Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Parenting Selves

Parenting from the Child Self Parenting from the Adult Self

Reactive   Responsive
Knee-jerk Mindful
Resentful Wise
Dependent Interdependent
Fear-Based Love-Based
Aware of short term desires Aware of Big Picture
Unconscious Decisions Conscious Decisions
Powerstruggle Driven Win/Win Strategy Driven
Chaotic Structured/Routined
Inconsistent Consistent
Victim Survivor/Leader
Inappropriate Appropriate
Blames Others Takes Responsibility
Dramatic Reasonable
Tantrums Remains in control of self
Feels Out of Control Feels In Control

No doubt, the vast majority of us reading these two lists can relate to both, hopefully with an increasing sense of familiarity with the right side.  :)

Knowing “which side of the isle” we are operating from can be tremendously helpful with developing a sense of control  over ourselves and by extension, over the situation.    That’s right, when the house is coming down, and we’re in the middle of that parenting hell moment, our first order of business is gaining control of ourselves.

How can parents create a laser focus on remaining in control of their own emotions first?  
We start right where we are;  we start with our breath.

Focusing on each breath
Following the inhale
Following the exhale
Bringing Monkey Mind back to the breath when it jumps away
Following the inhale
Following the exhale
5 Minutes each day
Your choice, AM or PM?

When we’re upset, our bodies become constricted.  Muscles tighten and a sense of pressure mounts.   Deep breaths get things flowing again, like blood to our brains so we can think rationally about what needs to happen next. :)  

Deep breathing also brings us back into our bodies and back into the moment.  Usually when upset is triggered, our minds are bouncing all over the place, pulling evidence together to support the upset -- and it reaches all across the continuum of time from past upsets to the current perceived injustice.  To stop and redirect that freight train of emotion requires a tremendous amount of effort and energy!  We need a place to redirect it! Focus back to the breath:  always there, always available, always giving us a place to start again.

Brooke Miller Coaching