As a parent, you've got to face facts.
Certain things your children do can really push your buttons. Things you never expected to drive you crazy suddenly cause extreme discomfort and annoyance. And then you react, and that comes with a whole slew of emotions and behaviors.
And yet, the same situation doesn't push your partner's buttons at all!
(This scenario can be switched, because I know there are things your child does that drives your partner crazy, and you wonder, What's the big deal?)
So, let's establish something up front: Clearly, our reactions are NOT about what the child is doing.
Rather, it's all about whether or not we have the "hooks" for those particular behaviors/emotions/tones of voice/ticks/expressions/etc.
A dear friend of mine, Dr. Shefali Tsabary, explains in The Conscious Parent:
The more helpful response to being triggered is to recognize your emotional charge as a signal that something is amiss within you. In other words, emotional reactivity is a reason to go inward, focusing on your own growth. Once you realize there are no enemies, only guides to inner growth, all who play a part in your life become mirrors of your forgotten self.
One of the parents I work with in my year-long Evolve program says it this way: "Ah! So when I'm annoyed it's an opportunity for me to figure out what's going on with ME -- not try to fix them."
Exactly. Your triggers are an opportunity for you to dive into yourself.
Both awesome and heavy.
And I'm here to help.
Take a a couple of minutes to answer the following questions:
1. What are three things that typically trigger me?
2. How do I typically react?
3. Do these things trigger me all the time? If no, what are the differences between when they do and when they don't?
4. How does self-care influence the degree to which I am triggered or not triggered?
And now for the coolest tool, the Connected Parent Reset... a.k.a. Your CPR!
I want you to make a list of things that nourish you.
Go big and go small, go deep and wide.
Think outside the box about what really fills you up.
What things are pleasing and calming to me?
Using the list above, create your CPR plan (Connected Person Reset).
Try and pick three things that you can infuse into your day that you can touch in on to help reset yourself and reconnect to the person you want to be.
Do you have a picture that calms you down? Put it as the background on your phone or in your bathroom.
Is there a song or sound that nourishes you? Listen to it before the times of day that feel most stressful (mornings, after school, before bedtime, etc.) Practice singing it to yourself, even if it's inside your head.
Have a scent you just loooove? Get hand lotion with that scent and lather regularly. Put that scent in a special place in your home and go there when you feel yourself start to slip.
And on and on!
Leave a comment and let me know what you experiment with for your CPR! There's no right or wrong, just an exploration of what helps you reconnect with and ground yourself.