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Parenting: Passing On Healthy Habits For Kids

Family Life Today / Dave & Ann Wilson, Bob Lepine
The Truth Network Radio
February 21, 2022 9:00 pm

Parenting: Passing On Healthy Habits For Kids

Family Life Today / Dave & Ann Wilson, Bob Lepine

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February 21, 2022 9:00 pm

What kinds of things do you want your kids to learn from you? On FamilyLife Today, authors Marcus Warner and Chris Coursey guide parents to understand and build habits that will provide lasting joy.

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So saying we want to raise mature kids which consult like a less labor-intensive is what we want to raise joy filled kids but it's really the same thing is like how you handled the big emotions and still be okay. Welcome to family life today.

We want to help you pursue the relationships that matter most and Wilson and Dave Wilson and you can find his family life or on our family life Stanley life today.

I talked to a lot of moms and dads, but especially month and I think most of them and say I want my home to be filled with joy all I think every parent once and I gotta say this, I think you achieved that joy in our home surprise.

You are the most joy filled joy giver I've ever been around my life.

I made it. Is it just like you when you walk in room now is a grandma Donnie you walk in. I mean the grandkids.

They know joy just came in when they see me so much joy when I see you is joy. I think every parents open that their kids and grandkids would say my home.

If it wasn't completely joy filled.

It was a sense of joy that home will I think were all attracted to joy and we all want to be around those people and so we need to talk to to joy giver scale there today Dr. Marcus Warner and Chris Corsi are with his back again written a book called the four habits of raising joy filled kids. So first want to say welcome back then left today. Thank you. It's good to be back appreciative to see this.

I miss the start right here because you've written on this year we call you are bringing guys because you study the brain and how that affects his whole thing we did write a parenting book and we never thought of joy being in the in the title and even as I look years. I would think parents would be all I want to raise mature kids more you know, well-rounded response and say, joy filled, I know why, but I want you to tell our listeners why do you start there, but was overjoyed because that's the fuel what you really do live your life on for your joy and we want our kids to run on the fuel of joy, because if I have a joy filled kid that kids going to treat life as an adventure right there not to be afraid of things that might cause them shame because iniquity can recover from shame to be afraid of things that are to cause them anger upset because they know you want him to be okay if I feel that emotion so it is maturity, but instead of saying we want to raise mature kids which can sound like a less labor-intensive site. We want to raise joy filled kids but it's really the same thing.

It's like how you handled the big emotions and still be okay and it's in that garden where all that other good stuff can grow so in a sense, joy is the soil. The nutrient rich soil where a lot of good things are going to grow so joy provides the strength, the capacity in the context for all these other qualities that we want to see in our children, so it is and that garden of glad to be together joy where we can really help our children learn all these character qualities that we want them to have some of our listeners might be thinking.

I don't even have that in my own life. How can I give that to my own kids or my spouse is really struggling or they are depressed in our home has not yet we ask you start out our book talking about my wife Jen. She just came from a very low joy, family and community and so when I met her. It was a good day for her if she could get out of bed so she struggled with depression and anxiety and so forth and basically it was joy in what kind what Marcus and I talked about in her book that really changed Jen's life. Now I'm watching this wonderful mother.

Download and build joy with our sons and I just think wow God you like.

Breathe life into this woman that I am watching here and she's now building joy. How how did she change will first thing was just she worked with Jim Wilder who is a friend of Marcus and I am kind of a mentor so she learned about joy. She learned the language, and she learned the joys relational. She learned that joy is when people are glad to be together that neuroscientists a year. The sparkle in someone else's eyes, so she started to very proactively in all connect with other people who could be glad to be with her and joy grows as well as I can quiet myself. So in other words, if I'm exhausted I'm not to build joy so she started to learn to rest, which is like the other side of the coin of joy because I lets face it, when were tired. We just can't build joy. It's too much work to much of a climb. So basically building joy with her friends and her community, as well as learning to quiet learning to rest just profoundly changed her life to the point where she is now passing on joy to our two sons and it's amazing to watch what I do remember and correct me if I'm wrong because you guys wrote the book, but the four habits of joyful marriages based on the acrostic plan right there P in the end both sorted out with what your time Chris.

