If you don’t address emotional outbursts well with your kids you may be hurting their relational maturity. This episode dives into how to help your kids regardless of their ages in a way that doesn’t stifle their feelings or personality but at the same time helps them become disciplined in how to handle situations.
Main Points in This Episode:
- Emotions and feelings are real and we don’t want to stifle our kids from being expressive, but we also want to teach them how to have self-control.
- Focus on what the deeper issues of their outbursts are.
- There are a lot of reasons why it may be happening, so dig in to understand what’s going on.
- Teach your kids how to deal with their emotions in a more mature way.
- Help them understand their physiological triggers when they are starting to feel frustrated or angry.
- Always make sure they reconcile with others.
Scripture in This Episode:
Jeremiah 17:9 – “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?”
1 Corinthians 13:6 – “Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth”
Proverbs 22:6 – “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.”
James 5:16 – “Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.”
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Note: This is an automated transcript and misspells or grammar errors may be present.
Welcome to Courageous Parenting Podcast, a weekly show to equip parents with biblical truth on raising confident Christian kids in an uncertain world.
Hi, I’m Angie from Courageous Mom.
And I’m Isaac from Resolute Man.
We’ve been married for 21 years and have seen the fruit from raising our eight kids biblically. Based on the raw truth found in the Bible.
We can no longer let the culture win the hearts of children. Too many children from Christian families are walking away from their faith by age 18, and it doesn’t have to be this way. It shouldn’t be this way. Join us as we start an important conversation about effective parenting and following. Hey, everyone, welcome back to the podcast.
Wow, what a great episode last week. It’s such a good interview.
Oh, so fun to connect with Abby from Emma’s mom. If you guys have not read her book that just came out. You have to go listen to the podcast.
That one went crazy out there. People are downloading it like crazy and enjoying it. Today we’re talking about dealing with emotional outbursts. I think this is a vital topic. I know you get lots of questions about.
This, about big emotions. We handle this almost every single Facebook or not, Facebook Live, because we used to have Facebook lives for the parent mentor program, but now we do them in our app. Yeah. And every time we do a life, people ask about questions regarding how to teach their kids, how to have self control, or what do you do when your toddler is having a tantrum or teenagers or whatever.
So yeah, so it’s, it’s a very important topic. We’re going to dive into it. But first of all, thanks for being part of the 1 Million Legacies movement. God planted a seed in us, a vision in us to really pursue ministry full time three years ago. And it’s been an extraordinary journey. Thank you for being on the journey with us. And when you share on social media, right, reviews, all those things even join the app. It all supports the ministry to do what we’re doing. And so we sure appreciate it. Let’s dive in. We’re going to talk about emotions and feelings.
Yeah, I think that this is a slightly sensitive topic because let’s just face it, our generation was not taught specifically how to even handle our own emotions and feelings. And so one of the things that we encourage parents in every podcast, regardless of if we’re talking about being respectful or being obedient, is that we model for our children the things that we are trying to instill into their character. Amen. Right. And the reality is, is if we don’t have self control over our emotions, how can we expect our kids to have self control over their emotions?
And one of the interesting things this really topic takes parenting patients. And the reason it does is because kids will want to share things with you. You already know. Yeah, over and over and over again. But there is a truth in human beings. Unless they are allowed to communicate and be heard, they get more frustrated.
That’s right. And distance will grow in those relationships. And then it makes it difficult to you have to like work at reconnecting and it takes intentionality and taking the time to pursue that kid, if you will, because since we’re talking about parenting, relationships with your children.
So make sure you listen, make sure you listen, even though you already know what they’re going to say. And let’s really be good at letting them express themselves, because even if we already know it, the the act of someone able to express themselves as important for them to move forward and.
