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Podcast & Blog - Digging Deeper: The Four Main Roots Behind Your Child's Behavior

Updated: Jun 4, 2020

Click here to listen to this podcast episode Root Parenting: Digging Deeper Into the Four Roots Behind Your Child's Behavior - there's SO MUCH MORE on the podcast than in the blog post.

Each of our Children have miles and miles of deep thoughts, concerns, ideas, fears, beliefs about the world, about God, about themselves. They have situations that keep replaying in their minds over and over again, false labels that they are wearing, misconceptions they hold about past situations, about your words to them, about what they believe others think of them...

There's so much going on below the surface in your child, and all of these things impact your child's attitude and behavior.

It's our tendency, as parents, to respond to the surface behavior  without giving attention to the hidden mysteries of your child's heart, where in lie, the reasons why they're doing what they're doing. So it becomes a necessary goal to figure out what's going on below the surface of your child's heart that's bubbling up and out in less than healthy ways.

That's what we're talking about today - the four main roots of our child's heart and how their perceptions and beliefs in those four areas affect their attitudes and behavior."

Click here to listen to this powerful episode, jam-packed with helpful insight into the complex wonder of your child's heart - the key to character development, such as self-control, and the door to impacting their beliefs and decision-making:

The four main roots of our child's heart:

Knowledge Root - what they've learned, what they've experienced, their perceptions of what they've learned and experienced about the world - including perceived right and wrong, justice, what they've seen as appropriate behavior or appropriate beliefs by others around them and how those behaviors and beliefs were rewarded or discouraged Spiritual Root - their perceptions of who God is, who God made them to be, and the condition of their soul - are they feeling guilt, are they harboring sin, do they believe they are continually disappointing God Relational Root - their perceptions about the interactions they have, the social labels they give themselves, their perceptions of the labels that others have given them, the health of their relationships Physical Root - there are so many ways that your child's physical condition affects their attitude and behavior.  Are you teaching them to monitor these conditions and to become self-sufficient and self-controlled?

(You may have already picked up on the fact that these four root areas correlate with Luke 2:52, a passage I've spoken of before. Check out this blog post & podcast:

It's important to note that PERCEPTION plays as big a role as REALITY in most of these root areas of your child's heart (Physical Root is the exception). For example, your child's perception of what happened in a situation shapes their response to the situation, shapes the labels they give themselves after the situation, shapes the beliefs they create about the world based on what they believe happened in the situation. Their perception of a situation even shapes their view of who God is.

We need to monitor their perceptions and help them work through their thoughts and beliefs. Then also know, in the midst of their misbehavior, that the work we do as parents BELOW the surface of our children's heart, is certainly as valuable as the work we do on their outward behavior. I believe that the work we do below the surface is even MORE valuable. We do need to give attention to outward behavior (we don't want to UNDER-REACT, see below), but to only deal with the outward behavior would be missing the more critical impact. Parenting that reaches the roots, brings more lasting change and greater degree of growth. Always parent with the roots in mind.

In my podcast episode on this topic, we spend some time talking about parents' UNDER-REACTION or OVER-REACTION when we're dealing with misbehavior and what impact the reaction has on the character development of your child. Our RESPONSE teaches the child the VALUE of that behavior. Under-reacting can send the message that the misbehavior was "no big deal," while OVER-REACTING is a distraction that keeps the child from the lesson.  They're so distracted by the OVER-REACTION, that they can miss the lesson all together!

This podcast episode was packed full of information about these four root areas of our child's heart. If I were to write it all here, you would get overwhelmed and not read it all. You definitely don't want to miss this podcast episode! Click here to ilsten: Here's a few resources that I referenced in this podcast episode: RESOURCES Podcast Episode: Dealing with Lying in Your Child Part 1 Podcast Episode, Dealing with Lying Part 2: T.I.M.E. not Time Out, Dealing with the Heart of Your Child Through Mercy Seat Parenting.

Val Harrison, The Practically Speaking MOM, is a mom to seven plus three in-law kids and two grandchildren. If you would like more from Val, you can follow her blog and podcast or find her books and other resources at Here's the direct link to her podcast. If you've never listened to a podcast before, it's easy to listen just by clicking on the link then click on the "play" arrow.

Join in the discussion on Facebook. Val's page is Practically Speaking MOM. There you'll see announcements, encouragement, and ideas). If you'd like to participate in Val's private group for regular interaction, Facebook Lives, LOTS of ideas, discussion about each week's topic, and to encourage each other, join our private Facebook group Intentional Mom, Strong Family.



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