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10 Verses to Help Your Children Manage Their Emotions

10 Verses to Help Your Children Manage Their Emotions

All parents live on the wildly swinging pendulum of their children’s emotions. One moment they’re thrilled to show you how well they did on their school project and the next they’re on a rampage declaring that life is unfair and they never get anything they want. Should we even dare to mention the emotional whirlwind that is a toddler? Or the explosive mental state of those in their teenage years? 

The Challenge

The challenge as fathers and mothers is to not only survive the ups and downs of our children’s mental states but also help them learn to manage those big emotions. And I’ll be the first to admit that this is way easier said than done. When feelings flare up in my house, I tend to deescalate the situation and move on as quickly as possible. I don’t always pause to have a heart to heart moment with a little soul that needs guidance to handle big emotions. But I should. Here’s why. 

Emotions can be loud, brash and disruptive but they are not bad. They’re actually God-given and for a purpose. Emotions alert us to what’s happening around us and how we’re relating to it. Stifling, ignoring, or stuffing away those feelings will only teach our kids that it’s bad to be connected to the people and circumstances that surround them. Instead of reinforcing this harmful way of thinking, we can teach our kids to see their emotions as a fork in the road. 

Photo Credit: ©Getty Images/Fizkes

  • The Choice Is Theirs

    The Choice Is Theirs

    We can teach them to trust that the presence of their strained heart strings means that they need to make a choice about the situation at hand. They can be aware of, consider carefully, and manage their emotions for the glory of God. Or the can choose an unhealthy path, to disconnect or to let their emotions become a dictator. They stand at the fork in the road and the choice is theirs. 

    Psalm 19:7-9 explains so clearly why learning to manage emotions in a way that honors God is so important.

    The law of the Lord is perfect,

        refreshing the soul. 

    The statutes of the Lord are trustworthy,

        making wise the simple.

    The precepts of the Lord are right,

        giving joy to the heart.

    The commands of the Lord are radiant,

        giving light to the eyes.

    The fear of the Lord is pure,

        enduring forever.

    The decrees of the Lord are firm,

        and all of them are righteous.

    Isn’t this everything we want for our children? A refreshed soul, a wise mind, a joyful heart, illuminated eyes, purity and a firm place on which to stand. So let’s look at 10 common emotions that children feel and the ten Bible verses that can help teach them to manage them.

  • 1. Selfishness

    1. Selfishness

    Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves. (Philippians 2:3)

    A phrase we often repeat in our home when a conflict arises where two selfish attitudes are involved is, “Would you be fighting if you both were thinking about your brother more than yourself?” Amazingly, my four and six year old boys are absolutely able to put their sibling above themselves after a little guidance. 

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  • 2. Anger

    2. Anger

    Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as Christ God forgave you. (Ephesians 4:31-32)

    These verses not only tell us to get rid of anger, but they tell us how: by forgiving others as Christ has forgiven you. What an invaluable lesson to be taught at a young age.

    © Getty Images

  • 3. Loneliness

    3. Loneliness

    The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. (Deuteronomy 31:8)

    It could be the first day at a new school, the weeks after a close friend moves away, or trying out a new church for the first time. There are plenty of times when children feel alone but they have a God who goes before them and with them everywhere they go.

    Photo Credit: © Getty Images

  • 4. Wronged

    4. Wronged

    The Lord works righteousness and justice for all the oppressed. (Psalm 103:6)

    As a child it can be hard to understand when the world is unfair. As a parent it can he hard to watch your child being treated unfairly. However, we can all rest in the fact that God sees each and every injustice and he works on behalf of the oppressed.

    Photo Credit: © Getty Images/fizkes

  • 5. Overwhelmed

    5. Overwhelmed

    For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin. Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need. (Hebrews 4:15-16)

    Kids shouldn’t feel ashamed when they’re overwhelmed, they should know that Jesus welcomes them with compassion and meets them with grace in their time of need.

  • 6. Frustration with Authority

    6. Frustration with Authority

    Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. Consequently, whoever rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves. (Romans 13:1-2)

    All parents have used the phrase, “because I said so” when their children ask why in response to a request. And the truth is that God also says so. God sets authority and asks us to respect the authority he places over us. This is not always easy even as an adult but it’s an important aspect of character to develop in our children.

    Photo Credit: © Getty Images

  • 7. Worry 

    7. Worry 

    And don’t be concerned about what to eat and what to drink. Don’t worry about such things. These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers all over the world, but your Father already knows your needs. Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and he will give you everything you need. (Luke 12:29-31)

    All believers have a heavenly father who knows their needs and has all the resources of the world available to him to meet them. We can guide our kids to rest in this truth rather than be distraught with worry.

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  • 8. Fear

    8. Fear

    The Lord is my light and my salvation—so why should I be afraid? The Lord is my fortress, protecting me from danger, so why should I tremble? When evil people come to devour me, when my enemies and foes attach me, they will stumble and fall. Though a mighty army surrounds me, my heart will not be afraid. Even if I am attached, I will remain confident. (Psalm 27:1-3)

    These verses demonstrate a powerful point: God’s protection doesn’t always mean that nothing bad will happen, however even when hardship strikes we can stand unafraid because God is with us.

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  • 9. Sadness

    9. Sadness

    I will never forget this awful time as I grieve over my loss. Yet I still dare to hope when I remember this: The faithful love of the Lord never ends! His mercies never cease. Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning. (Lamentations 3:20-23)

    Sorrow and hope can coexist because of the never-ending, always present, endlessly reliable love of God. When our children feel overwhelming sadness, still God is with them. And he will provide new mercies each day to continue to walk through their heartache and pain. 

    Photo Credit: © Unsplash/Jordan Whitt

  • 10. Excluded

    10. Excluded

    He heals the brokenhearted and bandages their wounds. (Psalm 147:3)

    When friendships fizzle or the party invite wasn’t received, there is a place of compassion. The Lord can mend all wounds. No one has to sit in the misery of being left out, they can bring their hearts before the Lord who will restore joy again! 

    Learning to manage emotions takes a lifetime. There’s no verse that can be slapped over a hurting heart as a quick fix. But as parents, we can help illuminate the forks in the road our kids face when big feelings arise. And we can teach them consistently of the great benefits that come from choosing to manage emotions to the glory of God. 

    Shelby Turner is a stay-at-home-mom, speaker and writer who lives in Kansas City, Missouri. She is all about helping women kick the pursuit of a picture-perfect life to the curb and inspiring them to live a purposeful life instead. She founded The Gathering, a bold, no fluff monthly event that connects women with God in a real way. She’d love for you to follow along with her on Instagram at @shelbyraeturner or connect with her on her website

    Photo Credit: © Getty Images

    Shelby Turner is a speaker and writer who lives in Kansas City, Missouri. She is all about helping women kick the pursuit of a picture-perfect life to the curb and inspiring them to live a purposeful life instead. She founded The Gathering, a bold, no fluff monthly event that connects women with God in a real way. She’d love for you to follow along with her on Instagram at @shelbyraeturner or connect with her on her website