Grow, that’s actually super convicting Isaac because between the two of you, between the two of us, if you guys were like a fly on the wall in our home, in a situation where there was maybe conflict between two kids or even between a parent and a child or whatever. Right. What you would probably notice the difference between Isaac and I is that he’s much better at listening. And I don’t know if it’s just more of his nature or what, but for me, I have to work harder at it and I’m not good at it. Even 22 years into parenting, it’s still something that I’m working on. I’ve definitely grown a lot and I’ve gotten a lot better, and it’s not like conflict happens that often within our family, but this is an important thing and what you just said is super convicting. Just to me, I was thinking about this while you were talking about the process of like a kid actually experiencing the ability to communicate their words that express their feelings and their emotions in a self controlled way. And if a parent is shutting them down, that’s when we provoke our kids to become exasperated. I’ve experienced that. I’ve witnessed it in what I’ve done in my relationships with some of my kids at times, and it always requires a humbling of the parent to apologize later. And so I just want to give that scenario because maybe you have little kids and you haven’t gotten to that place yet, or maybe you have. And if you don’t start trying to change your own habits now, it’s going to be much harder later.
So we’ve got to listen to our kids. But at the same time, our kids need to learn how to have self control. Just remember, we’re creating rhythms of communication with each other within the family and what you allow to exist as the parents, as the God ordained authorities in your family is, that is going to continue to exist. And so if you allow bad losing self control, emotional outbursts to continue without really, really handling. The deeper issues at play here, then those are going to continue. And there’s really not a huge difference between what a toddler is doing and what a teenager is doing when it comes to emotional outbursts. It’s just one is more articulate with their words.
And can I also just say there’s also not really a lot of difference between the toddler, the teenager and maybe even the 30 year old that is pregnant or postpartum and is having an emotional outburst because their hormones are out of whack or whatever.
Or the dad that’s trying to figure out how to provide and how stresses in his life and gets bothered by someone in the family with their emotional outbursts and loses patience.
So the whole point is, is that we as adults need to understand and evaluate. I think we use this word audit, and I think that it would be appropriate to encourage all parents to even audit what they’ve learned and what their personal habits are in regards to how they handle their emotions, their feelings, how they handle conflict, how they actually communicate when they’re frustrated or having a hard time or they’re offended because that’s a lot of times when the emotions get riled up, right, is when someone’s either been offended or they’re hurt or they’re in conflict. And the thing that we want to first thing we want to acknowledge here is that emotions and feelings are real. I really believe that there is a problem called a pendulum, especially in the Christian community, right? There are those that are they go, oh, follow your heart. Right. Which is not biblical, because the Bible even says in Jeremiah 17 that the heart is deceitful, most deceitful of all things, and desperately wicked. Who really knows how bad it is? That’s Jeremiah 17 nine. So we’ve got that end of the spectrum, but then you have the other end of the spectrum that reads that scripture and goes, feelings aren’t real or ignore them, right? And that’s not biblical either, because God made us emotional, be.
He did on purpose. How can you have good relationships with other people unless we’re emotional beings? How can you have a relationship with our creator? Unless we are emotional beings, it’s we should encourage the relational, emotional person, but we should teach and educate on how to do these things with self control. When we’re frustrated, when we’re angry and these real emotions happen, it’s not like anger by itself is a bad thing. Sometimes you can have a holy, a righteous anger about abortion or something like that, but the way in which you approach that is important. We are to be godly and we are to do what the Bible says. So I think people would want to know, what do you actually do when one of your kids loses self control?
So, you know, obviously it’s going to look slightly different depending on the age, right? You’re going to teach a two year old or a three year old or a four year old a little bit differently than you’re going to hold your 14 year old accountable to what maybe they’ve been being taught since they were two or three or four or whatever age you start teaching them. Right. And just their communication skills are better, actually. And, you know, one of the encouragements, I would say let me start with the older kids. And when I say older, I’m thinking like even your middles, right? Like you’re eight years old, nine years old, you can have a conversation with them. One of the things that Isaac and I teach in the parenting mentor program and we go more in depth, we can’t cover it in depth here today is this concept of dealing with or talking about more in depth, big issues during what we call peacetime versus wartime. And what we mean by that is just to give you a contrast of like when someone is in the midst of having big emotions versus in a time when everything’s good, but you want to take them out for lunch and have that conversation that you can go deeper and they are going to be more apt to hearing you because they are calm and your relationship is good.
