Practically Speaking Mom: Intentional Mom, Strong Family

194. Raising Emotionally Wise Kids & Teens

July 24, 2023 Val Harrison, The Practically Speaking MOM Season 4 Episode 194
Practically Speaking Mom: Intentional Mom, Strong Family
194. Raising Emotionally Wise Kids & Teens
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OH Mama the emotions we deal with all day long!  Whether it is figuring out our newborn baby's cries, facing our toddlers tantrums, our middle schoolers wide range of feelings, or whether it is our own hormones and tiredness and stress which all generate some internal turmoil, emotions are a big part of parenting.  Today, we are going to talk about raising emotionally wise kids while we become emotionally wiser also!  Let's go!

Today is a follow-up to last week's podcast. You're listening to episode 194. Last week, in 193, we listened in to a recording of me as the guest on the MOM MADE PLANS Podcast.  Toward the end of that episode, we heard me share a conversation that recently took place between my college daughter and me.  Let's listen again to that scenario and then we will unpack some principles about raising emotionally wise kids.  

A phrase often heard these days is EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE.  To me, emotional intelligence really means that we have become wise about emotions - we have an appropriate awareness about the role of emotions in life.  We are honest with ourselves and others about the role that feelings play in life, while also having a game plan for growth and maintenance of those feelings.  Let's break it down.

Are you or your kids a People Pleaser?  We talk about some characteristics to watch for or overcome. 
We talk about the importance of recognizing how our physical needs affect our emotions, how to respond to our emotions in a socially responsible way, and the power of introspection.
At the end of today's episode, we look at a big pendulum swing that has taken place in our society since the 1950's. We went from being an emotionally unaware society to being a society that is driven by emotions.  What's a better balance and can we achieve it in our families?

Next week, I will be joined by my son, Andrew, to discuss building confident kids. So, stay tuned for more insights into raising emotionally wise and confident children.

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"May the Words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, oh Lord, my Roc...

Val Harrison, The Practically Speaking MOM:

THIS TRANSCRIPT WAS GENERATED AUTOMATICALLY AND HAS NOT BEEN EDITED. Oh, mama, the emotions we deal with all day long. What emotions have you dealt with today From your kids, from you, from the world around you? Whether it's figuring out our newborn baby's cries, whether we're facing toddler tantrums or our middle schoolers wide range of feelings, or whether it is our own hormones, tiredness and stress, which all generate some internal turmoil. Emotions are a big part of parenting. Today, we're going to talk about raising emotionally wise kids while we become emotionally more wise ourselves. You're listening to the Practically Speaking Mom Podcast. I'm Val Harrison, mom to Seven. I'm also a mother-in-law and a grandma too. God has given me a passion for encouraging and equipping moms in this worthy journey of motherhood. For the past 20 years, at parenting events and moms groups, I've been privileged to meet many mamas who are doing their best to be intentional in loving their kids, preparing them for life and loving the Lord too. It's my honor to bring you tools for the journey every week. You can find lots more resources on my website, practicallyspeakingmomcom Intentional moms. Let's get started with building stronger families right now.

Val Harrison, The Practically Speaking MOM:

Today is a follow up to last week's podcast. You're listening to episode 194. Last week in 193, we listened in to a recording of me as the guest on the Mom Made Plans podcast. Toward the end of that episode, we heard me share the following situation that recently took place between my college daughter and me. So let's listen again to that scenario and then we will unpack some principles about raising emotionally wise kids.

Val Harrison, The Practically Speaking MOM:

She was sharing with me how she has a hard time in this particular friendship in her life someone she knows that she gets really timid around them because she thinks they don't like her. She has a need to know where she stands with people. She wants to get positive feedback from them. We were sitting across the room at the moment and so I like got up from where I was sitting in a chair and went over to the couch sitting by her and I was like I want to sit close with you when I tell you this you have all of these great qualities and that person may actually see all of those or most of those, but that particular person is not the kind of person that's probably ever going to share that with you, and maybe they don't share that with anybody. It just doesn't fit, especially who they are. God can mold that in them and maybe someday they will become good at affirming you in that way, but it would be incredibly sad if this relationship between you and this other person remained weak because you couldn't move forward until you had that affirmation. I want you to live in the fullness of knowing who God made you to be. Live it out loud, love them deeply. Do not hold back and hesitate just because you're not getting the affirmation from them that you need. Tell yourself I'm not getting the affirmation from them that I need, but I will be all in in this friendship anyway. So we want to teach them, you know, to identify to themselves and that it's okay to ask that as well, like it's okay for her to ask someone you know to say hey, just so you know, since this is a relationship I really care about, I want to be really vulnerable, honest with you right now. I'm one who just naturally handles life better if I know where I stand with you. So I would love a little bit of feedback on how you feel about me. But you may be totally uncomfortable with that and that's fine. I'm still going to be all in in this friendship anyway, you know. So it's. It is okay to teach them to speak up for the things that they need, but it's also important for them to learn to accept reality and not allow things that they feel like they need to limit the abundance of their life.

