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Unlock you - tips for when you cannot handle your child’s overwhelm

October 9, 2013 by admin  
Filed under Peaceful Parenting

What happens when your child has an emotion that is really big and you start to feel overwhelmed by it?

First of all, there is nothing wrong with you or your child. So let’s get that clear:) Your child is having an emotion that he needs help with. As you have heard me say many times before - the need that is behind the behavior is the force that is fueling the upset and your child has no way of managing that force.

So why would a parent who knows that, continue to get overwhelmed? Quite simply, maybe you grew up in a home where it was not ok to have these unregulated emotions and your parents could not or would not tolerate them. Perhaps they made you wrong (unconsciously ) because of it.

Now we all know that a child cannot de-escalate emotions like an adult because he does not have the neural pathways formed in his brain yet that facilitate that function. Your child is learning to shape his brain based on what he sees, senses and makes real. He learns this from you and the world around him and he starts to adopt particular points of view as HIS OWN.

So how can you stay calm and model self-regulation when you get tense the moment you sense a meltdown coming on? How can you keep from shutting down and feeling that painful feeling of overwhelm that ends up either as you frantically doing anything to get the behavior to stop or start yelling and trying to make your reaction (which is resistance ) bigger than your child’s in order to make the behavior stop because you can’t take it?

We need to start with unlocking the energy that starts to build in your own body. This way, you are no longer struggling with the reaction each time your child is acting like a child (which is normal) as she is learning to cope with emotions in ways that work for both of you.

1) Breathe as new practice (I know everyone says to do this) the reason being is that it is more profound then you may realize.This helps your brain to stop the production of cortizol and adrenaline which fuel your fight/flight instinct. This also helps you to stop strengthening the neural pathways in your brain that reinforce the pattern that has been created when you go into auto pilot each time the meltdown occurs. You may notice the trigger and the neural response happens in nano seconds and before you know it, you are in your habitual “auto pilot” pattern.

Please try this as a practice - EACH day take 3 deep breaths 3 x per day (set your phone to remind you, set up post it notes to remind you - whatever it takes) This exercise takes only 90 seconds to do. The purpose: to start to break up the patterns of your daily thoughts as you get used to breathing and self regulating at anytime. You begin to make this a new habit and you start doing it without thinking about it.

2) Ask yourself this question when you get that feeling of anger or overwhelm coming into your body:

“Who does this reaction belong to?”

Take a moment to really feel that in your body the moment it comes up. If you feel a strange lightness then the energy of this whole feeling is not even yours. It is something that you have taken on from your parents or peers and you have decided to adopt it as yours. You have made it your own. This takes a bit of practice to feel but when you get it - this will change the way you manage your “auto pilot” mechanisms. So if it feels light, simply say and feel within your mind - or out loud: “Return to sender with love.” You are no longer holding onto this energy that does not even belong to. Try this with any upset that comes over you.

If you ask the question and you feel heavy, feel the energy of the entire upset and reaction and ask it to flow out of your body. Imagine it like a river flowing through you and out of your feet. You are the rock in the stream, the emotion is the river that flows out, nothing sticks to the rock.

3) At any given time you can call up this energy of feeling overwhelmed and release it before it strikes. When you have a moment - take some time for yourself to reconnect with the amazing instrument your body is. The more connection you have with your body, the more awareness you will have with all life around you.

Your body has amazing ways of giving you hints, clues, nudges and awareness that can help you function much more effectively with everyone and everything around you.

So call up this energy when you are taking some time for you. Take a breath and give your mind permission to let go and relax. Ask your body and your awareness: “Where does this feeling come from and where am I holding onto it in my body?” It may take a few tries before you sense something since this may be the first time you are actually really listening to your body. Get an awareness of where you are holding onto it and ask your body to let it go now. See a river of light flow into that area cleaning and washing the energy of that out of your body.

Why are we talking about energy? Take a moment to notice how your child responds to your energy - really pay attention. Now imagine how much more effective parenting is when you pay attention to energy and learn how to harness it so you are not randomly being bounced here and there by energetic emotions that you feel get the “better” of you.

Now you are ready to handle the situation in front of you with more presence. You can stay much more calm and stand outside of the problem without becoming enmeshed within it and your child will feel that and learn from you.

Melinda Asztalos is a parent coach, speaker, author and the founder of Life Positive by Design. She assists parents through a conscious parenting process that enables them to achieve and sustain, positive solutions to their specific parenting challenges. For more information, Please visit: http://lifepositivebydesign.com

Julian Kalmar and Rick Beneteau want to know if you've got what it takes to step up and be a leader in the new world transformation. CLICK HERE to find out.

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