but we can't handle it when they're having something else because we never develop that capacity, were missing. That and so are low. Joy is coming from the fact that we don't know how to handle these emotions because nobody ever taught us how to sell at St. work triggered when our kids do something like if our kids get super angry and then they lash out and say terrible things in our work triggered me start lashing out is that a low maturity. Should that be at little clue like oh yeah no that's clear set of low joy, low maturity, low capacity, because essentially I've now gone down to their level where two kids have here is really helpful to know your children there looking for an example of you show me how to navigate the show me how to manage what I feel right now I'm really mad and I'm going to do what I know to do and sometimes is really ugly right is right messy and and with parents when that joy tank is a little low than what will happen is I will just get angry and I will see them and I will raise it 10 more and I will get more intense and bigger consequences. I got SSO okay I'm income centered on what we do. If I'm thinking and I know what the spouses thinking I'm here to I don't have a problem, but he has a brother shift from so it's like the dad or the mom isn't mature enough to even see what they're doing. Yeah 1/3 party can see it, you can see it at the grocery store and I'll seven parent but we have a hard time seeing it when we're doing it. So how does a it's like an immature parent is what you say and write a low joy.

How do we grow up. One of the bars I talk about in the book is you know in those moments we want to remember. Quieting is a good thing. Anytime I can pause and quiet that actually helps me to catch my breath. So with my children. If in those moments where there is a blow, but I find them really angry. The first thing I'll do is I had a pause I got breathing. I want to get relational again and we also have exercise in the book where we have parents get together with other parents and tell your failure stories, but how you learn something valuable and so you hear these redemptive stories from others okay will give me an example when you lost it with your child and how did you recover, how did you handle that and your brain also learns from stories yeah so if I don't have that joy or I don't have that particular skill.

But I know some friends were really good at that skill.

I could say Marcus. Hey, I notice you're really good at handling your anger with your children. Tell me some stories of times I how did you learn this and give me some examples of how you did this that basically update your brain so the next time you get angry brings away the minute I have something on file here. I can pull from that file and use that's a lot of times. As parents we just need don't think parents do a lot of we do marriage failed me in some ways, even in the in a church. We have very small groups you have as many parenting smokers were you get parents a room like you're saying to say hey let's talk will you get teenagers.

I got a four-year-old.

What do you learn when you have a little guy want what I need to do, and vice versa. You know, there should be a small group that comes out soon.

You know about that. Maybe there is one called no perfect parents. Okay my lie and say Marcus about that. Well, it was say the title of her book is the four habits right the first of the two habits are directly related to this in the first one to tuning and what it tuning is essentially his reading body language. So the first job of the parent is to read your kids body language.

If you see that they are really angry for their body language then you go to the next one.

Witches help them bounce back from their anger so you do that by validating it, and you validate it nonverbally. So you like or what. Why do you first you you nonverbally validate the emotion and so maybe you get an angry face look on your face to like all your really angry at you and then you use words like yet. Clearly you're really angry about this is really making you mad and that I could buy. We will take a deep breath. Right now I want to comfort this on the say don't worry this doesn't happen. This is an happen. Let's look at a new way was come up with a new plan and my goal is to get them back to feeling like themselves and then will do with correcting what's going on so that's the C is correct with care, tune, bounce back and back correct with care. So you take terrible twos.

For example, the biggest mistake most people make in the terrible twos is are completely behavior focused, and they just want this to stop right. I don't want this attitude I do with this. In no explosion, I don't. I just wanted to stop and so they skip it tuning and they skip helping the kid bounce back emotionally to go straight to correcting the behavior and what were saying is that correcting the behavior is a left brain task that is treating the child like a problem we need to make sure we treat like a child.

First, help them recover emotionally give them a model of how that I'm not overwhelmed by your anger. It's not in my world that you're mad at me, that's a sign of maturity right if them getting angry at me change is who I am into a different person that says more about my maturity a whole than them is very important here because this is really helpful for parents look the worse conditions for the brain to process pain is when I feel alone. The moment I feel alone that puts me in the toughest conditions to manage what I'm feeling. So what Marcus is saying is very important because what were saying our children's look thereby need to be some consequences are.

But right now I see you I hear you were in this together were going to get through it and that says hey you're not alone and that actually helps your child to have the best chances of recovering and correcting the behavior after work. So this is big.