It’s so good because too often and we feel like we don’t have enough time, but too often we only try and handle things when the thing is happening. And when people have big emotions, they’re beside themselves. They actually aren’t coherent enough to have a good conversation. They need to calm down first and to get into that peace time with you or others, to be able to have that good conversation. And it can’t. It’s people receive things better if they’re far removed from the last time they did something. Yeah. And so if, if they’re far removed from the last time they had an emotional outburst and loss of self control and you’re having a good time with them, you can say, Hey, there’s something I’ve noticed I’d like to talk to you about. And if it’s a toddler, you just start talking to them about it. Yeah, it’s a little different, but. And you talk to them about it and. And you just have a conversation.
Yeah, I remember that time. Yeah.
I like the word artful conversation. Meaning you’re thinking you’re inviting the Holy Spirit. To give you wisdom and the questions to ask, the statements to say the biblical wisdom to use. And these things. You have it in you. God gave you a Bible. God made you the parent, and you have the Holy Spirit. And so we’re not going to give you a prescriptive outline right here that wouldn’t make any sense. Your kid is unique. You’re unique, and God’s doing something unique in your relationship with your child. And so we need to rely on the Holy Spirit in the Bible and discernment and wisdom on the what we know about the situation to have that conversation in peace time, I think that’s a huge thing.
Yeah. And you know, this is something that the reason why I mentioned that this goes better with, you know, middles to to older kids is that they tend to have a better memory recalling that time that they offended someone or they lost their temper. Whereas with little, little kids, you can still try this because you definitely want to talk to them when they’re calm. But usually speaking, the younger they are, the less their short term memory is going to be intact. And they may have a hard time remembering the specific time that you’re referring to.
So you got to do a.
Quick so you have to do it a lot quicker. But I would say with the little kids, there are many different things that we need to recognize that maybe we weren’t taught ourselves, that we need to be students of this concept of learning how to have self control. On the topic of self control is we’ve talked about this again, it’s in the parenting mentor program. We talk about the difference between expectations of a kid who is born again and expectations of a child who is not yet born again because self control is a fruit of the spirit. But at the same time, self control is something that all people can learn. I just recently did an IG live where I was talking about this with Abby for Mama’s Mama, and one of the examples that she used was the concept of looking at athletes today, secular athletes, and they obviously have learned how to have self disciplined self control over their bodies, though they don’t have the Holy Spirit. And so that is something that we can teach all kids from the time that they’re young and they if they aren’t saved, we should have a realistic expectation that we can teach our kids self control. We’ve seen it modeled over and over again throughout history. And so that is something that humans have the ability to learn.
However, they really do need Jesus. The the reality is that sometimes when you’re offended or when there are so many lies in the world that are tempting you to think poorly of yourself, so then you have you’re dealing with depression. And little kids can struggle with this too, especially with how isolated kids have been lately. They start dealing and struggling with FOMO and different issues that can make them depressed and and then they can have emotional outbursts because they’re sad, right? That they don’t have as many friends as so-and-so or they weren’t invited to that birthday party or whatever it is. And we need to teach our kids to take their thoughts captive. We need to teach our kids to take their thoughts captive so that they can recognize truth from lies. And part of that is having the gift of spiritual discernment, which they get when they get the Holy Spirit. So even though I’m saying they can definitely learn an aspect of self control, all humans can. There is still a massive need for having self control of the Fruit of the Spirit, as well as having spiritual discernment and taking thoughts captive and and inviting Jesus to guard our minds and hearts in Him.
So and we have to we have to give attention to this because there’s something that is wrong and that’s indicative of a problem. And we have to go deeper than sometimes we want to. It takes more patience. But the first time you ask a kid, what’s wrong, you’re not usually going to get to the real issue. And by the way, the older they are, the less likely you’ll get to the real issue by asking one question deep and you have to ask a second question deep, the same thing, same way. And then a third time, a lot of times, because a lot of times people it’s like you say, Oh, how was your day? And the other person is wondering if you really meant that or if it’s small talk. You see what I mean? And so you say it was good. And is it is it real good? And what was was you can ask another question and ask another question. Sometimes that third time you go, well, actually, I’m dealing with this. Could you pray for me? And you’re like, You would have never known that, right? Unless you kept asking questions. Same thing with your seven year old, same thing with your teenager and even.
