When your child’s emotions get ugly and there are tears and tantrums, you can help your children face their ugly feelings and form a proper belief about who they are.
We want to fix the behavior immediately especially in the Walmart aisle. But, it’s time to be more concerned about what your child believes when their ugly feelings rise up than how they behave. Why? Because what they believe is more important than how they behave.
LET THE UGLY FEELINGS OUT
Don’t belittle or suppress the emotions, the tears, and the temper tantrum response. Don’t shy away from the messy or push it away with “O, you’re OK. Stop crying. Be quiet. That’s enough.”
It is better that they get it out rather than to hold it in and let it be a negative, shaming voice they keep listening to.
Wouldn’t you agree that it is better for you to talk it through and help them to process what they are feeling? You get to make room or provide a safe place to help them deal with it.
How many times have I heard from other moms, “I just wasn’t taught how to deal with emotions, with siblings fights, with anger properly when I was a kid.”
Now, Mama, you can help your children to acknowledge the emotions, feel the feels, and then guide them in believing the truth about the emotions they are experiencing.
ASK GOOD QUESTIONS TO GET THEM TALKING
Let the emotions and ugly feelings out and ask good questions to get them talking about it.
Grab a pen and paper to write down these questions you can ask your children.
When they say, “I don’t like this” don’t push away or minimize their comment with an “O, no! I love it! It is so good!” Instead say, “Tell me more about that. What don’t you like about it? What did you have in mind instead?”
“How do you think you can adjust it to like it better? Could you pinch the clay here or round it out there? Why not try adding some extra brush strokes or try another color?”
Ask them: “What do you think God says about how you are feeling? What does God think about you right now?”
“Did He stop loving you? Did He stop wanting to be your best friend? Is He far away?”
Tell them, “God loves you with an everlasting love. He loves you just as much as He loves His Son, Jesus.” John 17:23, 26
He delights in you with gladness. Isaiah 62:3-4
He sings love songs over you. He rejoices over you with shouts of joy. Zephaniah 3:17 He’s cheering for you right now.
He chooses you. He doesn’t want you to feel alone or rejected. Isaiah 41:9
He is not far away. He is right here with you and promises that He is always with you. Matthew 28:20
Ask your child: “What do you need to believe about yourself regardless of how your art looks? What do you need to believe about yourself even when your team loses the game?”
HELP YOUR CHILDREN KNOW THAT UGLY FEELINGS ARE OK
Remind your children that new challenges or conflicts are OK. Ugly feelings are OK. That’s how we grow. It’s what we do about them that matters most.
I know that I said it before but I’ll say it again this way: The beliefs they form in the struggle or the conflict is more important than the success of the art project or the new skill they are trying to work through.
Their beliefs need to be in what God says about them not what the circumstance or the struggle says.
The circumstance says, “It’s too hard. I’m not good at this. I can’t do this. Mine isn’t good like the others. I’m stupid. I’m not creative.”
REMIND YOUR CHILDREN OF WHO THEY ARE
But God says about them:
You are creative.
They can do the hard stuff through Jesus, who strengthens them.
You do not give up. Instead, you keep trying.
You are diligent, persistent, patient, and committed. You face challenges and succeed.
This is who God designed them to be. These are the truths you can remind your children of as they face their ugly feelings.
STICKER AWARDS TO HELP YOUR CHILDREN THROUGH CHALLENGES
All of these truths are sticker badge phrases that you can give to your children. They are found in the three Speak Life Badges sticker award books called I Am Special, I Am Priceless, and I Am Smart.
They are written in “I am” phrases so that as you speak this truth over your children, they can form a new belief that says, I am creative, I can do the hard stuff, I do not give up. I keep trying, I am diligent.
Use the scripts, the suggested words to say, and the sticker awards in these tender moments with your children.
One example of a script would be to say, “This is frustrating, isn’t it? It is not turning out the way you want it to go. Don’t give up. You are persistent. I know you will see this through to the end. I believe in you. You can do the hard stuff. I am right here to help you if you want me to.”
Stephanie gave her daughter, Charlotte, an I am Creative sticker badge because she didn’t receive the mark she wanted on her art project. Stephanie said “the sticker was exactly what she needed to overlook the negative feelings she had about her art grade and the boost she needed to get through the rest of the week. Now her art hangs on our dining room wall for all to see.”
