blog image

Raising Kids with BIG emotions

October 16, 202319 min read

Check out episode

·        Discover tips for handling kids’ behaviors and moods.

·        Learn how we can help our children with their BIG emotions by first addressing our own.

·        Understand the importance of identifying the root of our children’s “big emotions” with curiosity instead of judgment.


Today's Valuable Free Resources/Links:

·        FREE resource to help you get the YUCK out of your relationship with your child, click here:


In this episode, I introduce you to Rachel Bailey.

Rachel is a Parenting Specialist who has been serving families for over a decade.

Besides being a mother of two, she also has a master’s degree in clinical psychology, a certification in Positive Discipline, and has provided services as an ADHD Coach, in-home mentor, and therapist.

Through her podcast, programs, and services Rachel teaches parents hands-on tools for raising resilient, confident children and bringing peace and connection to families.

Join me for this episode of Mommy Heal Thyself to learn how to raise children with big emotions.

Time Stamped Highlights

  • Raising children with emotional intelligence. 0:00

    • Expert Rachel Bailey shares strategies for raising resilient, confident children with big emotions.

  • Parenting and emotional intelligence for kids. 1:44

    • Unknown Speaker shares their journey from studying neuro psychology to becoming a parenting expert, focusing on helping parents of sensitive, anxious, or strong-willed children.

    • Unknown Speaker helps women address internal drama and disconnection in their homes and relationships by working on their own emotional intelligence and communication skills.

    • The speaker emphasizes that parents must address their own issues first before trying to help their kids, as kids often reflect back what's going on inside the parents.

  • Parenting challenges and solutions. 5:25

    • Unknown Speaker: Women tend to feel guilty and blame themselves when their children experience big emotions, leading to feelings of stuckness and helplessness.

    • Unknown Speaker: Parents, especially moms, tend to make the mistake of staying stuck in the belief that they are failures, rather than recognizing their own emotions and teaching their children resilience.

  • Managing children's big emotions. 7:46

    • Unknown Speaker: Kids react to parents from a place of "yuck" (uncomfortable emotions), leading to controlling behaviors and internalizing issues.

    • Parents can influence kids by making small changes in their own emotional regulation, leading to more mature behaviors and less dysregulation.

    • Shift from judgment to curiosity when dealing with children's big emotions.

    • Address the reason behind yelling or emotional outbursts to find solutions, rather than blaming oneself.

  • Parenting, emotions, and self-care with Rachel. 11:38

    • Unknown Speaker: A quote from positive discipline resonated with me - "Why do we make kids feel worse to make them act better?"

    • Speaker offers a free resource on the "yuck curve" to help parents manage their children's big emotions.

    • Rachel emphasizes the importance of supporting oneself before helping children, suggesting that women need to have their own backs and regulate their energy to be able to support their kids effectively.

    • Rachel encourages listeners to ask themselves "how can I have my own back?" to prioritize their own well-being and create a more peaceful, purposeful life for themselves and their families.


(Note, this was transcribed using a transcription software and may not reflect the exact words used in the podcast)

Intro  0:00 

Welcome to Mommy Heal Thyself.  We featured guests that provide you with the tools, resources and strategies you need to say no to a life of pain and suffering all forms of preventable disease, toxic drugs and unnecessary surgeries. We hope to inspire you to boldly reclaim your ability to heal, and to serve ones to love.

Dr Michelle  0:19 

Welcome, everyone. Well, sister, ladies, I am here with a brilliant, brilliant, beautiful sister. And she is going to talk to us about raising children with emotions. And I know you know what I'm talking about, because we all have some of those children, right? Even if we may not have biological children. We have nieces, nephews, grandchildren, something stepchildren, however you want to name it children in your classroom, maybe you also are a therapist, who knows. And so we always have an opportunity to deal with those children that have big emotions. So Rachel Bailey, is a parenting specialist who has been serving families for over a decade. And besides being a mother of two, she also has a master's degree in clinical psychology, a certification in positive discipline, and has provided services as an ADHD coach, in home mentor, and therapist. Now, throughout her podcast and her programs and her services, Rachel teaches parents hands on tools for raising resilient, confident children and bringing peace. Oh, Lord, we need work that peace and connection to families. So Rachel, thank you so very much for being here today.


Rachel Bailey  1:41 

Thank you so much for having me. I'm thrilled to be here.