Your wife and your.
Wife and your husband and toddler. I mean, we need to be inquisitive beyond the surface and that’s really, really important if we want to really get to the core of the issue. Because if we don’t get to the core of the issue, kids feel misunderstood by their parents. And that misunderstanding grows. And then pretty soon in the teenage years ago, oh, my parents just don’t know me. My parents just don’t understand.
Oh, yeah. And I mean, how many I remember saying that myself, but also thinking that other people didn’t know me. Right. And again, it’s that that comes from a longing to be known. We need to recognize that any of these statements that are potentially said out loud to parents are symptoms of a heart issue that’s much deeper. And so instead of getting offended as parents, we need to look objectively at what’s being said and go, that’s a symptom of something. So that would actually be one of my first tips. Regardless of the age of your kid, if you have toddlers, teens or adult children or middles, it doesn’t even matter. You need to recognize that emotions and feelings are a symptom of something that is deep, that needs to be talked about, that needs to be explored, that needs to be cared for and nurtured. How do you care for and nurture emotions? It’s taking time. It’s doing what Isaac just talked about, taking the time to ask three questions deep. It’s spending quality time. It actually depends on how your child is wired and you are the best student of your child to be able to figure out what’s going to make them feel most loved, what’s going to help them to feel confident and comfortable, to share with you, to open up with you. And so that’s that’s a whole nother aspect of this, is that we need to recognize that the emotions and feelings we have are symptoms of something, whether it’s conflict, being offended, having hurt feelings, they might be potentially symptoms of hormones being off balance, maybe a diet and intolerance and illness transitions happening in life. How many of you guys have experienced where you bring a new baby home from the hospital and the toddler or the three year old starts pushing boundaries and they start having emotional outbursts that maybe they never had before. Transitions are not something to be just pushed aside. They’re a big deal, especially in little kids lives.
Or if you move or, you know, family moves away or something like that. A lot of that’s happening. Right. And also, let’s not miss this, which is selfishness. Yes. Is often one of the bigger ones, especially with younger kids. If you parent really well while they’re younger, that selfishness shouldn’t be as prevalent as they get older. Of course, none of us ever permanently lose our self interest. Just do it right so we still can be selfish sometimes ourselves. But that selfish.
We’re more spiritually mature. Right?
Right. But that selfishness creeps up and you really have to work on that with your kids. So all the things Angie just said, all the reasons could be true, too. But a lot of times it is selfishness. But then if it is selfishness, a lot of times let’s not assume it’s always selfishness and miss those other things.
Right? The point is, is that we gave you a list of six things to really consider, right? Transitions, hormones, diet, illness, sinful flesh, which would include selfishness, relational chair tears or offenses from other people. But then there’s also things like believing lies from the enemy and things that other people say. Taking thoughts captive also includes taking other people’s thoughts towards you captive under the obedience of Christ and being able to determine what’s true. And a lot of times our kids don’t know how to do that. And so it takes a mature parent to, first of all, not get personally offended when there’s emotional outbursts, but be calm because you have to model calmness. If you want your kids to be calm, you must be calm. And then to speak in a calm voice to remind them how to communicate, to also tell them, I want to communicate with you, but you need to calm down and you teach them self-control. Because even if all those things that we mentioned, let’s say four things are happening at once, let’s say they have a dairy intolerance. They didn’t get their nap. They were fighting a cold and they just got in a fight and you just lost a baby. Like, that’s like it’s literally like five of those things all happening at the exact same time. I’d say that, yeah, you definitely should offer some grace to your child, but at the same time, what are we wanting to do? We want to raise our kids up in the Lord.
