Noticing Your Child’s Pain | Part 5


When We Are All Dealing With Pain

When a whole family is coping with pain it is easy for the parent to deal with their own pain one of two ways.   Either you can become completely self-focused in an attempt to cope with your pain or you can become completely others focused and avoid your pain.  We need to find a balance.  As parents we need to balance working through a painful situation and helping our children work through it as well.  If we are trying to deal with a very painful event as a family, such as a loss of a loved one or divorce, it may even be wise to seek counsel.  Outside help can allow us as parents work through our emotions so we can be there for our kids in these difficult situations.

We also have to be careful as parents to find the balance of modeling our faith through difficult situations in front of our children and confiding in them.  We cannot place the burden of our pain on our children. We can however, set the example by praying together as a family for the painful situations.  Remember, never be afraid to seek godly counsel when you are unsure how to deal with your pain or how to help your child cope with theirs.



Noticing Your Child’s Pain | Part 52018-03-28T10:26:17-04:00

Noticing Your Child’s Pain | Part 4


Steps To Help

When you have noticed that your child is giving you signs that they are in pain, what do you do next?  First, like we said yesterday, be intentional to set up a time to communicate with your child. This could look different depending on the age of your child.  Most children, but especially young children talk more easily if they are distracted by something.  Meaning it probably wont work to sit down on the couch and attempt to have a heart to heart with your 4 year old.  However, sitting with them while they are playing and beginning to ask questions will help them to open up.  “I noticed you are very quiet today, are you sad about something?” etc.  Even working with the middle school girls in the residential home at Sheridan House, I found it helpful to have stuffed animals or squishy pillows on the couch in my office.  The girls would tend to open up more if they could have something to do with their hands.  I could even evaluate where they were emotionally at times by how hard they would squish the pillows.  If you sense with your older child or teen that something major is going on, taking them to a neutral environment may help.  A great neutral environment is somewhere you can get a snack, like ice cream, because again having something to do with your hands really helps.  Make sure to check back up in 24 hours so your child knows that their pain is on your heart and mind.  Make sure to take the time to pray with your child about their situation, as well.  Teaching them to see God’s hand through the hurt is another invaluable lesson.



Noticing Your Child’s Pain | Part 42018-03-28T10:25:10-04:00

Noticing Your Child’s Pain | Part 3


Opening The Door For Communication

After we have dealt with our availability to talk to our child, we need to figure out how to get them to talk.  This may or may not be a difficult thing depending on the personality of the child, some you may have more difficulty getting to stop talking.  Learning to talk through painful or difficult situations is so important for our children because it teaches them how to work through so many things.  For example our children can learn, how to deal with failure, being laughed at, injustice, difficult people, rejection, ridicule, and with bullies. Helping our children process through these situations will help them immeasurably for the future.

So how do we do it? Unlocking your child’s heart takes time.  Like we said yesterday it’s listening to the small stuff so you can be trusted with the big stuff.  We must carve out ample time with each of our children especially if they are in pain.  Take the time to take them out on “dates” individually.  Sit on the edge of their bed at night.  Take advantage of drive times.  Make sure you are fitting time for your children to talk into the busyness of the family schedule.



Noticing Your Child’s Pain | Part 32018-03-28T10:24:05-04:00

Noticing Your Child’s Pain | Part 2


Am I Available?

There is a quote by Catherine Wallace, which has impacted me as a mom of young children, “Listen earnestly to anything your children want to tell you, no matter what.  If you don’t listen eagerly to the little stuff when they are little, they wont tell you the big stuff when they are big, because to them all of it has always been big stuff..”  There are so many times where it is so easy to get busy with life and brush off things that we don’t deem important but we forget how important the little things may be to our children.  We may get tired of answering the “whys” or listening to the middle school “drama” but listening to all the small stuff allows our children to know that they can come to us with the big stuff.  When our response is “that’s not a big deal” or “when I was your age” it can make our children feel like we don’t’ understand what they are going through.  There may be times that we need to stop what we are doing, sit down and make sure that they know we take them seriously.  Whether that is eye contact with your small child when they are asking a question or going for a drive for some “one on one time” with your older child who needs to talk.  Make sure to be intentional to communicate that you are always available for them to talk.




Noticing Your Child’s Pain | Part 22018-03-28T10:22:59-04:00

Noticing Your Child’s Pain | Part 1


Observing Your Child’s Moods

It is easy for us to see if our children don’t feel good physically.  They show physical symptoms of sickness, runny nose, fever, coughing; but what about if our child is in emotional pain?  Each child may have a different way to tell us they are in pain, due to age and personality differences.   Some older children who are outspoken may immediately get into the car after school and be able to verbalize that they got into an argument with their friend and are upset.  Another child may get into the car and be quiet and sullen.  There may be even another child who suffers more silently and you have to really observer their behavior to see that they are hurting.  This is where it is imperative that we become students of our children even from a young age to learn their individual “tells’ that something is bothering them emotionally.

Check back this week as we continue this discussion on noticing your child’s pain.



Noticing Your Child’s Pain | Part 12018-03-28T10:21:25-04:00