Dr Michelle  1:43 

Awesome. Well, before we get into the nitty gritty, you know, I would love to know, how did you get into this? What made you start this entire journey?


Rachel Bailey  1:55 

Yeah. What's interesting is I never thought that this would be my journey, I was actually studying to be a neuro psychologist. That was my goal. And I was getting my doctorate in clinical psychology and got pregnant along the way. So I did not meet my goal. At that point, when I got pregnant, and I had to stop school I was practicing as a therapist. And I was working with a lot of at that point, kids and mostly teens actually. And so I realized as I was working with teens, that parents would come to me with all these questions and say, Hey, you have my team for an hour. But I need to know what to do when you're not around. So I actually started doing parenting stuff, even before I was a parent, and then fell in love with it. And so I was doing general parenting probably for about eight or nine years, and then really saw this area that I loved to discuss, which is kids with what I called Big emotion. So kids who are sensitive, anxious or strong willed, that's how I define big emotions. And when I fell into that niche, I have not looked back since because like you said, we all know at least one person, child or adult who is sensitive, anxious, strong willed. And so what I found is that almost everybody, when I describe this, they nod their heads and say yes, I know a lot of people like that. And I love this work. So that's how I got


Dr Michelle  3:06 

here. So it's interesting that you said that we all know people, child or adult. So you know, a lot of us have big kids in our lives, aka husbands. Hey, man, can this self assessment


Rachel Bailey  3:20 

100% It can help us with them with anybody with colleagues, with bosses with anybody in our lives, who, you know, we notice feels things strongly, although very honestly, I teach a lot of communication skills. So this is going to work with anybody whether they have big emotions or not.


Dr Michelle  3:36 

Okay, so now what is the problem that you typically help women to solve?


Rachel Bailey  3:41 

So generally, I'm helping women who feel that there is drama and disconnection in their homes. And there's drama and disconnection with their kids, meaning they may ask their kids to do homework and they get either this I hate myself, I can't do homework. I'm so stupid. Or the the strong willed kid who child who says nope, I'm not going to do it. So there's that kind of drama. But there's also drama and disconnection inside of themselves. Honestly, most of the women I work with, who struggle with kids with big emotions also feel a little out of control themselves, or little anxious themselves. And so they try to control their kids more. And there's more drama and more disconnection. So we actually work on parents drama and disconnection first.


Dr Michelle  4:21 

I love that you say that? Because you know, one of the reasons why I wrote my first book, mommy, is because I recognize that my kids have been my most instrumental teachers because they are doing exactly what you said, which is that they're reflecting back to us. What we have to work on internally. So I love that you're working with parents, too. So now, you know, ladies, a lot of times we think, Oh, it's all about the kids. And we think that we have to focus on the problems that the kids have, not recognizing that sometimes those problems are inside of us.


Rachel Bailey  4:55 

Yes, and we can't help our kids. If we don't address us first. So Ultimately, yes, we want to raise kids who are resilient and confident. But it doesn't start with how do I make them. In fact, one of the things I'm writing a book, finally, I've been asked about this for so long. And one of things I'm saying is we have to stop trying to make our kids change. Kids change naturally, when they feel better when they have the tools to do what they need to do. So we actually start with us, so that we can help them get to a place where they can be successful internally, not just because we made them. Hmm.


Dr Michelle  5:25 

So now what are the symptoms that women are experiencing? When they are dealing with what you refer to as children with big emotions?


Rachel Bailey  5:34 

Yeah, so what they recognize that they are experiencing is that kids just are having big reactions, there may be a lot of fighting in their home, especially if they're multiple children, or when they're family events, and they're lots of kids around there is, you know, some pushback, or maybe against some anxiety, where children are just really worried. And he feel like they're stuck for whatever reason whether kids aren't listening, or they're really worried. They feel like they're stuck. And then what happens is, we as women tend to feel guilty about that. And we blame ourselves and we feel like a failure. So often, that's the point at which they reach out to me, they, we they feel stuck in the behavior of their kids. And they're just feeling so awful, and projecting all these horrible things that are gonna happen for their children in the future. Those are the symptoms that I tend to see.


Dr Michelle  6:19 

So now, I'm going to bear off a little bit here, because what just came to me is that we are now living in a zone where we have a lot of single dads also, where they're having to step into that zone of being mom and dad being the solo parent. So Can you are you able to help them also is are there experiences similar to women?