Val Harrison, The Practically Speaking MOM:

A phrase often heard these days is emotional intelligence. To me, emotional intelligence really means that we have become wise about emotions. We have an appropriate awareness about the role of emotions in our lives, we're honest with ourselves and others about these feelings, while also having a game plan for growth and maintenance of those feelings. And there's more to it. We also need to be socially responsible with our emotions and other people's emotions. So let's break it down. Let's start with being self aware. We want our kids to realize that they have emotions and that those emotions are affecting their lives. We're in the habit of analyzing our emotions and we want our kids to do that too. So, for example, we want them to ask some of the following questions of themselves how is this emotion that I'm having right now affecting my thoughts, my attitude, my outlook on life, my perception of myself, my perception of my life, my perception of the people around me? Is this emotion shutting me down? Is it stifling my life? What triggered these emotions? What does this emotion tend to lead to? Next, when I have this feeling? Where are these emotions coming from? What is at the root of these emotions? Let me give you an example.

Val Harrison, The Practically Speaking MOM:

So I have mentioned this before, but some of my children are what I call high physical needs people. If they're hot or cold, hungry, thirsty, tired, their emotions show up and are much bigger than normal. When they were little, I would say you seem angry, is that what you're feeling? Or maybe you seem frustrated, or you seem short tempered. You know, whatever that emotion is that they're expressing, or you seem really down. What are you angry about? That would be my next thing that I would ask. So I'm teaching them to one recognize their emotion, to evaluate their emotion. So what are you angry about? They might answer well, I'm angry because I couldn't get this math problem, no matter how hard I tried. Then I might say you know, I've noticed that when you're hungry or thirsty, you're tired or cold or hot, that you tend to get a shorter fuse than you normally have.

Val Harrison, The Practically Speaking MOM:

It's okay that you need to take care of you right now. It is important that you stop, evaluate how you're feeling, why you're feeling that way and deal with whatever that causes, so that you can get back to living an abundant life. So take a time out from what's going on. Math will be there later. Math is not what's most important. Let's take care of you, let's take care of the people around us. Then we can get back to math.

Val Harrison, The Practically Speaking MOM:

So I'm helping them understand life principles. You know what priorities are there and they need to stop, evaluate and take good action steps for myself and for those around me. So, being responsible with my emotions, that's what we're wanting to help them see, and I will say after that you know what. So go take care of you and then, if there's any mending that you need to do with the people that you might have been offensive to with this attitude, then go do that mending. So take care of you, then take care of others and then come and see me. Okay, now why am I having them take care of themselves before they go take care of others?

Val Harrison, The Practically Speaking MOM:

Well, because if they don't get some help for themselves, they're not going to be able to be effective with others, and I think this is one thing that has kind of got mixed up in the Christian community. You know we understand that we need to, that God calls us to love, even love selflessly, and so we think that, therefore, it's fine if we get depleted and not take care of ourselves and just keep plugging away taking care of everybody else even though I'm depleted. And when we are depleted we cannot take care of others well, ourselves well, or the kingdom well, we're not effective when we're depleted. The heart of God about caring for others is that he wants us to use wisdom with all of that. He leads us beside quiet waters. He restores our soul. You know, if you look at Psalm 23, it's full of the ways that we are nurtured by God and as we're nurtured by him, we're able to be more effective with the world. So we run to him first for nurturing, and we have to monitor and nurture our own selves and then we can go be effective with the world. Not only do I need to learn that as a mom, but I need to teach my kids to do that. I talked to you about kids that are high physical needs, kids where they start behaving poorly when something's a little off physically. Even this attitude or behavior can show up, and so teaching them to know themselves and take care of those issues in themselves so that they can be better for themselves, for others, for the kingdom.

Val Harrison, The Practically Speaking MOM:

Well, I also have people pleasers in my family and maybe you do too. Let's take a look at like what are some of the characteristics of a people pleaser and we'll address that related to emotions. So a people pleaser is unaware of their own emotions but overly aware of other people's emotions. People pleasers say yes to more than they can handle. They allow someone to repeatedly take advantage of their kindness, hoping they will not do that the next time. People pleasers believe that someone else is going to change. So I can do this for them this time, because I know they've changed, I just know it.

Val Harrison, The Practically Speaking MOM:

When, actually, that other person has not shown adequate remorse, apology, restitution and refinement. If they aren't showing steps of that, then your people pleaser needs to hold back, take a step back from their emotion and drive to please that other person and ask some reasonable wisdom questions Does this other person show remorse? Have they apologized? Have they taken actions of restitution and have they taken actions of refinement? Those four things that I? I know I've said it twice, but sometimes we need to hear things twice.

