a graphic to assist parents in helping kids process, reflect problem solve and trust God

Parents, particularly moms, live for the moments we can share meaningful conversations with our kids. One way to dial into their heart is to do a check-in a couple times a month or during the times of struggle or challenge.

Many adults have trouble identifying their  feelings. Our kids do too. We humans blast through life,  without pausing to reflect or consider why we were short-tempered, annoyed, or grumpy. In order to process those emotions and problem solve, it is important  to name those feelings.

Saying we feel OK, good, or bad isn’t specific enough. Use more specific words to describe your emotions: frustrated, scared, anxious, joyful. Once we can identify where our heart is at, we are in a better position to problem-solve and refocus.

Use this graphic and the text below as a guide to assist when you are trying to dial in on your own feelings  or guide your child’s ability to unpack the “why” of his emotions.

I feel…

       Begin by ranking feelings. On a scale of 1-10 (one the worst, 10 the best) how do you feel?

       Next wrap words around that ranking. As an example you may say, “I’m at a 4. I feel hurt and jealous I wasn’t invited to the party.”  

I expect…

       Examine the expectations surrounding those feelings. Are they realistic? Are they reasonable? Have those expectations been communicated to the people who may be a part of that?

I fear…

       Identity fears surrounding the feelings. Often those fears go hand in hand with unmet expectations. “I’m afraid I won’t have any friends and i will be left out.” 

I need…

       Describe the felt need. Is it security, belonging, power, fun, freedom, purpose?

I forgive…

       Ponder if forgiveness of another or yourself needs to be given or accepted.

I release…

       Release the things that are not in your control. Like someone else’s response, feelings, or actions.

I remove…

       Remove the things that are  stumbling blocks for you,. The things that are within your control.

I rejoice…

       Rejoice and celebrate the process. When struggling or suffering, it is good for us to recognize the positive progress we have made.

I refocus…

       Refocus. Now is the time to get the lens off of ourselves and onto our ultimate healer and our savior. Once we begin to feed the part of us that is lacking and starve the part that we want to extinguish progress will be made.

I have…

       Faith, trust, and hope are all closely interwoven. These qualities ground us, provide proper focus, lift our burden,and motivate us to move forward in our healing and in our relationship with the Lord.

Guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long.
Psalm 25:5 


© LoriWildenberg. All rights reserved.

About the Author

Lori Wildenberg is a licensed parent and family educator, parent coach, and co-founder of 1Corinthians13 Parenting.com. She has written 6 books including Messy Journey: How Grace and Truth Offer the Prodigal a Way Home; The Messy Life of Parenting: Powerful and Practical Ways to Strengthen Family Connections; and her most recent book, Messy Hope: Help Your Child Overcome Anxiety, Depression, or Suicidal Ideation. 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 Group on Facebook.

2 Free Chapters!

Subscribe to Lori's  Eternal Moments blog and receive 2 free chapters from her most recent book, The Messy Life of Parenting: Powerful and Practical Ways to Strengthen Family Connections. Thanks for the honor of joining you on your parenting journey.  ~Lori 

Thank you for subscribing!