Merrill and Linda Hutchinson on Calming Your Child's Emotional Storms on Rock Solid Families Podcast

Published September 19, 2023

Merrill and Linda are the co-hosts of Rock Solid Families Podcast as well as the co-founders of Rock Solid Families, a 501c3 nonprofit, faith-based organization. Combined, they have over 70 years of experience in teaching, counseling, ministry, coaching and public speaking. In 2018, they left their full time positions in the Church and public school system to focus on strengthening families. Their goal is to guide and empower families to be all that God wants for them to be. In this episode, Merrill and Linda Calming Your Child's Emotional Storms.

Regulating our emotions is not about suppressing them, but rather about learning to respond instead of react. By modeling calmness and practicing co-regulation, we can create a safe space for our children to navigate the storms of life.

Listeners are introduced to an intuitive hand model of the brain, a tool aimed at demystifying emotions and their regulation for both parents and children alike. Filled with actionable insights, the episode advises parents on techniques like aligning physically with the child's height, harnessing the power of gentle tones, and tapping into the calming effects of deep breaths.

Throughout their discussion, the hosts continually return to the importance of proactive emotional management. They urge parents to be alert to their personal emotional triggers and, crucially, to take a beat before responding, ensuring a more considered, controlled reaction. Balancing compassion with discipline, they discuss the significance of acknowledging children's feelings while concurrently setting clear behavioral limits. They emphasize the value of being fully present, even when it means embracing moments of discomfort, and champion seeking authentic emotion-regulating strategies over easy digital diversions.

Key Takeaways:

  • Mastering our emotions sets a precedent for our children.

  • Employ the hand model of the brain for a tangible grasp on emotions and their regulation.

  • Adopt strategies like gentle tones, deep breathing, and physical alignment to foster emotional equilibrium.

  • Recognize personal triggers and practice the pause, enabling a thoughtful response.

  • Amid the parenting journey, bestow grace abundantly, both to oneself and one's children.


  • “I have so many teens that they're struggling to go to their parents to talk about things that are going on because they're scared of their parents' reaction, which then I have to help them see that reaction is more fear-based for the parent. The parent's scared or worried or they're sad, their child's going through something. when they aren't taking the time to kind of collect themselves and regulate, they're then reacting and it's coming off scary to the child.” (16:45 | Meredith)

  • “Well, and as a parent, be okay with modeling to your child, like, hey, I'm actually not in a good space right now to talk. I'm feeling frustrated too. I need to take a minute. And respecting your child when they're not in the space either. So if you, as the parent, take a step back and collect yourself, and then you're ready to talk, if your child's not ready to talk, don't push it. Still make sure you come back to it. You'll have your time.” (20:56 | Meredith)

  • “I really want to warn parents, please do not use screens at any age as a co-regulating. It's not. It's actually a deregulating tool.” (30:23 | Linda)

  • “I've had so many experiences where I just come alongside them. I sit side by side, I don't say a word, and I just start deep breathing, just taking deep breaths myself. And it's so amazing how eventually their nervous system picks up on mine and they'll start regulating their breathing. Like it might take them a minute to catch their breath, but then they start taking deep breaths and it's the most amazing thing.” (36:46 | Meredith)

About Meredith Schudder:

Meredith is a Coach at Rock Solid Families. Her areas of expertise and training are in trauma therapy and adventure therapy. Her primary clients are children through young adults with an emphasis on females.

About the Podcast Co-Hosts:

To learn more about Merrill and Linda, visit their website (Rock Solid Families).

About Rock Solid Families Podcast:

Rock Solid Families is committed to helping educate, equip, and empower families to be all God created them to be! Merrill and Linda Hutchinson began Rock Solid Radio in October of 2018. They have over 70 years of combined experience in teaching, public speaking, counseling, ministry, and coaching. After much prayer, Merrill and Linda made the decision to step down from their full time positions in the church and public school to focus on strengthening families. Both believe that healthy schools, churches, and communities depend on strong and healthy families. This weekly podcast is made possible through the generous financial support of community partners. With the help of local sponsors and the word spreading through listeners like you, Rock Solid Families is helping to build stronger communities one family at a time!

Listen to, or watch, the full podcast interview by Merrill and Linda Hutchinson on your preferred podcast channel.

Release ID: 740178

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