Val Harrison, The Practically Speaking MOM:

You know, in the Christian community we tend to think well, that is kindness to give and give and give and give, like that. But if we take a step back and if we are doing something for someone that enables them to remain weak, unkind, and we're not going to be able to do that, be kind, broken in their pit of life and pulling others into their pit, if we enable that, that's not being a blessing to them and it's certainly not being a blessing to the people around them and it's not being a blessing to the kingdom. We need to take a step back and look again, and what this really is is learning to take ownership of the feelings that we have. We feel pressure to behave a certain way. We need to use wisdom, evaluate the situation, evaluate okay, if I treat that person that way, this is how that usually results in this in the next step. Which results in the next step Is that good? Is that good for them? Is that good for the people around them? Is it good for the kingdom of God? That's using wisdom and good judgment as we rationally and intentionally make decisions in our life, and we want to teach our kids to do this, to help them be more aware of why they do what they do and to make sure it is what is wise.

Val Harrison, The Practically Speaking MOM:

So let's look at a few more aspects that are common among people pleasers my little granddaughter. She's learning to go downstairs and so she was on the top step at her house and I was on the landing, which was maybe I don't know, seven steps down from her. Well, I could have just picked her up and moved her down to that landing, but is that what would be best for her? If her parents just always lifted her from that top step to the landing, she would never learn how to go down steps. I shouldn't let her learn to come down the steps not being right there. I was right there. I was ready to catch her if there was any problem, but I really just needed to be near. I needed to cheer her on, I needed to watch carefully, but I needed to let her grow.

Val Harrison, The Practically Speaking MOM:

Moms, it's the same with us about our kids and chores, or our kids learning to speak to an adult. If we do all the speaking for them, they never learn to speak with confidence. It's not kindness to always clear their dishes for them or make their sandwich for them when they're capable of it. Kindness is also equipping them. It is our tendency, perhaps, as a people pleaser mom, to want to do all of these things for them, and we see that as kindness, when actually it might not be so kind. It is kind to do that for them Sometimes it is kind to do for someone what they are not capable of doing for themselves.

Val Harrison, The Practically Speaking MOM:

And this is what we see from God in scripture. He does for us all the time in so many ways, but he also expects a lot of us. He doesn't do for us what we're capable of doing for ourselves most of the time. When he does, it's a generous blessing and we recognize it, because normally it's what we're expected to do for ourselves. And it's the same with our kids. If we always do whatever thing for them and we don't expect them to do for themselves, they don't see that as kindness. They remain weak and spoiled. But if we equip them to do things for themselves and then we occasionally do it for them, wow, mom, thank you, I wasn't expecting that. I so appreciate it. Suddenly they see those actions of kindness in it and it builds relationship. But it made them stronger all those other times.

Val Harrison, The Practically Speaking MOM:

We also want to teach them how to advocate for themselves in a way that is not selfish. How do we do that? Well, we do that by helping them understand that all of the aspects of themselves, their emotions, their physical condition, their spiritual condition, their mental condition, the relationships in their lives. Everything about them matters and everything about the other people around them matters equally the other people's emotions, mental situation, social situation, relationships, physical needs, spiritual needs. That other person and everything that makes up that other person is as equally valuable as you, my son or daughter. So helping them have a daily life of being more aware of their own self and their own needs, but also the needs of others, this equips them to handle future relationships. Then it also makes advocating for themselves much more simple and much more effective, because we're going to teach them how to advocate for themselves in a way that isn't stomping on other people. Like we don't want to raise a child who grows up to be unwilling to hear out other people's perspectives but is going to cram their own perspective down everyone else's throat. Right. What's the quality of relationships for that person? Not great.

Val Harrison, The Practically Speaking MOM:

So as we help our kids progress through life, we teach them that emotions and all the other aspects of their life matter equally to everyone else's, and that means that we shouldn't let other people stomp on us and we shouldn't stomp on other people. We shouldn't let other people bully us and we shouldn't bully other people. We shouldn't let other people manipulate us and we shouldn't manipulate other people. It is perfectly right and good for our kids to speak up about their needs while also equally care about the needs of others. So when my daughter who was earlier, you know, in this, in this podcast episode, who was feeling like shutting down in that relationship because she didn't feel like the other person understood her, how can she handle that? She can handle that by expecting the other person to show her value, speaking up about her own value to that person, but also acknowledging the value of the other person. That is what we can do. So you're teaching them to evaluate, to take a step back and get a game plan for growth and maintenance of their emotions and the rest of their lives as well. But today we're looking at emotions and we're teaching them to advocate for themselves by having a balance of valuing them their own selves as well as valuing the other person, and we're teaching them to meet the needs of others while also meeting their own needs. It is not wrong and selfish to meet your needs. It's the right thing to do. It's being a good steward of you when you take care of you and be sure you are giving them the lifestyle of healthy, sacrificially loving, interdependent relationships with the people around them, especially the people in their home.

