Pouting… whining… screaming… sobbing… tantrums… biting… slamming doors… hitting… meltdowns! How many of us as moms have experienced one or all of these behaviors in our children (or possibly in us as parents)? With three very strong willed young boys in our house, these behaviors often occur daily, sometimes before breakfast is even on the table. Most days, I feel like we are on a roller coaster of emotions in our home. Can anyone else identify?
At one of our recent Mom’s Group meetings, Dr. Anne Corwin (aka “The Parenting Doctor”) taught our group a life changing parenting message… “Feelings are real and something we feel, what matters the most is the way that we deal!” She enlightened us on how to help our children (as well as us as parents) deal with our emotions in a healthy and constructive manner. She explained that “Children behave because of the way that they feel. They have tantrums and act out because they don’t understand or can’t verbally explain how they are feeling.” She told us that in order to deal with emotions in a healthy way, we must work on our “emotional literacy” which consists of these three important lessons:
1.) Acknowledging that feelings are real and learning how to identify and define each feeling
2.) Understanding that feelings cause behavior (both good and bad), and helping our children identify what behavior they generally do based on each feeling
3.) Learn tools to help deal productively with each feeling as it occurs
If we as parents can increase our emotional literacy and in turn teach our children emotional literacy, it can help us all to deal with the emotional roller coaster of daily life in a much healthier and less stressful manner. For more information from Dr. Anne and to learn more about emotional literacy, please visit her website at http://theparentingdoctor.com/. She also has a great monthly free email newsletter you can sign up for with tons of practical parenting tips.
One of the most powerful and positive reactions we as believers in Christ can do in any emotional circumstance is to pray. Turn to our Lord with gratitude when we are happy. Call out to the Holy Spirit for safety when we are scared. Breathe in Christ’s love when we are sad. Rest in the arms of our Heavenly Father when we are tired.
Take a moment today in personal meditation and give all of your emotions to the Lord. Then listen to the song “Lord, I Need You” by Matt Maher: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gS9e0nxHP-w . Dr. Ann told us that “music changes moods and releases endorphins”, so turn up your speakers and sing it out to Our Lord!
Written by Amy Connelly for the OLQA Mom's Group
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