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Hey there mommas… I don’t know about you, but I am often overwhelmed by my boys’ big, angry, often physical, outbursts of emotion. So, how do we raise boys who know how to respond appropriately to their own feelings? How do we help our boys manage big emotions?
That’s what we’re going to talk about in today’s episode of Redeeming the Chaos.
I’m your host, Laurie Christine. I’m a mom of 4 boys, an author, a Bible teacher, and a certified Biblical Parenting Coach.
This is the podcast for moms who feel a bit frazzled and overwhelmed by the responsibility of raising boys. If you want your boys to grow up to be strong, courageous young men who are fully committed to following Jesus, this show is for you.
Help Your Boys Manage Big Emotions
We’ve all heard it said that boys are less dramatic and emotional than girls. But we boy moms know there is plenty of emotional drama involved with raising boys. It just might look a little bit differently.
For example, boys are more likely than girls to have an all-out, knock-down wrestling match over who has to take a shower first. A boy is also more likely to flip over a coffee table because his brother took his seat on the couch. Tell me that’s not drama.
We have a very special guest on the show today who is going to talk to us about how to help our boys navigate their big emotions. He is not a stranger to many of you, as we have had him on the show before. His interview on Redeeming the Chaos continues to be one of our most popular episodes.
David Thomas, welcome back to Redeeming the Chaos!
David Thomas is the director of family counseling at Daystar Counseling in Nashville, TN and the coauthor of ten books, including the bestselling Wild Things: The Art of Nurturing Boys and Are My Kids on Track. He is the co-host of the successful podcast, “Raising Boys and Girls,” with more than 2 million downloads.
Today, we are going to be talking to David about his newest book, Raising Emotionally Strong Boys. I can’t wait to dive in and learn how to help our sons handle difficult emotions and to teach them what it means to be fully masculine in today’s world.
Raising Emotionally Strong Boys
Here are a few of the topics I discussed with David:
- Our culture given our boys an inaccurate view of masculinity, teaching them that men shouldn’t feel anything, nor ask for help. David argues that being fully masculine means being emotionally strong.
- Jesus demonstrates the epitome of emotional maturity and biblical masculinity.
- Boys and men have some of the highest rates of drug abuse, pornography addiction, and suicide.
- Men are more reluctant to discuss physical health, emotional health, and spiritual health.
- Men don’t have as many close relationships as women.
- Boys need our help to develop an emotional vocabulary.
- Boys often channel primary emotions into anger.
Practical Strategies to Help Boys Manage Big Emotions
- Make a “top 5” list of coping strategies to decompress when big emotions hit.
- Can’t involve screens
- Must be movement based
- Needs to include deep breathing
- Create a space where boys can get out their anger in a physical way. Suggestions: Kick a punching bag, shoot basketball hoops, walk the dog, pet the dog, do jumping jacks, jump on a trampoline, etc.
- We as parents need to model for our boys what it looks like to regulate our own emotions.
- Kid learn more from observation than from information.
- Teach boys deep breathing techniques. Breathing affects the prefrontal cortex of the brain, which manages emotions and helps us think rationally.
Resources to Help Raise Emotionally Strong Boys
Book: Raising Emotionally Strong Boys
Workbook: Strong and Smart
Podcast: Raising Boys and Girls Podcast
What Do Boys Need from their Mom — RTC 37 — Interview with David Thomas
How Can Moms Connect with their Boys — RTC 38 — Interview with David Thomas
Five Stages of a Boy’s Development (Part 1) — RTC 35