When I was reading this and as I was thinking about this tuning part. That's the part that I didn't do. You and I skip straight to correcting because I'm thinking this is my job as a parent and teach you train you and correct you, but it was interesting. We just had lunch together and it's been great as we contacted at this like Chris you are the most tuning person validating person I've ever met. Hearing the stories all like this hears me when I'm feeling is getting married. Realizing I didn't do that just to validate all year really not what you say it is what man feels is what our child feels right. Yeah, when really is a parent of two. Yes yeah it's I weeping with those who weep would be the biblical way of looking at this list this week by senior Saddam was shared in the good thing is with a little bit of practice. This is a habit I only really some doing it. I realize I was doing it. Do you see all I know Chris is deftly the most tuning person, male, especially that I'm yeah I realize it just because it's just these habits, I've learned that when I started my journey there was no way I would've minimized I would've been able to enter it, and I deftly want to be able to validate because I grew up with the skills. This is just because of some work in my own life to get here so it's it's encouraging to hear that because it didn't come naturally always actually and it's good to hear spend most time on the first of the four habits that learning but let me end with this.

What would you say to a person or our mom or dad is like I'm just really bad that how I get better at it, tuning it is good point, you learn to pay attention to body language. First of all it in and remind yourself you have to make it a task that your learning and it takes at least 30 days for your brain to develop a habit right so you gotta make it a task.

At first I got a patent for their body language.

What emotion am I seeing here can I name that emotion accurately. Can I name how big that emotion is so a lot of times Chris mentioned minimizing. Sometimes we minimize our kids emotions because it doesn't feel like it should be that big to us so we assume it can't be that big for them to become whiners in dramatic and sell Damiana again into the fear. Yes, exactly. And so the thing to do there is to meet them in how big it is for them and then help them dial it back down from there. So instead of just saying don't ever get that big with your emotions just stay at this level, which is kind of the message we send we need to meet them and how big this is for them and then help them dial it back and that's why this is good for parents to do as a group like you met and you know to do these things as a group we can see where I'm week your strong where your week I might be strong in so doing this with other parents really is valuable, smiling as I listen to him like that takes so much maturity you know it's like you're being so rational when I'm in that moment. I'm so irrational but you said earlier it's like you know it's a moment to pause and go okay take a deep breath.

This is just for the kid.

This is for mom and dad to go take a deep breath what's first 70 a tune okay. I mean it actually can be done right on me as I hear you say that like this can be done. Change a homes culture and environment and atmosphere. If a parent can learn to okay I'm gonna start with understanding their emotion and matching that and then walking them with me out of it.

T Davies. He said that I think as we take a breath and we take a step back just to say a quick prayer to God.

He helps us to kinda regulate and to take a breath and to get perspective in the Holy Spirit and mean when you look at the fruit of the spirit, even love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, he's always there to help. If we can. I'm just thinking to myself what parent hasn't longed for some help to adjust the emotional thermostat in your home. I mean there are days when the thermostat is way chilly and you'd like to warm things up a little bit and you just don't know if it's safe to do that. I think what we've heard today from Marcus Warner and Chris Corsi is a great first step for us as parents to know how we can begin to warm things up when our children have made it chilly in the house when their emotions are causing things to be tense in our home.

How can we move toward joy Marcus Warner and Chris Corsi have written a book called the four habits of raising joy filled kids and we want to make this book available to every family life today list are those of you were tuned and would love to send you a copy of the book were just asking if you would help with the cost of producing and syndicating this program by making a donation every dollar you donate to family life today helps us extend the reach of this ministry helps us reach more people more often with practical biblical help and hope for their marriage and for their family. What you've heard today it has been made possible because of listers like you who have given in the past.

So if you're a regular family life today list are and you've never made a donation to family life today or if you're a family like today list gurus donated in the past but maybe it's been a while, make a donation today and ask for your copy of the book the four habits of raising joy filled kids when you get in touch with us. You can donate or you can call one 800 FL today again the website family life or get your copy of the book the four habits of raising joy filled kids when you make a donation by calling 1-800-358-6329 that's one 800 F as in family L as in life, and then the word today that tomorrow.

Working to hear from Marcus Warner and Chris Corsi about how we can pursue a joy filled home and raising joy filled kids. If we struggle to get to enjoy ourselves with everything that's going on in our lives. The stress and the pressure if joy is hard for us. How can we raise joy filled kids will hear more about that tomorrow. Hope you can be with us for that on behalf of our hosts Dave and Wilson on Bob Lapine will see you back next time for another edition of family life today. Family life today is a production of family life accrue ministry helping you pursue the relationships that matter most

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