Rachel Bailey  6:43 

Absolutely, I would say women tend to take on a lot. Men tend to try to fix women stay stuck in the, almost the helplessness like I've tried all the things, I can't do anything, I'm so stuck. And what I find when I work with men, and this is so gender stereotypical, because I've definitely worked with the opposite. But men tend to go to fix it. And so they're, you know, how do I solve this. And that can also create disconnection with kids, by the way and more drama, because sometimes kids just need to be heard, they don't need the fix. So yes, there are probably along gender lines, things that I see. But generally, no matter what the symptom is, when they're coming in, whether they're fixing or they're feeling stuck, it's going to be mostly the same thing, which is to see yourself and teach yourself and then see your child and teach them. And that's where the resilience comes in.


Dr Michelle  7:28 

Awesome. Now, what are the common mistakes that you see parents making when they're trying to solve the problem or fix the problem?


Rachel Bailey  7:38 

Yeah, so we've talked about it a little bit already. Actually, I see that parents first of all, stay stuck in this I'm, especially moms, I'm a failure. And when we react to our kids from that place of, I call this yuck, yuck is a word I describe to us any uncomfortable emotion. So whether they're feeling guilty, or stressed, or angry, or irritable, whatever, I call it all yuck. So what happens is, we respond to our kids from a place of yuck. And so that means we're not aligning with our values. We're just trying to make our kids do that something we're trying to control them. Like, if our kids are anxious, we're trying to make them less anxious. You don't need to worry, everything's gonna be fine. Or if they're strong willed, we're trying to break them and say, No, but you need to listen to me, we try to control our kids, because we're in yuck. And that tends to backfire. And then we're not looking at ourselves in the role that we play, because often it's like, oh, now I have to do more of already doing so much. But what we find is when we make such small changes, kids do tend to react, we have more ability to influence our kids and then control them. And influence starts


Dr Michelle  8:39 

with us. Now, do you see sometimes that we have an issue, especially we as women have an issue with taking things personal meaning that when our children are going through these challenges, we tend to we tend to internalize it as some kind of deficit within ourselves. Yeah, yes.


Rachel Bailey  9:03 

I have absolutely we do take I mean, even the phrase I hate you, which is how could that not be a personal phrase, right? I see even cringe when you Yeah, when a child is saying that it's not necessarily personal, a child who says I hate you as a child who's dysregulated and doesn't know a more mature way to deal with their dysregulation. They might say something else to someone else, but there's, it's still going to come out there, their big feelings are still going to come up. I mean, that say I hate you to someone else. But they may, you know, say disrespectful things to someone else or that but it's not necessarily personal about us. When kids learn how to regulate. They don't say those things anymore. And it's independent of us. Yeah.


Dr Michelle  9:46 

Then what is the number one tip that you would give women and men who are parents that have these children with these big emotions?


Rachel Bailey  9:55 

Yeah. So the first thing I would say is we have to stop taking it personally and judge being ourselves and feeling guilty. And one of the main tips I give parents is to shift from judgment to curiosity. So when a child does say I hate you, instead of saying, oh my gosh, what am I doing wrong? Or why can I give them more of what we'd like we judge ourselves, we judge them, we need to switch our tone from, why are they doing this to? Why are they doing this? Or instead of saying, Why did I yell at them again? Now they're saying they hate me? Why did I yell at them? Same question. Totally different tone. One leads to a staying stuck in a lot of emotions. The other one leads to solutions. Oh, I yelled at them because I'm exhausted. And I'm exhausted because I haven't set boundaries to give myself a break. That's the action I can take. And then I will no longer yell versus Why did I yell at them. And then we stay stuck in this. I'm an awful parent, I may as well say for 10 years of therapy now. And you just stay stuck in a cycle of what I call a cycle of yuck is what I call it. From judgment to curiosity is a really big tip I give a lot of parents


Dr Michelle  11:00 

I love, love, love what you're saying that is and that is true, even when I deal with women also, that there's always that easy for us to judge and say, there's something wrong with me, as opposed to looking at the symptom, which in this case, are those big emotions and saying wreck? So why is that happening? What? Correct? You know, having that detective hat on where it's not a judgment, just the gathering intel kind of thing? Yes.


Rachel Bailey  11:25 

Because there's always a reason. And it's never an excuse. But there's always a reason if we're yelling, if our kids are yelling, not an excuse, but a reason. And when we address the reason, just like you said, being a detective, everything changes,


Dr Michelle  11:37 

everything changes. Wow. Now, what is a book or a concept or a program or a talk that has had the most impact on you and your experiences?