The play in the nurture rhythms or rest in your life are critical. Yeah, you know, I mean let's face it, we've all interacted with people maybe was tickling or chasing with the blood people who did know when to stop right part of building joy as we know when it's time to stop, so people can rest and people who don't know when to stop.

They just keep pushing and pushing and pushing and so play is one of the best ways to build joy. Our brain is wired for that and so plays a great wail of the play with my sons because you will hear laughter you will see smiles on the faces that were all just having a good time but we also know it's time to stop because energies level to get to higher some is looking to tired or it's just not fun anymore so were going to pause so part of joy is just knowing hey, it looks like you need a breather. I want to stop him and let you rest pleasant soon after the with you guys couple years ago and I were in our basement. We have a little workout room. It's terrible and you can't lift the dumbbell that hit the ceiling so you crouch down is just as terrible a room. No windows. Anyway, it's only place in the house week workouts were down there working out together and also in out of nowhere, she looks over Michiko's. I think I can tackle you want to tackle you home like what I'm like what and she's trying to play writer women work out right look like anything when he promised you I can take you down you down like two wrestlers in on them like you really think you can take me down. I know I can take you down. Let's go. I'm like okay bring it overů What you just said we are on the floor. She didn't take me down by the wife Laura laughing our heads off and there's endorphins. I don't know you tell me what happened in our brain but you just feel joy for all you know it.

Joy actually you make a very important point. There are endorphins. So when babies see the face light up mom's face. Daddy's face. Grandma's face. Whoever space. It is, there are opiates and endorphins that are released in the brain, which means baby feels wonderful because that face was glad to be with me. So, for babies they will get high-energy so they'll swing their arms or kick their feet though they'll make some fun noises and when they've had enough they look away and that looking away is okay let me catch my breath. Before we do this again.

Marcus and I really give this language in our book to help notice when baby looks away. That's your queue, take a deep breath.

When baby is ready, she will look back at your face. For more joy. That's part of the attuning. So when we talk with the infant stage of it were saying you start by attuning a part of the tuning is recognizing when they've had enough and so we talked about doing joy workouts with your kids enjoy workouts is when you're playing with them in getting the joy energies high than noticing when they've had enough and you stop and you rest together, but you're still together, you're so happy to be together were resting together now right and then what they let you know so you do this on their schedule when they are ready for more joy you you go back. We talked a little bit last time at the four habits. Let's review because we spent a little bit on the a but it's a beat CD tells what they are not, and we got investigate a little bit more this attuning thing serve so attuning is a he is build bounce which is the idea of help them get back from upsetting emotions.

C is correct with care. So we do have to correct our kids. They know their paths they get on.

We don't want them to be on so we do have to correct but correct with care means to the attuning of the building bounce first and then correct and then the last one is develop skills relationally. We want our kids to be highly skilled. We want them to have really good disciplines.

We want them to be not afraid of new challenges. So the best way to do that is by being relationally engage with them in the skill building process. So that's the ABCD Marcus you been married how many years. 31 and you have how many kids to and how old are that my eldest is 30 and my son is turning 21 next week so you've developed this with Chris. You do this stuff your kids are growing up. Well, I didn't know this language vocabulary didn't even know the brain science.

Yeah so no I didn't do it with this paradigm in my mind. Good we did neither is a lot of these principles.

I was beginning to learn, but they hadn't formulated into a system yet so I did do a lot of these things, but not with the same kind of clarity and intentionality. I said to people all time. This the book.

I wish someone had given me will never eat yeah as grandparents. Now it's an African rate and Chris you have been doing this with your kids.

