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Helping Children Understand How They Feel

Focus on the Family / Jim Daly
The Truth Network Radio
December 1, 2020 5:00 am

Helping Children Understand How They Feel

Focus on the Family / Jim Daly

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December 1, 2020 5:00 am

Josh and Christi Straub offer insight on how parents can help their young children to identify and navigate their emotions in a healthy way. (Original air date: March 10, 2020)

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Looking for some time with you know how quickly one very happy about something legally different that we do certain this is Focus on the Family and they will work how your feelings can have a profound impact on you, no matter how old you might be your hostess focus presidents and Dr. Jim Daly and Anjan John. I think every parent can feel just grab your heart to hear that young child and you want to say what can I do. What do I need to do for you and that's what this program is all about today helping parents and children not learn how to moderate their motions better and in healthy ways.

And when we are this program earlier this year you are listeners you really connected with it and this is one of our most popular broadcasts of the year infection. We had one comment from a listener who said can you write a book helping adults identify their emotions that really would help us out as well.

Like a good idea John.

There's a lot we don't understand about our emotions.

There are some things we do now, but frankly, we've got to dig into that whole area of brain science and how her feelings impact us. I would add, pray to God to reveal those things to us. Sometimes emotion surprises like when something triggers our anger. For example, thinking that when we get triggered by anger. As adults we can kinda follow that thread to figure out what's going on where that start but children don't understand this triggers I don't know why they're angry or feeling lonely right now yeah and we know that God designed us to have emotions. There's a whole range of feelings that we have been thinking of you know that whole fight or flight thing that's a God-given reaction force when there is a potentially dangerous situation not right and the Bible is filled with verses about emotion like Proverbs 15, 18, which says hot tempered man stirs up strife.

I remember reading this to my boys often but he who is slow to anger, quiets contentions. One of my favorite Proverbs. It's a good one or Philippians 46 do not be anxious about anything but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be known to God. So if you miss this program the first time around. We have a great conversation for you today that we recorded with Dr. Josh and Chris describe that's based on a children's book. They wrote called one of my feeling. You can learn more about that book and the strobes at our website or look for the link in the episode notes and a gym.

Here's how you began this best of 2020 conversation with Josh and Chris describe the Focus on the Family guys, welcome back to start with. This is Christy. You were once an Institute focus Institute came first semester it was wonderful wasn't really like. I and I realized after the first time in Hamden and they get be a part of that seminar like best friendships really Julie started what it was really crazy's were here and were staying here in Colorado with markers is quite best friends that she met you things that I mean it was such a good program. We had that in that a while back, but as so many I think 5000 students went through the program yet so submitted big alumni groups morning as we got in him. While it was not all in my life like you and you had that intersection in life as big decision-makers.

I don't think we would be here. That's a good test pretty good story. We need to start with some of the terminology that you use generally like emotional safety. Emotional intelligence. I gotta confess. Sometimes I'm the jazz hand things drive me crazy little bit with the political correctness like us but I do want to know what you mean about this and how important it is to know more about emotional safety and emotional intelligence. Yeah, and the applicable fitness thing when we truly look at what emotional safety is all about, you know, when you feel safe in a relationship when you feel threatened in a relationship and what that feels like and did it really started with us because we are first parents. We were overwhelmed by all of the parenting like experts in the strategies and you know you can even leave the hospital before you have to make a decision about immunizing your children and then you know there's the debate about spanking and not spanking and should we have a could sleep with us or not, you know, BPA free products gluten-free diet and you just so overwhelmed to have a PhD in parenting. Yeah, it's like what the world and so you increase your anxiety is apparent and so I went back and I looked at all the research on parenting and what truly matters when it at the end of the day when our children.

Your 17 night ink at the end of the day they start to launch what would've really mattered and over and over and over again in the research.

It always came back to this idea that there was a secure attachment with the parent that there was an emotionally safe relationship with the parents. I want to clarify to because that is assuming we don't discipline our children doesn't mean that they're not getting consequences for their behaviors are not pushing them to challenge them. In fact, if were not pushing in challenging who they are.can be termed as unsafe so we want to. It's his balance of support and challenge along the journey and so I think it's important that we do define emotional safety in a healthy way though this really good in one sense this topic seems pretty simple straightforward.

