Tag: asking for help

How To Defuse Your Own Exceptional Parenting Triggers As Well As Your Child’s

Your child is pushing all your buttons and you know it, but you can’t seem to figure out how it got to this point, or you see how your child is escalating because you’ve probably done the same thing. What’s happening here? You and your child know each other so well that you can set off either a good or bad mood in the other. How can you bring out more of the good and less of the bad? It’s simple. You need to be in touch with yourself and your feelings on the inside, and you need to teach your child to do this. How can this be done? Here are some ideas of how to defuse the triggers you will inadvertently set off in your child or they in you:

  1. Know Your Weak Spots: This sounds simple, but often is not. Knowing what makes you cringe, cry or yell, takes a lot of introspection and soul work. It’s worth it though, as then you can avoid a lot of misunderstandings in how you speak to your child and not take many of their comments to heart as you know they are speaking from a place of hurt, not truth.
  2. Know Your Child’s Weak Spots: This also sounds simple, but unless your child is a complete carbon copy of you, you may not catch where your comments can come across as hurtful, angry or judgemental. Most of our kiddos are a combination of our character, our partner’s or other people in the family tree or sometimes environment. Study your child when happy and sad, and make a mental note of what bothers them.
  3. Ask For Teachers or Therapists’ Feedback on Character: If your family is working with a therapist, ask this individual for honest feedback on you and your child. They can usually spot things the two of you have missed that could be making a huge difference in how you relate to yourselves and each other. A child’s teacher can also help you here. Don’t forget, they usually see a different side of your child than you do.
  4. Self-Care For You and Your Child: Take time out to recharge your parenting battery and teach your child to do the same. This comes in the form of finding something they are passionate about that does not involve you sitting with them. Also, by your example, you lead them to see what self-care can give them-a happier outlook on life.
  5. Practicing¬† the mantra of Stop, Breathe, Think: When you or your child become angry, don’t act on the anger. Stop, Breathe and Think about how you can respond in a calm way to defuse the situation. This will help you both set up better ways of communicating with each other. Exceptional Parents, how often do you find yourself being set off by your child or vice versa? If it’s happening more than you’d like, this only means you need to find a different way of relating to each other. We all have moments when we let our emotions get the best of us, and anyone can get triggered emotionally if they are not in touch with what makes them feel worried, angry or overwhelmed. This is why the best place to start to understand yours and your child’s emotions, is by remembering your love for yourself and your child.¬† From there, compassion and understanding will come if you do the work and show them how to do this same work. Once you can handle each other’s triggers, you will have a recipe for building a peaceful home. Until next time.

Are you the parent of an Exceptional Child struggling with how best to handle challenging behavior? Are you worried about development, anxiety, or doubting your abilities to help your child become the best they can be? I can help you find your confidence as a parent again. For more information about my journey and coaching programs, check out my website: http://www.creatingexceptionalparenting.com. Let me help personalize tools that will help your Exceptional family thrive! 

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An Exceptional Heart to Heart And Practicing Compassionate Listening

 

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God and the Universe gave both Michael and I a major teachable moment, well really day, today. Michael woke up this morning complaining of a sore throat and of not feeling well. He had told me he hadn’t slept the best. Ok he could stay home I decided, but in case he was well and was using this as a “get out of school free pass day,” I put down rules. He would play quietly, read books, watch TV, do his computer games and we would not be going anywhere. His library books were due, but even that would have to wait until the end of the day right before supper, when I would see he was a hundred percent better and would be returning to school the next day. Otherwise I would go to the library and return them when Dad got home.

Well, we were both right. He needed the day off and wasn’t well, but I was right too. He was not physically sick. He was anxious and overwhelmed by two school subjects he is struggling with, or rather the exercises done in those subjects which are too challenging for him. And he does not like to ask for help or always understand the explanation. All the emotions of why he has to study these subjects, why he doesn’t understand, and fear of the teacher getting angry came out. Most were the result of his own worries and confidence issues with learning, his very overactive imagination, but he needed to talk, to find his center and as always, he came clean with me about why he asked to stay home.

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“Mommy, I’m not sick. I was so nervous. I don’t like doing reading and math. They’re hard. I can’t do them.”

“Did you tell the teacher you’re having trouble honey?”

“Yes, but she thinks I’m pretending. She gets mad.”

“She doesn’t help you at all?”

“No, she helps me, but when I don’t understand she gets mad.”

“Are you paying attention when she explains it to you buddy?”

“I look away sometimes and don’t always understand what’s she’s saying. It’s boring stuff. Why do I have to learn what I don’t like?”

“We all have to do things we don’t like sometimes, buddy. One day you’ll be able to study only what you like, when you are older. Until then, you need to learn all kinds of subjects.”

We had a really good heart to heart, and then I found myself going over with Michael strategies for calming down his breathing, so that he could focus on learning everything and doing everything, even the things he didn’t like. It was quite fitting, as I have had to relearn this lesson lately in my own life, with reteaching myself in meditation and yoga to let go of worries, fears about the future, about the past. I also had a chance to practice “compassionate listening,” a practice that Thich Nhat Hanh talks about in his book “You Are Here.” It’s important to really listen to someone so they feel heard and can heal. We heal them, ourselves and the world. Michael is reminding me about my own worrying, which though I have it under control, sometimes goes astray. He is helping me practice what I preach and reminding me of my strategies.

Exceptional Parents, what do your Exceptional Children’s negative or anxious actions tell you about their struggles? What do your anxious moments tell you about your own? Remember, it’s not always evident what is bothering your child or what is bothering you. You have to dig deeper. A sore throat, stomach, muscle aches can be a virus, tension or worry. Always remember that getting in touch with your body shows your child how to get in touch with theirs, and let them know they can talk to you about anything. That is how you will both grow stronger. Until next time.