Monday, July 17, 2017

How to Increase Your Child's Resiliency (EQ #6)






Most parents hope their kids can stay calm during a struggle and bounce back after a failure. Stress management and emotional resiliency are piece of EQ. Being calm during frustrating moments or bouncing back after a disappointment doesn’t come naturally for most people. It is learned via experience. Therefore it is critical our kids have experience with hard times. 

No parent wants their child to struggle yet struggle is a good teacher. No mom or dad wants their child to fail yet failure is the best teacher. Tackling the struggle in a positive way actually occurs before the struggle is experienced. Train your kids in positive self talk. 

Self talk that sounds like:
  • I can't.
  • I'm stupid.
  • I won't.
  • I never.
  • I failed.
  • I give up.

keeps a person stuck, unable to move forward. Instead help your kids embrace a challenge. Train them to say things like:
  • I will  try.
  • I'm capable.
  • I'm willing.
  • I'm learning.
  • I'll try a different way. 
If we want resilient kids, kids who can accept disappointment and then move forward we must resist the urge to rescue or fix every struggle or prevent failure. Difficulty, opposition, or failure present opportunities to grow. Hardship produces perseverance and develops patience.  

Although it goes against our protective parental grain, allowing struggle is a loving thing to do. 

Support rather than rescue. Build your child's confidence by allowing him to experience and own his successes and failures.


Dedication, perseverance, and commitment make up the quality of resiliency. These resilient characteristics are born out of struggle. 


Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, 
because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 

perseverance, character; and character, hope.  

And hope does not put us to shame,

 because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, 
who has been given to us. 
Romans 5:3-5

Next week we will talk about how to develop your child's  "soft skills" .

The Emotional Quotient Series.









Lori Wildenberg is a licensed parent and family educator and  co-founder of 1Corinthians13Parenting.com , Lori's newest parenting book is available on Amazon or at your favorite bookstore.  Messy Journey: How Grace and Truth Offer the Prodigal a Way Home.   Contact Lori for your next event or for parent consulting or parent training courses. Lori can also be found mentoring over at  the MOMS Together community on Facebook. 






Monday, July 10, 2017

10 Questions to Evaluate Emotional Safety in Your Home (EQ part 5)



Life is full of unexpected ups and downs. Our kids must learn how to be resilient in the midst of disappointments. But they cannot be resilient unless they feel emotionally safe. 

This is the 5th blog in a series of articles that focus on raising our child's emotional quotient. 

If we desire resilient kids it is up to moms and dads to provide an emotionally safe environment for our kids to experience failure or struggle. 

To do this we start by examining ourselves:

1. Am I trustworthy with confidential information?
2. Am I sensitive to personal struggles and hopes shared?
3. Do I refrain from using personal information as a weapon later?
4. Am I able to handle the small irritations and inconveniences in life with calm and patience?
5. Am I able to remain calm when bad decisions are made or accidents occur?
6. Do I avoid comparing my child to his siblings or peers?
7. Am I able to deal directly with a problem rather than use a passive aggressive approach?
8. Can I be kind even when I disagree? 
9. Am I real with my kids, letting them know I experience struggles and make mistakes? 
10. Is my home a place where it is OK to be imperfect and a little weird sometimes? 

After some honest self examination and making the necessary adjustments, we are better able to provide an emotionally safe atmosphere for our kids.

Next week we will discuss how to increase resiliency in our  children. 


    “May those who love you be secure.
 May there be peace within your walls and security within your citadels.”
 For the sake of my family and friends, I will say, “Peace be within you.”
Psalm 122: 6b-8


Here are the links to the previous articles in the series:



Here are some related posts you may enjoy: 

Quit Giving Your Kids These 7 Compliments
The Top 10 Ways Imperfection Helps Kids.
10 Ways to Raise a Smart Kid




Lori Wildenberg is a licensed parent and family educator and  co-founder of 1Corinthians13Parenting.com , Lori's newest parenting book is available on Amazon or at your favorite bookstore.  Messy Journey: How Grace and Truth Offer the Prodigal a Way Home.   Contact Lori for your next event or for parent consulting or parent training courses. Lori can also be found mentoring over at  the MOMS Together community on Facebook. 