We all have emotions and we usually were able to keep those in check so the question I think is why is this topic important. Why should we be adding one more thing the kind of your children's emotional stability to the list. It sounds important to me. Why would we do that, but let me do this. First of all, because I think this really is a research study that sets the tone for this Google couple of years ago did this study they wanted to test their hiring process to see what was working and what they were hiring forward stem skills, science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, which is what we train our kids sports with a go to school force to get these hard skills and so they tested their most productive teams within Google and what they found at the end of the study was that stem skills came in dead last of their most productive teams within Google and listed the top three skills were emotional safety. Number one empathy number two and emotional intelligence. Number three.

They found that it was the soft skills that were the most important as it related to outcomes.

And so it was this idea that when we're working on a team. There's a sense of camaraderie, unlocking a bully you are my can make fun of you.

If you have an idea that doesn't seem to make sense organ.

It put that idea on the table.

I'm in feel valued. We might not go that idea. But at least were working as a team and is a sense of were in this together. I commend how I like that you know one thing I've said her focus in a higher character training confidence and I think character that those are all things are wrapped up in character, but companies do themselves in organizations. Do themselves a good deed when they hire people that have character and you can train the confidence that they need when you're safe person when you're carrying that safety with you and people feel like they flicker party your team. You can motivate them to do anything. Motivation comes on feeling like I'm an important part of the steam import and those of the skills that our kids get early on it is not just in their career that it's in their close relationships when they go to get married and they could have children when they got it spans all cross their relationships in the emotional side was like that with what are some consequences when we or our children, which is the topic of our program have unresolved emotions. What typically happens and it's funny because the kids tightly wrapped the kids back and we did it intentionally, because we wanted it to get into the hands of more adults because so many home where a motion life and talk it out, and a lot of us who grew up in homes where certain emotions were maybe punished or dismissed or minimized and who is listening to take that positive step back to see like really where do I come in on the spectrum. Because we all come in carrying a motion but most people today like how you feeling are you doing clearly define feeling busy good feelings right where just busy. They were overwhelmed we don't really know what were feeling but they're all they are under the surface in the realm. If we can teach adults to teach kids that emotion is valuable because what we would find Christian college I think we can look at a motion like it that hindrance to our sanctification in an email that we want to just keep it in shack below actually gained the emotions that we leave out of check that we maybe punished if nests minimize me like don't allow in our homes or even maybe in our relationship like take marriage. Those are the ones that have the most control of our lives, they will come out somehow and typically sideways and this is when they come out in misbehavior and kids they come out and tantrums. They come out in maybe depression. Addictive behaviors if you're scrolling Instagram if you're a workaholic.

If you are turning to alcohol or drugs. There could be a reason that we go to what we call mounting behaviors were just hanging down something that we can't name what it is we just we feel awful feel good and we wanted to stop and fill that's why emotion matters so much for 19 with the fact that I am anxious still grieving the loss of XYZ years ago and we might've thought that the world the tell us to get over you should be processed but were not right. It's not that easy.

Or you can hear that but you can't make it happen. Yeah that's that's what counselors are in business right is are trying to help people cope with those wounds and one of the other factors with that too is a number of years ago's work, counseling, juvenile delinquents as you ask about the yeah my job was to help them have remorse on their victims. But the reality was.

They didn't even know what they were feeling, let alone to be able to help them step into the shoes of the person that they victimize and understand what their feeling it had to start so the very first thing that I would do is I would give them a feeling start with the spaces on it so that they can begin to identify because in most cases, any juvenile liquid but I sat with the leader didn't know who their father was or they had a very very strained relationship with their dad and so they didn't have a male figure to help them kind and navigate what emotions were like in their life or listening to one of our best of focus on the family broadcast with Jim Daly and her guests are Dr. Josh and Kristi Straub who have written a really wonderful children's book.

It's called what am I feeling and urge you to check out the Straub's book and our entire collection of best of 2020 broadcast of the links are in the episode notes.

Let's go ahead and continue listing now two more from Dr. Josh and Kristi scrub Kristi, you designed this book to help young children identify their emotional responses and this came from.

I think a real-life situation that you had with your son Landon cute story. What happened we average parents and I mean that in every sense like we we were sending our sign he was going to school at that time and he was just experiencing a time of weird emotional reaction like that we really couldn't pin down. He was crying in the mornings he was begging us not to go.

He was having weird even just like physical reactions in his body and only one day email and return to be the courageous panther like we can do the hard thing with school and that we didn't believe in you went faith and nothing was helping honestly works until one morning cleaning. What does it feel like Felix Amini said mom I feel flippy in my tummy.

