Guiding Your Girls and Their Emotions

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If you have a daughter you may have had the challenge of handling the emotions of a girl. I mean we have to deal with our own emotions at times, don’t we?

I have four girls and three boys and there is such a vast difference in the emotional challenges and needs of my girls, than my boys. Sometimes there are exceptions to this rule, but overall that is the case.

My girls require much more emotional attention and being a woman, it is difficult to handle something I myself don’t have handled!

When my eldest was younger, she would have occasional emotional breakdowns over silly things. Even she couldn’t explain why she was crying or why she couldn’t stop. And she is a very complacent and easy child; although I didn’t realize it at the time.

Three children later and I had my second girl. Her emotions are much more intense then my first. Over nearly everything.

Something I am coming to learn and understand is that sometimes even they don’t know how to control their own emotions. It’s up to me to offer my girls alternative ways to express themselves that are less intense. Also, to teach them not to allow their emotions to rule over them and get the best of them.

Keep in mind, there is a place for anger and frustration. However, allowing these emotions to rule over their actions can become a mix of disaster. It can result in screaming and throwing things, kicking and outbursts.

{Disclaimer: This does not address a child with special needs.}

Rachel Jankovic, author of Loving the Little Years, put it this way

We tell our girls that their feelings are like horses–beautiful, spirited horses. But they are the riders. We tell them that God gave them this horse when they were born, and they will ride it their whole life. God also set us on a path on the top of a mountain together and told us to follow it…

…When our emotions act up, it is like the horse trying to jump the fence and run down into a yucky place full of spiders to get lost in the dark. A good rider knows what to do when the horse tries to bolt–you pull on the reins! Turn the horse’s head! Get back on the path! pg. 29

Throw our own emotions into the mix and things can explode quickly and be very hard to mend.

Some advice I received from a dear mentor of mine is to keep myself removed {emotionally} from the situation. In other words, when an emotional outburst takes place, I need to keep my own emotions removed so that I can handle it in the most effective and gracious way.

I cannot think that the attack is personal because it would allow more frustration to creep in and burst forth into yelling. And most likely, it’s not personal. Our daughter’s emotional runs are not [usually] some evil ploy to hurt us. Often, they just don’t know what to do with the overwhelming feelings.

The most intense time of day for us is in the morning. But I have noticed, very specifically, if I respond in anger or frustration, it only escalates the emotional cycle. So instead, I do my best to use an extra cheery voice so that it rubs off on girls.

And it does.

It requires an incredible amount of intention and attention to steer the emotions on to the right path, and keep them there. But with consistent training, it will eventually be a habit she won’t need to think about as often. There will still be some outbursts {she’s human, afterall}, but they will be less often.

I might add, the little years are an especially trying age for any child–and parent! But it is also one of great training ground. Our children are very mold-able at this age. It does take time, but eventually it will stick.

What tips can you offer to help keep emotions from running wild?

For His Glory,

Christin Slade

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