Yeah, you know it's been a blessing for Jen and I my wife. We have two sons were 9/11 and we were training. A lot of these relational skills before we had children. So it's been fun. You can know the theory, and I knew all this until I had children. I had no experience and so it's been fun to learn and one of the great things about all this material is look we tell people in the book. Parents are the parents that do have a perfectly good parents are the people who get really good at repairing when they mess up and so even though I train these skills. I still mess up all the time and I just I've gotten really good at repairing when I do mess up so were returning to joy silly here talking about attuning even talk about it with infants like if your infants trying you have a face so that year attuning to them. I have a very vivid picture of my father with my daughter, his granddaughter, and she's an infant and she is crying you know he's got the magic touch were like yeah and grandpa could get her quiet and he picks her up and the first thing he does is he just sticks out his bottom lip, and he goes oh you are so bold who's such a sad story, you know, and he's just attuning with her with his voice and with his space and she doesn't know what he saying then he starts after the attuning he starts literally bouncing her right and then tickling her on it and gets her back to joy and within you know 90 seconds she's okay again and thought is at work with a three-year-old or two-year-old that's screaming how do you yeah yeah you know, I can remember vividly with my son during the twos and you know Marcus, I say in the book that's during that window of time the brains amplifiers turned on so anger becomes rage and so I can remember trying to help my son when he was in a glorious meltdown. No part of it. I tell parents as we have to remember who we are. I am the father here so my job is to stay relationally anchored while he's losing it and so I'm using my face. I'm using my voice. I'm comforting him and so I might rub his back if he lets me know I might rub his back.

Know you're really mad and every now and then he would come over to look at my face really yeah he wanted to see my face and then he would listen to my voice. Your your relational brain is actually primarily nonverbal, so it's not the words, but it's the voice tone that helps. So in that process. He's basically very angry and I'm just trying to stay present and I'm validating you are really mad how I can see it on your face and so there's no judgment, no just just attune yeah and threw them candy and hung on the floor and there are kids with yes. Even right there you are.

Do you get on the floor to an I would get you down to their level. You are really mad here and you know what I there's more I want to tell you here, but I can't talk to you and your like this were going to have to take a deep breath and run have to calm down so I would take a deep breath and there's a thing called mirror neurons in the brain. So when you see somebody do something. Your brain responds accordingly. So I will do what I want my child to do so if I say take a deep breath.

I'm going to take a deep breath and I'm going to use my body language you want to calm down. I got a story to tell you but I can't tell you that until were done and most young children. They want to know what that story is, but were going to calm down before we even do that because I won't engage. I won't try to converse or have a conversation about whatever it is, the meltdowns about work first thing run do with running a calm running it relational when were common relational then we'll talk about what's going on and that's where it's a little different. A lot of parents intuitively do they just they want to use words, you better stop it you know. Oh yeah oh yeah just keep in mind words don't help. It is their brain wants to see it and you will you show me what I should do right now directly related as before about age 45.

The brain cannot understand a negative command okay this part. I was like why you are here read your book I love you were not supposed give negative command.

So I explained that so I get to see your kids having a meltdown them all you say stop it. Do not do you know do not you know do that what they hear is blah blah blah do that right there brain doesn't know how to decipher the negatives because I don't hit your sister the going blah blah blah.

Hit your sister.

So what they're actually relying on is they are reading your body language there trying to figure out they really want me to my sister now looks like they don't, it looks like they don't want me that my says it but there there interpreting your body language that your words and so we rely way too often on our words, especially with really young kids to get them to change things. But if you something about how hard it is for you to come up with a positive command, thereby eating yeah don't yes your lighter know you like. Let's be gentle with your sister lets me kind to your sister. Let's do this. You know they're reaching out for the stove you like put your hands down by your side you stop and think about it's really hard for us to think about what with the positive command be thing about Howard is further undeveloped brains to take your negative command and flip it around a positive thing you're supposed to do like you may never first response is no real children internalize what they see and what they hear and so a lot of the children will say and do things that they've seen in their environment. So keep that in mind children literally are sponges, they will absorb whatever's in the environment. Good, bad or ugly and you will see that they will be responding like a parent or like somebody else in the family doing something and you might think yourself where in the world. They learned that as I go. Wait a minute.