Val Harrison, The Practically Speaking MOM:

So let's talk for a quick minute about interdependence. We don't want to be independent. We don't want to be a rock and island that doesn't need anybody else and we don't want to provide for anybody else. That's an independence that is unhealthy. But we also don't want to be codependent. If we let our kids go through their growing up years where they are fully dependent on us about things that they're capable of doing for themselves, we are turning them into a codependent person. And most likely it's because you are codependent on needing to be needed and so you've got this codependent relationship going on with them. That's not good for them and it's not good for their future relationships and it is not good for you and it is not good for the kingdom of God. So codependence isn't healthy. Independence isn't healthy. Interdependence is what is healthy, where we're both valuing each other and meeting each other's needs as needed. So teaching our kids that how do we do it? By talking all day, every day Okay, not constantly, because you need to meet your needs of quietness and refilling and all that, but I think much of the time parents are not having enough discussion about the things that are going on in your home, out of your home, with their friends, in the other settings that they're at, discussed before he and discuss afterwards. These are the ways to grow our kids to be more emotionally wise.

Val Harrison, The Practically Speaking MOM:

I think I've mentioned this before on the podcast and you maybe have heard it from other places but, regarding emotions, we should be aware of them. We shouldn't put them in the trunk of the car. They matter. We need to give some value to our emotions, but we shouldn't let them drive the car. We shouldn't let emotions be in charge. And what? I'm going to wrap up with one more thought, and this thought is going to sound a little sticky and I don't mean for it to be, but I do want to go there for just a minute.

Val Harrison, The Practically Speaking MOM:

As a society, we used to largely be emotionally unaware. I'd say people who grew up in the 1950s or earlier rejected the notion of emotions. Very little value was placed on feelings. Feelings were ignored, stuffed down, denied validity, they were ridiculed, even, or manipulated. We see this in old pictures where everyone sat stone faced. The goal was to display no emotions. People had grit and backbone and they got things done. They worked hard and they conquered, and that's great. But self-care was unheard of or even scoffed at. What emerged from a society like that that didn't place any value in emotions? Well, a lot of emotionally unhealthy people came from that, and all of those unhealthy people were in unhealthy relationships. In general, people's hearts were depleted from a lack of emotional nurturing.

Val Harrison, The Practically Speaking MOM:

Now, what we humans so often do is we pendulum swing. When we discover that there was an error in the way society was being. We pendulum swing way far over here on the other side and we become the opposite extreme of that. What happened next? Well, the society that was emotionally unaware has become the society that is largely emotions ruled. If we like a particular feeling, we should embrace it and celebrate it no matter what, because feelings is the most important. If we dislike a certain feeling, we should deny anyone around us from having that feeling or from speaking against that feeling, because my feeling is that I don't like that feeling, so I'm keeping it away and you have to keep it away too. So that is an unhealthy level of valuing feelings. We see this on college campuses, as literally many campuses across our nation have stopped being a place where honest discourse is highly honored because opposing viewpoints may make the students uncomfortable.

Val Harrison, The Practically Speaking MOM:

Emotions are ruling and emotions shouldn't rule. They should have importance. They shouldn't be in the trunk, but they should not be in the driver's seat. Emotionally callous isn't correct, but neither is being ruled by emotions. Instead, I would like to suggest that we become emotionally wise, that is, being aware of emotions in ourselves and others, evaluating our emotions, being honest with ourselves about the role those feelings are playing in our thought life, in our outlook, in our decisions, in our behavior, in our attitude, in our words, in our relationships.

Val Harrison, The Practically Speaking MOM:

Emotions are a part of life and we should acknowledge them. But then let's not just stay at step one of acknowledging them. That really is what we're saying when we say my truth Well, that's my truth. Well, that means that my feelings, what I want truth to be, is what needs to rule right now. So we're saying forget all of the other aspects of life, forget facts.

Val Harrison, The Practically Speaking MOM:

Feelings is what matters. Feelings do matter, but they can't be the only thing that matters. Our society can't sustain everybody only caring about their emotions. Let's not pendulum swing, let's not be callous, but let's also not ignore the other aspects of life besides feelings. So we're not going to be emotionally unaware, but we're also not going to let emotions rule. Let's teach our kids to be wise, and that starts by us being more aware and us becoming more emotionally wise and talking about that process with our kids all along the way. Next week, on the podcast, I will be joined by my son, andrew, and he and I will be talking more about building confident kids. You've been listening to Val Harrison on the Practically Speaking Mom podcast. I'll see you next week. Bye, then.

Raising Emotionally Wise Kids
Teaching Self-Care and Healthy Boundaries
Balancing Emotions and Other Life Aspects