We all have reactions & reactivity. It’s recognizing what we are feeling in the moment & trying to break the cycle of our past familial interactions. The goal is to see the patterns and learn to change them.
Practice Rupture & Repair – we have an argument. How do we repair afterward? I’m sorry, I shouldn’t have yelled. I’ll try to listen better next time.
I tell all my clients, it’s never too late to repair. It’s never too late to apologize to your children. Or, take the time to reprocess an old fight.
Want to learn more about how to defuse those buttons? Here I share some tips on defusing a situation and an example of my own button pushing cycle with my daughter.
Button Pushing 101
Our child’s behavior triggers an old wound. These painful emotions get pushed, it hurts and we retaliate. But, we don’t realize it’s happening. To stop this automatic reaction, we must recognize that our reactions are caused by our own perceptions.
When Your Button Gets Pushed:
- Stop, walk away, say you need a break, do nothing (yet).
- Take some breaths (at least 3x)
- Wait until both you and your child are calm
- Go back to the conversation and problem solve (a do-over) This is where you can do some repair. Apologize for losing your cool.
To Defuse Your Buttons:
Name Your Feelings – this can be just to yourself – I am feeling annoyed, I’m losing my patience & I’m downright worried about my kid’s behavior. Or, maybe you’re feeling embarrassed because this is happening a lot in public.
Try to identify the assumption you made to cause those feelings – My kid is never going to grow out of this behavior & maybe I’m responsible. Why is my child acting like this? What’s wrong with them?
Reframe your assumption from a judgment to an observation – Maybe they’re hungry or tired, maybe they’re having too much fun and it’s really hard for them to switch from “playtime” to something less fun like picking up their sister from ballet. So they act out, start to become difficult.
Your reframed assumption should prompt compassion instead of anger – Remember children will do good if they can. Something is making them feel out of sorts and we need to help them figure this out. Connect with compassion & curiosity.
In my coaching practice, I always discuss the need to validate your child’s feelings from a young age. They will learn to identify their feelings and as they grow they’ll be able to communicate to you and to others exactly what they need.
Reach out to me today to set up a consultation.