Yeah this is that you don't have to have done it to your kid. They just had to have seen you do it to someone in their brain will go.

Oh that's how I'm supposed to act if that ever happens to me, fascinated.

It is that makes us as parents become the parents and not respond in a childish manner, which is pretty much what I used to do you see why we got. We all knew it.

Five and under. Higher gear worn out and so to have the maturity and maybe not the sleep deprivation that allows you to respond in a way that is conducive to joy. Yeah, it takes a village to raise children, you know, because as parents we are running on E for empty and in many cases, and the results are good.

So having the support of family and friends, community that can walk with us and hold up her arms really goes a long way and prepares to give themselves a little bit a grace to live. You're not going to do a perfectly let's just get good at repairing and returning to joy whenever we lose it, and if your children already adults even just sharing what you're learning and taking responsibility for where you messed up how redemptive that is for children to hear, even if it was in all long time ago. 20 years ago or whatever.

I've learned this and I realize I didn't do this very well. If I could do it all again.

I would've wanted to be able to do this. That's a good message for our children to hear us. As you know we are the type of people, even when we mess up. We take responsibly for and you know what you learn from it.

Were going to know. Learn how to parent better and how to pass on the good stuff even with its grandchildren and children that keep us and we talked about attuning in the second line is building bounce. Yes, that so building bounces the idea that we are staying relationally engage with our kids through their upsetting emotions until they recover read something in it was K a mile in your convicts book. You know how we love and they said something about married couples coming in and they would ask them the question. Do you have any memories of someone staying relationally, engage and comforting you from an upsetting emotion couple after couple would come in and they could know that a single memory of anybody staying relationally engaged with them until they were comforted from an emotion.

So were talking about was building bounce is when my kid is emotionally distressed as a parent, remaining relationally attuned to them and engage with them and then walking them through the process of recovery so that looks different in infants and children and adults. So in infants I have to do all of it for them.

They have no capacity to recover since up to what age 3 or four okay okay so were talking about trouble to soothe, like the in the territories they have no capacity to comfort themselves.

So I have to do all of the work of walking them through how to comfort themselves and so I need to stay relationally engage with them until they bounce back and they bounce back and they feel like they've their breathing gets more regulated again and they feel like they can go on with life and act like themselves to stay with them during that looks like to stay with them literally can mean sitting there until they get through this, or at least being with them until you can sense that they have recovered enough to move forward to the next thing. Okay so anyway I think this because this is be one of the way we parent our kids and our watching our kids parent and they're doing a little different and were thinking a should do it the way we did we pick up your book. Thank you for your book because we realize our kids are doing it much better than we did it in one of them is this one of Ms. hey, put them in the room them cry it out.

Not don't say attuned, they need to get to sleep or whatever this the only way to do it. You put them in the room. He shut the door. They may cry for an hour half or whatever you they'll figure it out. Leave do not go in there and you.

Please read your books like nope that's a really bad idea.

Tell us what one of the things marks I talked about in the book is when we put our children in the room all by themselves and just let him cry. Their brain is learning something very unhelpful which is I'm alone in my feelings and your survival circuit does not like being alone in your big feelings. So keep in mind the relational brain learns by example.

So when we sit with them and we help them quiet. So with that example we had a chair in our house and so whenever our sons are losing it. We would go sit with them and just quiet. We just quiet so we practiced it to teach them and show them this is what we do suddenly pick them up, take them out and show it down and were going to quiet and will you help them if they're small, we would hold him. You know maybe rubbed her back and tell he got a little older than they could go like hey buddy, you're losing your joy here about you go catch your breath and come back to the table when you're relational again like we just had the language of the stuff in our home like this is just what we do.

They go to that you go to the chair know we we just you know this was these were new habits I learned that my family didn't do the stuff for me. We had to be very purposeful about it but we show them what we wanted them to do so we did it with them and they could quiet and as I got older. They knew hey go you don't get relational and come back when you're ready, and usually is just taking some deep breaths, or maybe it's you know remembering some of the joyful moments from my sounds beautiful to think that there's dad or mom with son or daughter. It's a great picture of the heavenly father.

