Eps 231: SOLO SHOW – Moving from Right/Wrong to Effective and Remembering that Self Regulation is Learned Over Time with PRACTICE

Hi! Welcome back!

Those of you that are new to the podcast I want to give you a warm welcome, I am so glad you are here. As the longtime listeners know, this show is part informative and educational, part deeply personal, and always authentic and, I hope, relatable. That is always my goal.

We are on a collective journey.

Good/ bad, right/wrong, winning/failing. How about effective/ ineffective?

–       Takes the judgment out

–       Allows us to know be in this role where we SHOULD know exactly what to do

–       Shifts us out of the idea that there IS a right thing to do

It’s all a grand experiment.

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Takeaways from the show

What I notice:

  • I always encourage people to speak up
  • I prompt when I feel the energy shift
  • Common
  • Won’t work for my kid
  • I’m not her
  • It’s too late
  • Kids have to pay for their behavior

This last one is a big one. None of us want spoiled kids AND we all want to feel respected. So, letting go of their mischief when they are flipped is really challenging because this is when they are at their worst.

Let’s review the brain science

–       Brain in the palm of the hand review

–       THIS MEANS, they aren’t consciously aware of what they are doing/saying when the brain stem of the amygdala is in charge – NONE OF US ARE

–       YET, we get really worked up about how our kids treat us when they are flipped – I GET IT – I live here too, I have teenagers that are normal teens and they flip and get nasty to me – just as when I flip I tend to get nasty too.

–       We are taking it TOO DAMN PERSONAL when they behavior IS NOT ABOUT US – their behavior is their level of emotional response coupled with the tools they have at their disposal – and when we are flipped, we’ve pretty much lost the tool box that is so accessible when we are in our rational brain.

–       Imagine…… you’ve had a really tough day. You’ve really worked hard to get all that needs to be done complete, you’ve cooked for everyone AND taken care of paying the bills, your kids have been a pain, but you’ve kept it together. And then, you see your oldest picking on your youngest. You lose it. You come completely unglued on your oldest. Blah blah blah, you slide into your flipped lid and you shame and blame and basically let your emotions run the show – the emotional freight train has pulled in and picked you up….

o   Some time passes and you get yourself together. You realize that maybe you don’t know the whole story of what was happening with your kids and maybe your oldest didn’t need the wrath that you delivered. You acknowledge your mistake and the way you treated her. You reconnect and work to repair the relationship. You may even do some reflecting on how you can set yourself up for success the next time you are caught up in this type of challenge. You work on your own practice for learning more tools to stay peaceful and present even when it’s hard to do.

o   Do you need a punishment? A consequence so that you won’t act like that next time? NO, that never would occur to you as helpful, and yet, how often do we impose this on our children???

–       Most of us who get stuck here have childhood stories of parents who ruled with an iron fist, who “wouldn’t tolerate” back talk, disrespect, sassiness. That modeling became ingrained into us and now we are finding ourselves confronted by a child who is falling apart and it feels personal. Our experience gets wrapped up in the childhood experience of having to follow the demands of our parents or else, the unresolved hurts from that time are triggered and that’s deeply painful and we grasp for control which looks like yelling, intimidation and punishment….

–       If this sounds familiar to you – please go see a therapist, because this is going to keep coming up inside your relationships until you get it healed. And if you don’t you will be passing on these same triggers to your kids and THEY will need to go to therapy. Free them from your issues, PLEASE.

–       They are doing the best they can with the tools they have in the moment, I promise.

–       So, what TO DO?

o   Talk about how it feels to have a flipped lid

o   Begin to identify the feelings/experiences that take you or them there

o   Brainstorm things that make you feel BETTER when you are noticing your lid flipping

o   Come up with a plan of action the next time the train shows up

o   Practice

o   Have compassion because this is HARD WORK

o   Teach/model/practice repair and reconnection.

Circling back….  This is about being effective and helpful. Meltdowns are not a character flaw, they are an indication that something has happened that we, or our kids, don’t have the tools to navigate in the moment.

It’s not about you.

So, this week, when you have a meltdown and are an asshole to your kids, model what it looks like to own it, “Wow, I really lost it and treated you badly. My emotions got the better of me.” And make it right, “I am so sorry, and I am going to pay more attention to when I am getting close to flipping out, and take care of me when I feel that tightness in my body happening.” Then bring it back to the message of love, “I love you so much.”

And when THEY have a meltdown and are assholes to you, show a little grace. The uncertainty of the world is IN OUR FACE right now and they only have so much capacity for keeping it together. Remember that it’s not about you. Support them in calming down, and then LATER, have a conversation about the experience of the meltdown – guiding them to connect to themselves and to you, and ultimately giving them the tools they need to repair.

Love you. We’ve got this.

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