Can’t we all just be regulated all the time?
I was talking to a mom about her holidays, and she was really feeling discouraged about how things had gone. Her kids had been fighting a lot and the image she had about how their time together would go didn’t match what actually happened at all. She felt really discouraged.
I think so many of us hold ourselves and our families to impossible standards. What I think most of us want is to never have the upsets. If we could all just be regulated all the time, things would be lovely for everyone. Right?!
Did you know that we can’t have a secure attachment relationship if everything is perfect all the time? (Whatever perfect actually means!)
Relationships are going to have disconnections and misunderstandings. We’re going to get dysregulated and so are our kids. The biggest predictor of healthy relationships is actually the ability to repair disconnections.
What does that mean?
It means we need to mess up. Things need to get messy sometimes so that we can repair our relationships. Learning to repair our relationships is a critical skill that most people don’t learn growing up (because our parents and grandparents probably didn’t know how to do it, either).
But repairing disconnections is a skill that you can learn and teach.
When you learn to repair the everyday disconnections and misunderstandings, you have a superpower. And when you learn how to do it, your kids also learn by your example.
I think one of my best parenting moments was when my son messed something up and he came back to tell me that he was sorry he had reacted the way he had with me, that he was having a rough day, and that he didn’t mean to hurt me with his words. This is something I had done with him and now he was doing it with me.
And just like that, we changed an old trans-generational pattern into something that helped us to be even more connected.
So even if your weekend was rough…
…even if things didn’t go the way you hoped they would, it doesn’t mean you’re doomed to always struggle in your relationship. It means you have lots of opportunities to learn to repair and to teach your kids how to repair, too.
Tomorrow is a good day to learn. I’m hosting this free webinar, Monday Jan. 16 2 PM EST
Register here: Where to Begin To Heal Your Parent-Child Relationship
P.S. If you find this after it is over, sign up anyway for access to the recording!