So when you or your child has fast-tracked to red, keep in mind that, deep down, there’s a feeling of not being safe. Does knowing this change how you feel about what’s happening? Instead of asking what you can do to make a behavior stop, ask, “What do you need to feel safe? What does my child need to feel safe?” And see what happens.
Rebecca and Lianne are back again this week to talk about how stories can help with the small hurts and disappointments of everyday life. Story Healing isn’t just a technique to be used when there is trauma, but it can be an effective tool to help move through normal tantrums and upsets.
Maybe you can relate to my own tantrum story. This wasn’t my best parenting day and I’d like to say that it was also my worst, but it wasn’t. It’s a snapshot. A moment of time. And you probably have them, too.
This post is an excerpt from Chapter 2 of Consciously Parenting: What it Really Takes to Raise Emotionally Healthy Families. It also includes a video of Rebecca explaining the Brain Stoplight.
When we recognize that our children have reasons for those upsets (even if we don’t really get it), it gives us the opportunity to connect and actually help make it better this time, and the next time, too. Learning the skills to regulate and create more connection in the moment helps everyone to feel better, no matter how old we are and no matter what we call it.
When you have little ones, there is a lot of talk about how “it’s just a phase” and “this too shall pass,” whether it’s about picky eating, tantrums, or some other behavior deemed inappropriate in our society. While it is true that many of those behaviors do pass with time, I definitely wasn’t expecting to still witness full toddler-style tantrums with my child at 8 years old.
Think of someone you feel supports you- maybe a good friend or perhaps your partner. What does this person do? Do they try to fix it? Give you a solution? Send you away? Hang up the phone until you can calm yourself down? No.
Someone who supports you probably notices how you’re feeling and stops what they’re doing to be with you. This is someone who wants you to tell them more. To keep going. Who will help hold space for the tears, the anger, the frustration.