Flippy go flippy in my tummy and I thought the butterflies in the stomach heavily described. This is coming from a kids description of what an emotion feel of lightening your body right kids emotions they can literally overwhelm our lives as adults as kids. I mean they are experiencing really big feelings inside little bodies until we give them language that helps them put it in a box really which is one of that emotions chart dies, it gives them another face to look at to say yes right there you when your cheeks get hot you feel flippy in your tummy here.

Okay, so like teaching a kid what blue we have to teach them what the color blue is in the box for the same promotion to help them organize what feels chaotic and probably really scary will organize and manage yeah which is the key. Yeah, my opinion and help them understand what they're feeling and how to cope with exactly because this is where I think we can likely get the spectrum right of parenting where then it becomes this premise that like whatever you're feeling.

It's okay and will just let you throw a temper tantrum on the floor of the grocery store because you just need to promote knowledge or is that one of my favorite lines in the book is a feeling is just a feeling it's not in charge of you and this is where we visited again for all of us, right.

Like how many times a day delighted to hear that feeling is just a feeling it's not in charge of you because when we get feelings in name when we organized and can understand in our little brains were bigger kid brain what what were feeling depression, anxiety, fear nests, we at least can start to organize and then we can say this feeling doesn't get it. It doesn't get to be in control and it doesn't get to be in control of our kids either.

Not far apart as parents were we get to come and then start coaching them on how we handle and manage emotion in a healthy way.

We don't just shut it out and dismissed Seddon and not allow it. We deal, but we have to look at it first because if we don't that's where it can come out. It's good to miss you this to you know these barriers to emotional health. Let's cover a couple of more you touched on a little bit, but I really want to give the listener that perspective you point to the frantic pace of family said that will start their house that contributing to the problem of emotional insecurity, but I think even for that. How often are we in such a rush as moms like were just trying to get the kids to the thing right thing that we think is to help them.

I don't know become president and you know what church on Sunday morning the soft field like really really talk about this is when your own children say mom data, feelings, just a feeling. All the realties of real recently like this is like real story.

Our son Landon going to school again.

I was trying to get them to put on a sweatshirt like cold weather sweatshirt and then the coat and he was like no mom I don't want to want a light on it like escalating and escalating to the point where he would like crying throwing effects about wearing a sweatshirt to school like I I can't. I can't just need to get out the house and taking a deep breath and I don't know where I found it in me. But somewhere I found it enemies a positive step back like that he was really going on. Why don't you want to wear this lecture tear start coming down and he tells me that the week before he'd worn a sweatshirt to school he tried to take it off and you and how often you take off your sweatshirt and the shirt comes off with it. I didn't see your belly and I will go to girl in his class made fun of him that his he had his bare stomach in class, pointed out Landon and he weighs selling there like mom, I can't.

I can't think change everything like oh makes so much sense, buddy. He was still embarrassed to go back to school and have to wear sweatshirt and have to know maybe exposes better to me again.

Things were so frantic we don't take the time to go underneath like 10 times what they're tired. Now they just need food I need food times when it's just discipline just poor behavior, but there are times when there is something really going on in his world like no one of us showing up here with our flight out you know clown face on Landon's tummy better. You moment for her to rely like that many teenagers got a sixpack and he's excited.

The thing I want to make sure listeners know that we are serious about this because those were the emotional triggers begin for adulthood.

You know there's something down the line potentially if land doesn't cope with that were his very self aware of his body is tummy and want to go swimming with other people. I was like that. I freckles on the back of my legs and you class I dreaded swim day. Nobody went to the pool and was coed people would make fun of my freckles. That was every time. As I just know that's when I started feeling too well. I wonder swimming overshoot baskets in the gym but that's where those things happen you know Landon has to figure out.

It's okay to sit there tummy bother me wiser bother you right think it will fix that for, but we do need to just be there anything that I hope that the guilt free.for all and we don't need to know counseling techniques.

We don't need to know how to make this better. We can just sit with him and hear what's going on and that right there. Going back to the very beginning that's emotional safety that you had an interesting experience of the opportunity through a phase of crying all the time. Crying can really be one of the most trigger evoking moments and I as adults, we just don't manage crying of children very well.

I see it on airplanes all the time you get this little mom traveling by herself with maybe a little baby and she's pregnant. Your heart should go out for her. You should help her put her stuff up and all that I try to do that. In fact about logos water bill the day and point a good report in this poor woman was struggling to show and I said, can I just hold your baby while you get everything organized. She's at the end right before she gets in the door.

The plaintiff hold his little chubby, so cute. She looks are you Jim Daly from focus because I got a picture of you holding my head was help these especially these crotchety old guys that are on the plane are looking around like anybody shut this kid up and you feel like saying anybody know right don't you remember.