You can get all three sticker award books at speaklifebadges.com.
ACTIVITY JOURNAL TO BUILD STRONG CHILDREN
Another tool that can help your children learn how to face their ugly feelings and to form good beliefs is the I Am Loved Journal by Speak Life Badges. It is an activity journal for children ages 7-13.
In the I Am Loved Journal, there are declarations your children can say on the teaching page “My Thoughts and My Words are Treasure.”
One declaration says: Even when I feel like quitting, I push toward the goal. I was born to win. I am able to overcome all challenges and I am not a loser. When I make mistakes, I learn from them.
On the Look at My Sprouts! activity page, they can journal about something new they learned today or a fear they faced today. They could write about what they did to win or succeed at that day. Also what they did that felt uncomfortable, but turned out great.
In the Let’s Race! Lies Sound like…Truth sounds like… activity pages, your children will learn to recognize lies they may be believing, such as: I am stupid. I can’t read. I’m not good at math. I learn slower than the other kids in my class. That is what the lie sounds like, but the truth is: I can do this! I’ve got this! I’ll do my best. I am getting better at reading every day. I can do math.
There is all of this goodness and more in the I am Loved Journal for children. Check it out at www.speaklifebadges.com.
GIVE YOUR CHILD SPACE TO SORT THROUGH THEIR UGLY FEELINGS
Finally, remember that sometimes children need space to work through the emotions on their own. Maybe they need to journal about it, draw a picture, take a walk or a run. When I was a kid, I used to swing a lot when because that was my thinking space.
If they respond well to hugs, give them a hug. My children are huggers. If the emotions and the temper tantrum was too much, a hug melted them and helped them to feel safe to talk through the feelings. I would whisper “peace” in their ears.
If they need a high five or a pat on the shoulder, give them that.
Say, “I know that this will all be OK for you. You will figure this out. I believe in you. When you need me, I am here to help you.”
Give them space and time to settle down and think it through. Then follow up when the “dust” settles, asking them how they are feeling and what they decided to believe about themselves regardless of how the game or craft turned out?
SHARE THIS WITH ANOTHER MAMA
Save this episode to come back to again and again when big emotions erupt in your house. Be sure to share this with another Mama you know who wants to learn how to help her children face their ugly feelings and form proper beliefs about who they are, too.
NEED HELP, MAMA?
In similar fashion, I remind you, Mama, that what you believe….what you are thinking and speaking again and again like a broken record…matters more than how you respond to life and all of its challenges.
Your default responses can be the warning sign that says, “Whoo! Pause. What’s going on in my heart and in my mind? I don’t want to respond that way to my kids. I don’t want to get so easily frustrated or annoyed.”
That’s how it was for me. I was like, “Whoo! I don’t want to be this kind of Mama.” My kids didn’t want a shouting, easily annoyed, highly stressed, Mama. My husband didn’t choose to marry a critical, judgmental, blame shifting wife. What is going on here? Why am I behaving like this?
Because I knew that “as a man thinks in his heart, so is he,” I got serious about what I was thinking and speaking on repeat like that broken record. (Proverbs 23:7)
I asked myself, “What am I thinking and saying about this? What does God say about this? What new belief do I need to have about this that will help me to be the mama I want to be?”
And I began to renew my thoughts, my words, and in turn my responses changed. I am grateful for the journey of facing my ugly thoughts and words and feelings that led me to form new, right beliefs that line up with God’s Word.
HOW IS YOUR BELIEF SYSTEM?
It doesn’t need to take you seven years like it took me to renew your thoughts, your words, and your responses. What would it be like for you, Mama, and for your family if I help you stop shouting and feeling frustrated and annoyed and overwhelmed? What gift would you be giving your family and yourself if I help you check in with your responses and work backwards to renew your thoughts and words?
I am ready to help you if you are ready to become a renewed mama.
There are two parent coaching packages available for you at renewedmamacoaching.com. Book two sessions to get you started and your deepest concern answered right away. You know the thing that keeps you up at night and keeps you frustrated as a Mama.
Or go all in with five sessions where we can go deep with what you are thinking, speaking, and how you are responding. When you book five sessions, you will receive a Speak Life Badges sticker award book to help you to speak right and respond right to your children in a fun with way using the sticker badges.
You don’t have to do it alone. It is so much better working through it together. Go to renewedmamacoaching.com and get coached today.