Monday, June 26, 2017

How to Have a Wise Kid (EQ Part 4)





So often we get competitive regarding our kids' IQ and academic scores. But the thing that serves our kids better than smarts in life is their EQ and people skills. 

When choosing what I value more ...I pick wisdom over knowledge every time.

I want my kids to be wise. 

Our kid’s emotional quotient or emotional intelligence is a quality that needs to be nurtured to grow and mature. A person's emotional intelligence directly affects the development of an individual's soft skills (sometimes called people skills). These are the skills we need in order to have satisfying relationships and to be successful in the working environment. 

Let's train our kids to be wise.  

This blog post is the 4th in a series on how to grow your child’s EQ.

Here are the first 3 steps:

1. Assess areas that need to be stretched. (Part 1 20 Questions to Assess Your Child's EQ )

2. Teach your child how to identify signs of feelings rising. (EQ Part 2 How to Train Your Kids to Self-Regulate ) 

 3. Train kids to name their emotions. Encourage responsibility for emotions.(Part 3 Name It. Own It. How to Increase Your Child's EQ )

Finally fix the problem. 
This is what we are discussing today-- How to assist your kids in developing problem solving techniques. 

Wise people are problem solvers and peace makers (not peace keepers)

Problem solving is a higher level thinking skill. Figuring out how to analyze (what), synthesize (how), and evaluate (why)information to solve a problem needs to come from the logic part of the brain rather than the limbic or emotional part of the brain.

Recognizing, naming, and owning are necessary first steps. After the first three strategies are in place, the stage is set for effective problem solving. Yet emotions can still be running high. Big feelings need to pause so solutions can be found. We help our kids learn how to move from reaction to response  by readjusting. We do this by implementing a rage interrupter. A rage interrupter technique (this is what I call the pause that stops the emotional pop) is the thing that helps our kids regain self-control so they are ready to fix a problem rather than fighting or fleeing.

When I work with moms and dads regarding their own big bad mad I encourage them to create a rage interrupter that works for them. Here are some examples of what other parents do to put the brakes on  big emotions: 
  • One dad bites his finger.
  •  A mom recites scripture.
  • The mom of a teen counts to ten.
  • A dad of 4 teens uses humor.
  • Another dad chooses distract himself by thinking an unrelated even random thought like: "What place is my favorite team in?"

Each of these unique rage interrupters give the brain a chance to switch gears, to switch from emotion to thinking. 

Our kids can learn to implement rage interrupters, too. Have your child create a rage interrupter that works for him.

The goal of the rage interrupter  is not to discount, suppress, or deny feelings. The goal is to learn how to regain self-control in a potentially volatile situation. 

Feelings are a personal indicators of positive or negative situations or interactions that need to be addressed. From experience, we know, solutions are not found in the feelings fireworks. The ability to manage or regulate emotion  particularly anger, frustration, annoyance, and embarrassment makes it possible to move to that higher level thinking area in the brain. The logic part of the brain must be engaged so problem solving may take place.

The growth mindset is inhibited and even stunted when we jump to the rescue by pacifying or problems solving for the child. It is good for our kids to have the opportunity to wrestle with something in order to strengthen the perseverance muscle. 

Problems and struggles stir the higher order thinking skill of creativity. If we can train our kids to halt the rage and move to thinking mode they will experience more success and satisfaction with life.  The ability to solve problems with clear and critical thinking will make it possible to act and behave with respect. Even when disagreement is a part of the equation.

Halting emotional explosions then implementing questions like:
  • What am I feeling?
  • How can this be done differently?
  • Why will this approach work better? 

will increase a child's EQ and problem solving ability. 