Rachel Bailey  11:46 

You know, that's such a hard question for me. So I really have to, I've read so much that is so impactful. But I think I'm gonna go back to the very beginning. For me, when I first started working with parents, I read a lot. I think it comes from positive discipline, although I'm a trade and I'm trained in a lot of different paradigms. But there was a quote that said, When did why did we ever believed that making children feel worse would make them act better? And that hit me. And I was like, Wait a second, that doesn't even make sense. Now, I'm all about raising resilient kids who do clean up after themselves and are, you know, responsible individuals. But why do we have to make them feel worse, to make them act better? And I think that has really opened the floodgates for me, where I started realizing we can raise resilient, responsible kids without those traditional How do I get them to do things? And how do I make them do things? There is a different way.


Dr Michelle  12:36 

I like that. That's a nice way of putting it actually. Now, is there a wonderful, valuable free resource that you can direct us to that's going to help us with our children who have these big emotions?


Rachel Bailey  12:49 

Yes, I would love to give a resource that talks about what I call the curve. So it gets a little bit more like, why do so I said the curious, why do kids and adults have these big emotions? And what do we do about it? So I have a resource where I teach something called the yuck curve, where I talk about why you see these big emotions, and what you can do when someone actually has a big emotion. And that's a free resource. And I will give that to


Dr Michelle  13:13 

you. Awesome. So ladies, don't worry about it, you will see the link in our description for today's podcasts. And another question, Rachel, I was looking through some of the information in some of your videos. And I noticed that you said that you deal primarily with with parents who have children from zero to 12. So what some of your training or your memberships or your programs to be able to help those of us who have teenagers.


Rachel Bailey  13:43 

So I was actually like I said before a therapist for teenagers. So I'm very familiar with teenagers. I did it for many, many years and all the resistance but what I teach in my program is really a foundation what I find when you get to the teenage years, is that there's some stuff that has to be undone first before you can kind of implement that foundation. So when there are parents of teens who want to work with me, I work with them more one on one than in my program. So we I have to look at okay, what do we need to undo? And then you can go into the program and use all these strategies. But there's when usually when I started parents of teens, there's a little bit too much Yuck, that we have to remove or address before we can dive in so I work with them more one on one. Okay.


Dr Michelle  14:24 

Now, what is one question that I probably should have asked you that I didn't that can help these women to be able to create their lives filled with power, passion, purpose and peace with their


Rachel Bailey  14:38 

love that question. I love that question. I don't think there's anything you could have asked me. I think what I would almost say is what one of the questions I would love women to ask themselves to get to all these amazing feelings is how can I have my own back? How can I have my back because if I want to have my kids back, this is what I've been saying. But it has to start with supporting ourselves. So we can support children. So if we want children, if we want women to have power and passionate and prosperity and purpose and peace, we need to have our own backs instead of constantly criticizing and judging ourselves. So I would say they need to ask themselves that question. What can I do to have my back?


Dr Michelle  15:15 

I love it. So it's like putting that oxygen mask on ourselves, you know, and not being all about the kids because our kids need us ladies they need to do


Rachel Bailey  15:26 

and they sense our energy. And if our energy is dysregulated ourselves, we can't help a child regulate.


Dr Michelle  15:32 

Yeah. Awesome. Awesome. Well, Rachel, thank you so very much for taking the time to speak with us today. And ladies, look for those wonderful, free valuable resources so that you can learn more about ways that you can help your child that has those emotions. Until next time, peace, love and blessings.

Closing: Thank you for tuning in for this episode of Mommy Heal Thyself, if you liked what we're doing here, please share subscribe, like us and leave a comment. Your feedback is very much appreciated.

Transcribed by


blog author image

Dr Michelle Gamble DN

DR. MICHELLE GAMBLE, DN is an author, educator, mentor, and speaker who specializes in assisting persons with chronic illness to heal themselves so they can break free from pain and frustration and live with power, protection, promise, purpose, promise, prosperity, and peace. She has been a professional educator for over 25 years and a natural health care provider for over 15 years. Dr. Gamble is also the mother of five children. She travels globally and around the country speaking and consulting with individuals and groups.

Back to Blog

© 2023 It Takes A Village Ministry, Inc. - All Rights Reserved,

(850) 404-2540