And life is hard sometimes, and that does not give us an excuse to have emotional outbursts in the midst of transitions or when we’re not feeling good. No. We want our kids to to exercise and practice having emotional self control while they’re going through hard things, because that’s what life is actually about. And so or one thing that happens in life, rather. So I think that there’s an important aspect that we as parents need to recognize. We have to diagnose these things. We have to assess them. We have to ask these questions like, How’s your tummy feeling? Are you tired being able to recognize those things and not further exasperate our child down the road of consequences in that moment if there’s too many things going on, but at the same time not overlooking things, we are called to train up our child in the way they should go. And when they’re old, they won’t turn from it. And part of that is raising them in the admonition of the Lord. And so all of these things do you see I hope that what you’re gathering is that there is a balance. We need to recognize that that there is a physical thing happening and a spiritual thing happening.
And never miss the reconciliation part. It’s very important that you spend the time to get your kids to reconcile with whoever they had an emotional outburst to. It is vital to do that. They need to literally apologize and not just with lip service. They need to have a heart in their apology. So look for that. Look for the heart in their apology, because we want them to build good relationships in their lives and we want them to be a person. Others want to be around for the sake of the gospel, for the sake of when their parents, for the sake of their future marriage. Right. It’s so important that you teach them how to get along with other people and have self control and be able to listen to differing opinions and be able to be self less when someone else is doing something and it’s bothering them. But how to handle that and not to.
Be a freak.
Out and you know, storm out, walk away from conflict, start.
All of those things will repeat themselves into the future and just be worse. They’ll have a future marriage where when they get in conflict, they storm out and drive away. And that is not what should happen.
Cutting people off. I don’t know if you’ve ever met adults who when they’re offended or they you don’t agree with them, they cut you off. That’s not a biblical approach to dealing with conflict, you know, and then there’s blame shifting. You know, there’s so many issues that we need to recognize in the midst and the heat of emotion. We have to first of all, we have to recognize that it’s human nature to want to hide. Right. When when there’s something hard going on. Let’s you mentioned offenses. And I just think about how many times little kids or even middles can get offended in a situation with a friend. And that’s what creates the emotional outburst. Right. And for them, we need to recognize and talk to them about like the why. So do you see that maybe you’re acting this way because this just happened and then when you’re able to have that conversation and they make the connection and go, is that how God would want you to act towards them? Is that how you would want to be treated if you are the other person having these conversations where you bring the experience down to a conversational level very calmly, and you teach your kids the importance of recognizing what God calls them to in in being able to even overlook an offense at times. Right? The Bible says it’s too man’s glory to overlook an offense.
I think that’s in Proverbs. But then there’s the Matthew 18 approach that we’re supposed to go through when we’re in conflict with people and when your kids are little, helping them to calm down so that they can move towards learning that habit of going to their brother and dealing with the conflict in a biblical manner. And so we talk about this all the time in other podcasts that there’s two roads when you’re when you’ve been offended, right? You can either overlook it or you go with Matthew 18 and you approach the person you’ve been offended by. And, you know, but when it comes to emotions, if you’re high emotions, you you can’t even think straight like kids can’t even think straight. And so teaching them how to breathe, how to calm down is very, very important. But I would say even before that, recognizing triggers and with your little littles, you’re probably not going to have a lecturing time where you teach them how to recognize their triggers. Maybe that’s more for your middle aged kids, but littles, you can definitely teach them how to breathe deeply, how to calm down, how to make eye contact, which is going to require you getting down at their level or bringing them up to your level by hugging them gently. And I think that like positive physical touch for kids when they’re really upset helps them to calm down.
And I’ll just tell you something for yourself so you can help your kids with this is the triggers that happen when you start getting beside yourself, when you start losing self control, even in your head, even though you haven’t had an outburst or something like that, maybe you’re more mature, but it still alters. How you interact with people is there’s all kinds of things your hearts might start pounding, you might get flushed in the face a little bit red. You might your.
You might feel in your gut. You might grit your teeth. You might have a vein. I have a vein that starts popping right here. I grit my teeth a little bit. You can’t really tell because I’m good at concealing it. I you know, those are a couple of things that I have that I’ve learned that when that starts happening to me, I need to pray or I need to adjust. I need to have say something before it gets worse in me. You know, so those are triggers. And if you know your triggers early, then you can take action early before you lose self control. You can. Everybody has different ones. So what are the things, the physiological things that start happening to your body when you start losing.