Let's raise wise guys (and gals). 

Fools give full vent to their rage, but the wise bring calm in the end.

Proverb 29:11






Lori Wildenberg is a licensed parent and family educator and  co-founder of 1Corinthians13Parenting.com , Lori's newest parenting book is available on Amazon or at your favorite bookstore.  Messy Journey: How Grace and Truth Offer the Prodigal a Way Home.   Contact Lori for your next event or for parent consulting or parent training courses. Lori can also be found mentoring over at  the MOMS Together community on Facebook. 

Monday, June 19, 2017

Name It. Own it: How to Increase Your Child's EQ (Part 3)



Naming and owning emotions is part three in the series on how to increase your child 's emotional intelligence.

In the previous EQ post, learning to identify the bodily changes that accompany various emotions was discussed. Once our kids can recognize their physical responses they are ready to identify their emotion. This is the second step in training our kids to self-regulate. Regulation positively affects the emotional quotient.

From the Emotional Quotient Assessment (blog 1 in the series), how did you respond to this question? (Click here for the full emotional quotient assessment. )

Is your child able to state his concerns constructively?

This can only be done if your child can label his feelings. Kids would can speak feelings. When feelings are wrapped into words, self -awareness occurs— setting the stage of emotional intelligence to increase.
Little ones understand and speak happy, mad, and sad. Increase their emotion language by going deeper. Introduce a new feeling word that is in the realm of happy, mad, or sad. Then pose a question to encourage the child’s awareness of the emotion he is experiencing.

“I see you are smiling. You are happy. Do you feel content when I read to you?”

“You are frowning. You feel mad. Are you frustrated learning how to tie your shoes?”

“Tears are in your eyes. You are sad. Are you disappointed we can’t go to the park?”

With older kids this approach can still work the language just sounds different.

“You look happy. Are you feeling satisfied with your project?”

“I’m noticing a furrowed brow. Are you frustrated with your homework?”

“I see sadness in your eyes. Are you feeling discouraged?”

Click here for a feeling words vocabulary wheel.

Point out the observable physical signs. Give a name to the emotion. Wait for a response to the question posed so they can own the feeling. Then your kids are ready to move to the next step in self-control.
Steps to Self-Regulation

1. Become self-aware:
Recognize the feeling. The ability to know how and when one feels and behaves a particular way provides valuable insight about individual needs, personal preferences,  hot spots or triggers. Click here to read the blog on awareness.

2. Develop expressive language skills:
Identify the emotion. The skill of articulating emotions can be developed with practice. Increase the feelings vocabulary. Click here for a helpful tool in naming emotions. (The feelings wheel is said to be developed by Dr. Gloria Willcox )

3. Increase personal responsibility: Own it. Articulate the feeling. “Yes I feel…..” By saying "I feel upset" rather than "You made me angry" shifts the ownership of feelings and emotions from another back to oneself. Our feelings and our behaviors belong to us. This is perhaps the most difficult step. Often we prefer to blame someone else for "making" us feel or act a particular way. When we own it, we are empowered to put solutions back under our control. 
4. Implement self-management:
Move it. Move from  lower brain reaction to upper brain response.

Recognize emotion, name it, own it...then  move it to upper brain thinking so  stage is set for problem solving and strategizing solutions. Critical thinking is a higher level brain activity. This is the place to operate from in order to solve a problem.

How to move it is the topic of the next blog in this series on EQ.

20 Questions to Assess Your Child's Emotional Quotient ( #1 in the series) 

How to Train Your Kids to Self Regulate  ( #2 in the series) 



Lori Wildenberg is a licensed parent and family educator and  co-founder of 1Corinthians13Parenting.com , Lori's newest parenting book is available on Amazon or at your favorite bookstore.  Messy Journey: How Grace and Truth Offer the Prodigal a Way Home.   Contact Lori for your next event or for parent consulting or parent training courses. Lori can also be found mentoring over at  the MOMS Together community on Facebook.