David Thomas joins me for Episode 91. You may remember him from Episode 51 when we talked about raising boys. David has over 20 years of experience counseling kids and families. He’s written 7 books including the newest one, Are My Kids On Trackwhich he wrote with Sissy Goff and Melissa Trevathan where they breakdown the emotional, social and spiritual milestones that kids need to reach. We spend our time together chatting about the four emotional milestones: vocabulary, perspective, empathy and resourcefulness. So with that, we talk about how to equip your kids with an accurate emotional vocabulary, how to help them register emotional pain, how to help them problem solve and how failure and fear are actually necessary in building empathy and courage. If you have ever felt overwhelmed with parenting, I think this conversation will put you at ease.
Takeaways From Our Conversation:
I appreciated his advice as to where to start. I am so thankful that his first step was to celebrate what you are already doing. Because, we all know that parenting can feel overwhelming—even working on your own self care in regards to this topic can feel overwhelming. So the fact that you are listening to this or reading the book or having conversations about this is worth celebrating. I want to give each one of you a high five. So as you start to think through how to help your kids reach these different milestones, remember to celebrate where you are and what you are already doing.
Pay attention to what's going on inside of you. You can only pass on to your kids what you already possess.
In regulating emotions, model for them the things they don’t yet know, that way they see that emotions are normal and good part of life. Give a dedicated space to sort out their emotions. Use the phase "yellow light" as a cue to let your kid know to pause. Consider getting a dog as a means to help them regulate their emotions.
Failure and fear both get a bad wrap. We need to reframe that. These are good things. Fear is the birthplace of courage. You can’t be courageous if you never face fear. You want to be a resilient which means you have to stand face to face with failure. You won’t be compassionate unless you land on your face sometimes. That is one of the best teachers of empathy.
Pray for failure for your kids. What would it look like if rather than praying for our kids to be happy, we prayed for our kids to be strong? (which is an invitation for failure.)
Pray for ourselves that we will allow the space for our kids to be resourceful. We are sometimes too busy trying to be their resources. With that, ask good questions in those moments like what do you want to do with that? What’s your game plan? What are you thinking?
Thank you for following along life with me. I love being apart of your day. And as always, I hope this show helps you survive a little easier.