And having this conversation? That’s why I was saying, like with your middles and your olders, like taking time away from the conflict to sit and have, I don’t know, to just go out for pancakes one day or go to a coffee shop and to have that conversation and say, so when you get mad, do you feel anything? Like, do you do your eyes get squinty hard? Do you get a headache if you’re mad for a long time? Do you get sick to your stomach? Do you do you get hot and sweaty? Like ask your kids and have that conversation where you’re teaching them how to recognize those physiological triggers or symptoms, if you will, and then go, okay, so how do you calm down? Like, what’s the best way for you? And you know, you guys, there’s so many things we talk about breathing, but you can also use essential oils that a olfactory system which God created in us has this ability to connect with our emotions. It’s literally connected in our brain, the olfactory system and our emotions. And so you can use essential oils to help kids to calm down as well, things like lavender, stuff like that. I think that there’s also this element of listening to calming music, maybe going in a darker room, praying. There are so many things that we can do if we just even look at what Jesus did.
He went out into He was in nature, in the garden, and he’s praying right when he was in a massive place of conflict just before he was taken. Right. You think about the prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane. He’s in a garden around a whole bunch of like you just you think about what Jesus did, and we need to teach our kids to do the same, but we teach them also by what we model. And so I have to bring it back full circle and say, hey, are we modeling this for our kids? And are we having as much grace with our kids as maybe we’re expecting our kids to have with us when we have a hard time, when our hormones are off, when we’re pregnant or postpartum or whatever, and then talk about self control. Teach your kids this concept of self control. Read Scripture to them about the fruit of the spirit of self control and use the word over and over and over again. One of the things that we teach on the Parenting Mentor program, the very first live is biblical vocabulary, and a lot of times parents will come up to us and go, Well, that was great, but I can’t use the word self control with my 18 month old. Yes, you can and you should.
And let’s not make excuses. Let’s not make excuses. Oh, they’re just this. Or the kids will be kids or boys will be boys. Girls will be girls. We did a whole episode on that. You can find it recently actually. And so it’s not that they’re two, it’s not that they’re teenagers. No, it’s not any of that. It’s that they’re human beings. You’re a human being. And we all, no matter what our ages, we all need to learn how to have self control and to handle our emotions for the most productive, edifying way for others around us and for ourselves. And so it’s super, super important if you don’t teach them why they’re young and you just make excuses and don’t address it, you are growing. You’re allowing to grow in that little person, God’s little person, the wrong response to their emotions.
Which is actually sin. And James five six says, therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective. Pray with your child. Teach them how to pray. Teach them how to confess. The Bible says to confess to one another your sins. It says to repent. Right? And so when you get to that place where you’re calm and you’re communicating and you’re teaching your kids how to communicate calmly, then you want to point them to Jesus. We want our kids to be reconciled to Jesus. Understanding that in First John, it talks about how when we’re in sin or when we’re in conflict with another person, how it separates us from our brother or sister in Christ, and how that reflects upon our relationship with Jesus as well. And so there should be a at the forefront of our mind. Our goal should always be to help our kids to come to a place of reconciliation with other people and with God. And that starts with teaching them how to have self control so that they can be introspective, so they can recognize their triggers, so that they can choose if they’re going to overlook an offense or they’re going to do the Matthew 18 approach and have reconciliation, but all so that they can grow in their relationship with God.
We hope this is helpful. Thanks for joining.
Us. See you next time. Hey, thanks for listening to this episode. For more resources, go to courageous parenting and courageous moms for free on. Find workshops, blog posts and best selling courses. Also, we wanted to quickly tell you about our six week online parenting mentor program. Isaac and I created a powerful biblical curriculum. Here’s how it works. Each week we release a video with a downloadable parenting packet to make it easy for you to incorporate those teachings directly into your parenting.
This is an incredible self-paced program where we cover everything from obedience training to overcoming mistakes most Christians are making. But more than that, it’s a supportive community. You’ll have access to our private online group, Live Webcasts, and the courageous parenting text message line where Angie and I can send you weekly encouragement straight to your phone.
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