One of the kids woke up really frustrated recently. In all honesty, I wanted to respond back in frustration… because it felt like a really “silly” thing for them to be upset by.
But if I’ve learned anything in over 17 years of mothering, it’s this: responding in frustrating to a child who is frustrated never ends well. Just trust me on this.
So instead, I took a deep breath, leaned on the Holy Spirit, and asked them to share what was wrong.
They had a lot to vent out right then & I purposely just listened. I wanted to try to come up with some quick fixes or solutions, but I could tell that’s not what they needed. They just needed a listening ear that said: “I care. You are valued. What matters to you, matters to me.”
After they had poured out their big feelings, I asked how I could help. There wasn’t much I could do, but I could tell that just that simple question brought some relief to them. It communicated that they weren’t alone. That I was *with* them. That they didn’t have to shoulder this all on their own.
And then I asked them what they could do about it. Instead of me trying to swoop in and fix things, I wanted to let them process through what they were feeling and come up with next steps.
We didn’t tie everything up with a neat bow, but my posture of leaning in and loving and seeking to walk beside de-escalated the situation so that by the time they walked out the door to leave for school, they were feeling much calmer and less stressed.
Mamas: we set the tone for our home. We can’t fix all our kids’ struggles. We can’t solve all our kids’ problems, but we can walk with them. We can communicate to them, “I’m here. I love you. I’m FOR you. And I’m not going anywhere.”
There might need to be some hard conversations or consequences or addressing heart issues in days to come — after a child/teen is in a better headspace — but in the moment when our kids are feeling overwhelmed and frustrated, they just need to know we are there. They don’t need our lectures; they just need our presence.
“What’s wrong?” “How can I help?” These two questions and the willingness to listen well can make a huge difference in our relationship with our kids.
In this week’s episode of The Crystal Paine Show, Jesse and I share more about how to respond when our kids (or anyone in our life!) is frustrated. Plus, I share a crazy travel story from my recent trip, and we talk about books and reading.
In This Episode
[00:34] – Welcome to another episode of The Crystal Paine Show.
[01:15] – What to do when your child is frustrated.
[02:00] – I have a travel “horror” story to share today.
[04:02] – While I was stuck in Charlotte for four hours, my phone was starting to run out of battery.
[07:46] – Word to the wise: if there is wet carpet in the airport don’t assume that it’s water spilled.
[08:41] – What I recently finished listening to.
[09:57] – A letter from a listener about Jesse’s advice on reading.
[12:05] – Are you making progress over who you were yesterday?
[12:35] – Jesse shares his book update.
[13:49] – How to help a child who is frustrated…
[16:02] – Ever been frustrated at someone for being frustrated (oh! the irony!)
[17:52] – Instead, stepping back and asking for God’s help
[19:13] – Question #1: “What is wrong?”
[21:23] – Question #2: “How can I help you?”
[22:39] – Question #3: “What can you do about it?”
[23:53] – Practice the art of asking questions versus telling someone how they should feel or respond.
Links & Resources