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4 Steps to Help Children Take Thoughts Captive

Updated: Jul 27, 2021

In previous posts, I shared the current thinking of psychologists, as well as a biblical perspective on emotions. I also posted a video called “The Link Between Thoughts and Emotions” describing three questions we can ask ourselves and our children to help us manage our thoughts and emotions. If you haven’t watched that video, I recommend you watch it before reading today’s blog or watching the next video.

Today I want to share with you a video to give you some tips on how to help your child fill out my free Take Your Thoughts Captive worksheet. You’ll want to download the worksheet first, which you can get here.

In the first video, I listed three questions to ask. Those three questions correspond to four boxes on the worksheet. The first question is, “What am I feeling right now?” Help your child identify 2 or three emotions they are feeling about the current situation. You can even google “feelings wheel” or “feelings chart” for some help coming up with some vocabulary. Encourage your child that it’s okay to feel how they are feeling. What is important is that they use those feelings to honor God and love others.

The second question is, “What am I thinking that is causing those feelings?” You may need to ask some questions to help your child identify what they are thinking. Some good questions to start with might include: “When did you start feeling this way?”, or “What happened right before you started feeling this way?” One of my favorite questions is, “Can you tell me more about that?” Again, there is no right or wrong here. We will be able to correct wrong thinking in the next step, but first we have to identify it.

The third question has two boxes associated with it. The question is, “What does God want me to do with these thoughts and feelings?” I broke this down into two boxes because before we can decide what God wants us to do, first we have to determine what he says about what we are thinking. Is it biblically accurate, or do we need to replace it with the truth of His Word? Is it an area where we need to encourage our children that it’s appropriate to be feeling what they are feeling, such as grieving a loved one or lamenting an injustice they see in the world?

The final box then prompts, “I can use these feelings to honor God and love others by…” This is where children may need the most help of all, because we need to know God to know His will and children often don’t have enough biblical knowledge to fill in these blanks. It may be tempting to tell them how to fill in the blanks, and that’s not bad necessarily, but first, try pointing them to relevant Scripture to help them figure out what they should do. For instance, if there is conflict, point them to passages that talk about forgiveness and discuss how to offer and request it. If there is injustice, point them to verses that talk about the poor, the immigrant, the orphan, or the widow and brainstorm ways they can serve others less fortunate than themselves. Sometimes, the only thing God would have us do is replace wrong thinking with His perspective. For instance, a child who believes their ADHD renders them worthless needs to learn to see themselves as a beloved child of the King, made in his image and worth dying for. In this case, help them identify and memorize Bible verses to reinforce these truths.

Need one on one help? For a limited time, you can book a free Discovery Session with me by going to and entering the code: ADHD in the checkout.

The content found on Flourishing Family Coaching’s website and blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding ADHD, anxiety, depression or any other medical conditions. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website or blog.

Make it a great day!

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