Our child gets angry that quiet time isn’t over and then they become super mad when they don’t get their way. THEN, we get mad because they are getting mad. We call this mirroring emotions, and it isn’t necessary.
It’s not really helpful when we let these tiny people and their “poor” behavior dictate who are going to be in life. Why is it that they seem to have so much power in triggering us? We tell ourselves that they are making us be ugly parents. Haha. Guess what? That just isn’t true. You are the one responsible for how you show up. It isn’t anybody else’s fault, nor is it their business. It’s ours.
You might not like hearing this news. And yet, it isn’t bad news. It’s good news, because at least we have some control over ourselves, right?
When we react, without thinking, to our children’s behavior, we lose our power as parents. No one can MAKE us behave in any way. It just isn’t possible. We allow their behavior to get under our skin. They do something and we think thoughts that aren’t very helpful.
Thankfully, we ae the grown-ups here, and we actually have other options available to us.
The first step is to start to become self-aware. What thoughts pop up by default? What emotions are driven by those thoughts? Sometimes it’s easier to notice the emotions first, because they can really feel intense, and then backtrack to find out what thoughts we are thinking that are creating those feelings.
When we react to their frustration with frustration, we are mirroring their emotions. When we react to their anger with anger, we are mirroring their emotions. The easiest way to STOP mirroring emotions, is to think of our children as fascinating little people, little minds that need development and skill building. It’s helpful to think of ourselves as observing what’s happening as if we are standing in the stands, watching what’s going on from a bit of a distance.
Our children’s choices are their choices. This doesn’t mean that we are apathetic towards those choices, it just means we can see that this is what is happening AND we can have peace in that moment. This keeps us open to what’s next, which is really the only place where we have any power, really.
We have so much more available to us when we can approach the situation from a more neutral position. This leads to clarity of thought, which leaves us able to see options, ideas, new techniques, and actions that will keep us in the game of being good parents.
Becoming what I call “the curious observer” gives us perspective.
When we can be neutral and allow others to experience their own feelings without taking those feelings on for ourselves, we can come to the situation peacefully. We can still love AND we can be creative in our approach. When we don’t take on our children’s emotions and think we need to fix it, it also allows opportunities for our children to be responsible and to grow.
You do not need to take on the idea that it is YOUR JOB to make sure they do everything they need to be doing. It will better serve you to consider that a good parent’s job is to create an environment, with our help, where they are in a position to help themselves succeed. Or not. And, just maybe, when they “fail”, it may not be a fact at all. That may only be a story. They only fail when they quit. We only fail when we quit.
Be creative. Be love. Be a stand for them. Be still when they are mad that you have consequences, which consequences are in their best interest, actually. When we give them space to stretch and grow, we encourage them to step into becoming the next best versions of themselves, too.
And all of this can be done from a space of LOVE. Showing up as LOVE is much more powerful than being triggered. Oh, and it’s a really good idea to MAKE A PLAN. Decide ahead of time what you want to think and how you want to act when they pitch a fit. And then practice, practice, practice.
It will make a difference.
Sometimes we can’t see what it is that we are thinking that is causing us to show up in ways that we don’t like. That’s where a good coach comes in. There’s a reason I do what I do. My clients get relief and start to see life from a whole new perspective, which is very empowering. I’m always willing to offer a complimentary session. Pop over to my homepage to schedule your free hour with me. The skills for self-coaching are waiting for you to discover.