Did you never have children find a wife, but I reacted that to hell crying you folks in us adults.

Such a response time of fight fighter free. I mean literally that for us in our home that is almost automatic response to our kid? But Kenny I cheated it was.

Everything came out in tears.

And it's actually really confusing because they can communicate so many things and nothing at the same time. No idea what it means and for her. We had to start digging like what is it sweetie, why is it, what are you crying out tears and tears. What we came to find out it was anger. She was angry and this is something actually was superpersonal to me in my story.

I had gone to some counseling and I remember it just I literally sat in the room and I just cried and cried in the sweet counselor. She just She said what's behind it.

Christie, what is with all the tears I Like sadness.

She's like mine is depression behind that anger and sell often especially for little girls were taught that anger is not okay for boys at a more culturally appropriate emotion that for girls were to be soft and sensitive and sweet and kind and be controlled right emotionally controlled in that way, but tears are okay and tell we realize for Kennedy and for her mom. Tears would exhibit anger in a way that wasn't really helpful because we weren't getting her anger outwards, crying, and some with candy. We got her pension night and we taught her like three it's totally fine that you can be so mad at your brother being mad at mom and Katie angry angry is okay but there are certain ways that are okay to exhibit anger we don't hit people. We don't yell at them.

We don't need it. We don't use our words state that we can punch this punching bag. We can mom it can go to the gym or go for a runner to get the motion out and it really is an energy release that actually has to happen from the body.

Otherwise it just keeps sending us on this treadmill. I just yet really insightful story right at the end here, but we had this great story about a special ops commander who was trying to help his son accomplish something important on the playground what happened because I think it's instructive for us. Dad's like you know yeah yeah yeah the story so remember they had what my feeling book and his dad was helping him to go across these rings, like the monkey bar ramus and they sent me this little video my phone which was really really cool because the little boy said was that I can't and his dad said will, and we talk about Sam in the book and what was on the other side of fear and so his dad helped him across those monkey bars and the little boy says you nice is what you feeling. He says I feel brave dad just the idea that you know when we step into that fear.

We label it. On the other side of that is that sense of courage and bravery and thinking straight. And that's where Paul got it right. In Philippians 4 he gives us the framework go to the Lord in prayer. Make your request.

Label your motion and then after that, the peaceful, calm your brain you can think straight is incredible. You're touching all the soft spots in my life my freckles in the second grade I fell off the monkey bars and got a blog is. How are you feeling right now is continue this discussion but this is it such an thing for parents to be aware of their children's emotions and vicariously than being aware of their own right, you stress that really well Christie throughout the program. This time, so this book will my feeling is children's book does what it's for you mom and dad to and it will help your children be more stable emotionally and I'm telling you with our kids right at the launching point turned 19 and Troy 17. This is where all of the work over the years counts when you're doing with your young kids now is really paying off when you see them launch into the adult world and they are stable in the health fund balance, like so this is great and that's how we concluded our best of 2020 episode with Dr. Josh and Kristi scrub talking about their children's book.

What am I feeling just let me recommend everyone that means this book.

Get a copy. It's a great tool for young children and a good basis for conversations in your family about emotions and how to deal with them. Perhaps you know young family who would benefit from the scrubs book or maybe you have grandchildren who would love a copy.

We can send it to you when you send a gift of any amount to Focus on the Family today and that's our way of saying thank you for helping us equip parents and partnering with us to build stronger families. You know when we work together we can give families hope for a brighter future. So please give generously to Focus on the Family, especially now when we have a matching gift opportunity any gift you send will be double thanks to some generous friends and that's why we need to hear from you today donate and request your copy of one of my feeling that the buyer guess when you call 800 K in the word family or online and love the link in the episode notes and then earlier in this broadcast.

We mentioned the parenting assessment that we have. It's a free tool at our website you can get a good overview of what's working well in your family.

Maybe some tips on where he can grow a little bit. As a mom or a dad and John, let me remind everyone that Focus on the Family can help you if you're struggling with an emotional issue. Maybe it's depression or an anger problem. Whatever you're facing were here for you that we have our team of Christian counselors and they are able to speak with you and give you godly counsel so don't delay, contact us today and again that number 800-232-6459 or check the episode notes for more and coming up next time you heartwarming conversation about heaven with our guest John Burke through the eyes of these people. God's given us the gift of truly being able to imagine what the Bible told us all along. On behalf of Jim Daly, and the entire team. Thanks for joining us today for Focus on the Family I'm John Fuller inviting you back next time. As we once more help you and your family thrive in price

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