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Emotionally Healthy Kids

Emotionally Healthy Kids

What is emotional health? It is the ability to cope with life’s challenges. It doesn’t mean we are always happy, but rather that our responses are proportionate to what we face. We know that God has emotions because we are created in His image, He gave us emotions and He reveals His emotions to us throughout Scripture.

The Lord your God is in your midst, a mighty one Who will save; He will rejoice over you with gladness; He will quiet you by His love; He will exult over you with loud singing. Zephaniah 3:17

As parents, we have an important responsibility to show our children godly and healthy ways to share and manage emotions. Practically speaking, we want our children to be emotionally healthy. But how can we do that in such challenging times with something as complex as emotional health? Let’s start with these four keys below, backed by God’s Word.

Four keys to emotionally healthy children:

  1. Acceptance (Romans 8:38-39) - Children are accepted unconditionally by God and should be accepted by us, their parents. Children feel safe and loved in their homes when they are seen, heard and valued. Acceptance does not always mean affirmation; speak the truth in love. 
  2. Acknowledgment (James 1:19-20) - Practice active listening and be willing to acknowledge your children’s feelings. Validate how they feel, and show your children how to have God-honoring reactions to difficult emotions. Consider letting your feelings show to your children, modeling a biblical response. 
  3. Accountability (Matthew 5:37) - Children need boundaries in their lives from loving parents, even when they may not understand or appreciate them. Healthy boundaries provide safety and structure in our chaotic world. Consider starting with boundaries that promote more sleep and less screen time.
  4. Authority (Proverbs 22:6) - Children need our guidance and wisdom. As we impress on them biblical truths, remind your children to bring their feelings to God in prayer. Our parental authority should point our children to the ultimate authority of Jesus Christ.

WHAT NEXT?

These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Deuteronomy 6:6-7