But let me ask you this because he has no brain science so much better and almost all of us. Is it also true that when you say go to your room cried out or whatever and nobody shows up, does your brain start to say own a voice coming. I'm alone no way severed and show up. Is that true, it can be. You know I mean I was probably my parents favor punishment for me was go to your room so you know and it depends on if you're four years old three years old four euros older of your 10 years old right so there's a difference in sending your 10-year-olds of the room and sending a three-year-old to the room and so what were talking about here really is, especially those formative years.

They have to have a really rocksolid foundation, knowing I don't get abandoned in my emotions. Then you get into.

We do what's called co-regulating of the child years between like five and 13 and that is I am helping them learn the steps in the processes so they can begin comforting themselves and they can begin quieting themselves and then the goals by the time you're an adult.

Your coaching them through it. You just kinda reminding them of the things that they already know where we run into problems were mostly from the problems is that we become adults and we haven't learned the skills ourselves, and so were in the adult age of life, but we still need somebody else to comfort us when we get sad because we never learn how to do it and so that's what were talking about is a lot of us the repairs that we need in our own lives is learning how to bounce back from certain emotions like were good with some but were not good with others. Every listener just sent amen to that. And I think we develop coping mechanisms can be alcoholic can be any sort of something to help us to cope when I mean you said earlier were talking about fear-based parenting in your book you say one of the reasons we do that is unresolved pain in our own life. Yeah, and I'm like oh boy's dad has to be dealt with, or you're never going to be the parent you want to be because you're just not unable to get over your own brokenness scratching the surface on the good news is you don't have to be completely recovered to be good. Yeah, he's right and the other good news I think is that sometimes people come up from broken families end up being better parents than people who grow up in sort of mediocre families. So some of those people actually become very good parents and I think there's some hope thereto that you don't be fully recovered from all your stuff to do this right. You just need to develop these habits and skills but all the way when you find that there something to just keep banging your head against, it's usually because there's an emotion. You have not yet learned how to return the joy from we've all heard the announcement on airplanes where they say in case of a loss of pressure put your mask on first and then put the mask on your child and I think what we've been hearing today from Marcus Warner and Chris Corsi is that for us to have joy filled kids we have to be working on the pursuit of joy in our own lives and as we've heard that joy is a fruit of the spirit. When we draw closer to Jesus. When we stop and meditate on all that he's done for us. One of the things the Holy Spirit will bring to us in that moment is joy. And as we find ourselves growing in joy, then we can begin the process of helping our kids become joy filled kids Marcus Warner and Chris Corsi have written a book called the four habits of raising joy filled kids. It's a book that we've got available in our family like today, resource Center, and in fact would love to send a copy of this book to you were asking blisters this week. If you can help support the ministry of family life today either as a one time donor or as one of our monthly contributors to this ministry would love to send you a copy of the four habits of raising joy filled kids as a way of saying thank you for your financial support. Let me just say a word about where your money is actually going you're going to help equip and train and encourage and disciple moms and dads, husbands and wives all across the country and around the world. There are hundreds of thousands of people every day were connecting with us your family life looking for practical biblical help and hope for their marriage and their family. You're making that possible for them. When you donate to this ministry.

So can we encourage you to make a donation today to support the ongoing work of family life today and when you do request your copy of the book the four habits of raising joy filled kids by Marcus Warner and Chris Corsi would love to send it to you.

You can donate or call one 803 586-329-1800 F as in family L as in life, and then the word today to make your donation by phone. Now it's one thing for your elementary age kids even for your toddlers to be pointed in the direction of joy. It's something else.

When you get the teenagers right tomorrow. Marcus Warner and Chris Corsi will be here again to talk about how we can help our teens become more joy filled and I hope you can tune in for that on behalf of our hosts Dave and Ann Wilson on bottle team. We will see you back tomorrow for another edition of family life today my life today is a production of family life accrue ministry helping you pursue the relationships that matter most

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