The Family Soup – Teaching Emotional Responsibility to Kids

October 20th, 2011by admin

How do we deal with our kid’s changing moods, states of mind and negative behavior?

Teaching Emotional Responsibility to KidsThat is the million dollar question for most parents! One of the things I struggle with is trying to not getting pulled into a bad mood from the behavior of my children, or even my husband for that matter. It’s hard…I am truckin’ along, having a fab day, feeling good and BAM! In walks someone ready to vent! It hits me like a bucket of cold water in the face and can, if I am not conscious and grounded, take me away from feeling good.

Ok, that is the way it is living with others right? Today was one of those days. We talk a lot about being in charge of our emotions in our house. I don’t mean expecting everyone to walk around with a smile on their face or suppressing bad feelings, I mean recognizing that some emotions are really unproductive and even untrue and that we can let these go and step into better feeling places.

Sophie, my daughter, came home ready to rage today…and it hits both me and the little one hard. Not cool. Especially since little Christopher and I were having such a lovely afternoon. My first instinct is anger! But, I understand fully that she has had a long day at school and is shot. She needs food and a cuddle from mamma. But, the car ride home was brutal.

We got home and had our sandwich, and a hug…immediately feeling better – funny how food does that, and it was then that I told her about The Family Soup.

I explained the Family Soup metaphor like this: “together, the 4 of us make a “family soup” every day. Each one of us is responsible for putting only the best ingredients in that soup so that it will taste as good as it can! If we put rotten stuff in there – we get yucky soup that no one wants to eat”.

This is such a great and simple way to explain to a child about emotional responsibility. It is my job to stay centered and calm in chaos and to allow kids to have whatever emotion they need to, but empowering kids to understand that they actually have control over their thoughts, their emotions and their actions is a step towards spiritual and emotional health.

Here is an idea! What if you, tonight, sat down with your family and talked about what kind of family soup you would like to make. What is your collective vision for your family – how do you want to feel, what are the family guidelines and what does each person want to or is expected to put into the pot? Could lead to some fun conversations! Bon Appetit!

This article was written by Sigrid Kjeldsen. Sigrid also owns and operates the site

The Joyful Mother offers inspiration, one on one coaching and other online courses and products that help conscious moms around dissolve resistance, in the form of stress, self-doubt, frustration, anxiety, overwhelm, etc., that stands in the way of living and loving as a Joyful Mother. Links: and



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