Keeping Calm in the Storm
ICYMI (In Case you Missed It)
We had a great response from those in attendance last week with Rachel Wigglesworth of Growing Great Families. She spoke to us about managing strong emotions in ourselves and in our children and keeping calm in the storm. Here's what we learned. And to many of you who weren't able to attend yet expressed interest, we will definitely bring her back.
There's no perfect way to parent our kids. Mindfulness gives us the ability to examine what gets in the way of being the best parent we can be so that we can raise our children with emotional availability, integrity and love."
The Emotional World of Parenting. In the workshop we talked about becoming aware of what our emotional and reactive triggers are - what of our children's emotions or behaviors trigger us to react with strong emotions? Becoming aware is the first step toward working on calming our strong emotions. Once we are aware, we can begin to work on our self-calming techniques so that we can stop ourselves from reacting strongly. Remember the 'finding your center' exercise we did at the end of the workshop. You may have other self-calming techniques that work for you.
When we hear our own "Shark Music" playing in our head, we can begin to realize that we are telling ourselves negative stories about ourselves or our children.The video says that Shark Music is us “feeling afraid or uncomfortable with a feeling or need that is actually safe”. Can we tame our "shark music" - the negative stories we are telling ourselves about ourselves or our children so that we can respond to our children in a calmer way- and feel better about ourselves as parents?
Emotional Needs. We then switched gears a bit...What is it that we need in our lives beyond our physical and material needs? What do our children need? What do they often need when they are having strong emotions or challenging behaviors? Think about what you need when you are having strong emotions or feeling challenged. Empathy? Understanding? Someone to listen to you? A hug? We will talk more about this in future classes.
What do we need to calm ourselves so we can give our kids what they need? Can we calm our own strong reactions to our children's behaviors and emotions (which can be very frustrating!), so that we can give them what they need in the moment? Or so that we can enforce reasonable limits and teach better behavior? (We will talk about limits and teaching better behaviors in a future class.) See bottom of "Shark Music" photo above.