This year Mark and I have been reading a wonderful book: How We Love by Milan and Kay Yerkovich. The book has given us great insights into ourselves and each other. Not only that, but it has changed our parenting, as well. (I’m really excited that the Yerkovich’s will be workshop leaders at our 2013 Hearts at Home conferences!)
One way that it has changed us is that we are more intentionally tuning into the emotional needs of our kids. We’re slowing down, listening, and helping our kids figure out what they are feeling (this is no small feat with 16 and 18-year-old boys!) and then tending to those feelings. We’re doing the same for ourselves.
The Yerkovich’s offer a “Soul Words” list that helps you identify what you are feeling. When one of our boys is struggling, we’ll print out the list and ask them to circle the words that describe what they are feeling. This helps us move from dealing with “moodiness” to what’s really at the heart of their struggle.
Here’s the Soul Words list if you’d like to use it for your family:
Cheerful, delighted, elated, encouraged, glad, gratified, joyful, lighthearted, overjoyed, pleased, relieved, satisfied, thrilled, secure.
Affectionate, cozy, passionate, romantic, sexy, warm, tender, responsive, thankful, appreciative, refreshed, pleased
Energetic, enthusiastic, excited, playful, rejuvenated, talkative, pumped, motivated, driven, determined, obsessed
Stunned, surprised, shocked, jolted
Uneasy, embarrassed, frustrated, nauseated, ashamed, nervous, restless, worried, stressed
Positive, secure, self-assured, assertive
At ease, calm, comforted, cool, relaxed, serene
Scared, anxious, apprehensive, boxed in, burdened, confused, distressed, fearful, frightened, guarded, hard pressed, overwhelmed, panicky, paralyzed, tense, terrified, worried, insecure
Shocked, disturbed, injured, damaged
Annoyed, controlled, manipulated, furious, grouchy, grumpy, irritated, provoked, frustrated
Beaten down, exhausted, tired, weak, listless, depressed, detached, withdrawn, indifferent, apathetic
Avoidant, lonely, abandoned, deserted, forlorn, isolated, cut off, detached
Unhappy, crushed, dejected, depressed, desperate, despondent, grieved, heartbroken, heavy, weepy
Deceived, fooled, duped, tricked
Baffled, perplexed, mystified, bewildered
Guilty, mortified, humiliated, embarrassed, exposed