“I am so mad I could pull my hair out. My oldest is pushing my buttons, my youngest is yelling at the top of his lungs. I can’t handle it so I hide in my bedroom. My oldest starts banging on the door. My youngest joins in. I tell them I am taking a moment. They tell me to please come out. I sit there and I breathe and I say to myself, stay calm, everything is okay, they are just kids being kids.”
I bet you have experienced this before. If not this, something like it.
You are totally normal!
Here is the thing…the good thing. Children teach us how to deal with emotion. If we didn’t learn it as a child, we will certainly learn it from our children. They will teach us which negative emotions we like (hint: the ones that come up the most). And then they teach us how to deal with them, if we decide to let them.
Right now my boys are teaching me that I matter. That everything I do, all the fear I face, all the outbursts I have, all the love I give is worth it! I am learning through them how to be authentic, how to be imperfect, and how to love myself truly and fully.
Because when I apologize for all the imperfect things I do, they tell me that it’s okay and that they love me and that they forgive me. And they always taking responsibility for their part as well.
This is true, not only for a parent-child relationship, but for any important relationships in our lives.
Next time you get an overwhelming feeling of emotion with your children or your partner, or any other challenging relationship in your life, do three things:
1. Do your thing…yell, throw a tantrum, lock yourself in your room…whatever it is.
2. Then, when you are done, get down in front of your child or your partner or your mom or best friend and tell them about your emotions. Say something like…I know I got really upset and did such and such. That is my stuff and it is inside me. And it has nothing to do with you.
3. Listen closely to what your child, partner, best friend, mom….. says.
4. Then Repeat.