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The Purejoy Parenting Blog

Dealing with Disappointment

Dealing with Disappointment

Disappointment is a common emotion experienced by parents when their children don’t meet their expectations or fail to do what was expected of them. As a parent, you work hard to provide the best for your children and to be a responsible caregiver. However, when things don’t go as planned, disappointment can be overwhelming.

When my brother once told me that he would rather experience someone being angry with him vs disappointed, I didn’t understand why. But as I grew older and faced similar situations with my own child, I realized that disappointment carries a heavy weight and often feels like shame. It’s a painful emotion that can leave us questioning our abilities as parents.

I used to believe that if I did everything right, if I was always responsible and showed up the way I wanted to, my child would magically do what I asked and be happy about it. But that wasn’t the case. I remember a specific incident when I asked my child to give me my keys, and she refused. It was shocking because I had done everything right, or so I thought.

When we feel this way, it’s easy to blame our children and think that something is wrong with them. We may label them as defiant, resistant, or aggressive. In reality, this reaction is a form of denial. We project our disappointment onto our children, without taking a moment to understand what might be going on inside them.

As parents, we often strive for approval and try to fulfill our own unmet needs through our children. When our children don’t meet our expectations, we may feel a deep level of disappointment. This disappointment may stem from the heavy expectations placed on us by our own caregivers. We start questioning ourselves, thinking that we should have done more or better.

In moments of disappointment, it’s important to pause and offer yourself kindness. You may hold the belief that your children should listen to you unquestioningly. However, this belief assumes that you have authority as parents without putting in the effort to build a genuine relationship with your children. Your responsibility and desire to take care of everything can hinder your ability to understand your children’s perspectives when they say no or resist your requests.

By slowing down and exploring your own disappointments, you can uncover the root causes and recognize the impact of projecting your expectations onto your children. Remember that your happiness and fulfillment should not solely depend on your children’s actions. Instead work to find that inner sense of approval and contentment, independent of your children’s behavior.

Dealing with disappointment as a parent is challenging, but you can navigate it with self-compassion. When you feel disappointment, take your SafeSeat to reflect on your feelings. Be kind to yourself without believing your stories.

Embrace the moments of disappointment as opportunities for growth and self-reflection. Offer yourself kindness, understanding, and patience as you navigate the complexities of parenthood.

SafeSeat: Creating a Safe Supportive Environment for Parenting

SafeSeat: Creating a Safe Supportive Environment for Parenting

In the journey of parenting, we often encounter moments of frustration and overwhelm. It’s natural to feel triggered when our children’s behavior doesn’t align with our expectations. But what if there was a way to navigate these moments with more ease and grace?

Enter the concept of the SafeSeat. The SafeSeat is a foundational practice in Purejoy parenting, designed to support you in regulating your emotions and creating a safe and supportive environment for both yourself and your children.

The inspiration for the SafeSeat came from observing my daughter playing the game of tag. At first the game was fun and exciting as she ran around the field trying not to get tagged. Then WAM! the moment the tagger came after her she freaked out. She ran off the field screaming and grabbed onto my leg. She had an amygdala hi-jack and in that moment she perceived DANGER! As I continued to watch I saw kids, who were about to get tagged, fall down on the grown and say “I quit, I quit” while others hit the tagger. All of these young strategies were to protect themselves from the perceived danger.

When I explained to her that she could seek refuge in a designated safe base, such as a tree instead of getting tagged her world shifted. In this safe base, she could take a deep breath, regulate her emotions, and gather the courage to rejoin the game. This one step made all the difference for my daughter to be able to return to the game and find deep enjoyment.

Later, as I was contemplating this I realized that I was getting emotionally tagged daily with my daughter. It became clear that I didn’t have a safe base to run to so I was acting out all over the place. This was when the concept of the SafeSeat was born and I created my first seat on my couch…in the middle of the action. 

You too can create a SafeSeat for yourself. When you feel emotinally triggered (tagged) by your children’s behavior, you can pause, take a deep breath, and find your own safe base in the midst of the action instead of acting out with your children. This SafeSeat allows you to regulate your emotions, offer yourself kindness, and shift from reactive responses to thoughtful, intentional parenting.

By practicing the SafeSeat, you can break free from old patterns and reactions that no longer serve you. Instead of yelling, punishing, or withdrawing, you can approach your children with empathy and understanding. You can recognize that their behavior is not a personal attack, but rather a reflection of their developmental stage and individual needs.

The SafeSeat also empowers you to support our children in navigating their own emotional journeys. By recognizing when you’re feeling triggered, you can take responsibility for your own emotions and create a safe space for your children to express themselves. You can become their safe base, offering stability and love as they navigate the ups and downs of life.

Practicing the SafeSeat is a transformative process that requires intention and commitment. It’s not about being perfect or avoiding challenges, but rather about cultivating self-awareness and choosing connection over reaction. With time and practice, the SafeSeat becomes a powerful tool for creating a harmonious and joyful parent-child relationship.

If you’re curious to learn more about the SafeSeat and its profound impact on parenting, I invite you to visit my website at purejoyparenting.com. There, you can access a free five-day video series that dives deeper into the SafeSeat process and its application in everyday parenting.

Remember, parenting is a journey of growth and learning. By embracing the concept of the SafeSeat, yoou can cultivate a safe and supportive environment where both you and your children can thrive.

Holiday Gatherings: Navigating Different Values with Grace

Holiday Gatherings: Navigating Different Values with Grace

The holiday season often brings us together with our families, and while these gatherings can be joyous occasions, they can also be challenging, especially when our parenting style differs from that of our relatives. It’s not uncommon to feel judged or criticized for our choices, which can create tension and defensiveness.

At first, I found myself on the defensive, firmly believing that my way of parenting was the right way, while everyone else’s approach was wrong. This mindset led me to confrontations and attempting to prove my family wrong. However, I soon realized that we simply had different values, rules, and ways of living. It was essential to shift my perspective and acknowledge that our differences didn’t make either side inherently right or wrong.

To navigate these situations successfully, I learned the importance of staying connected to my own values and supporting my child in understanding the environment we were entering. For example, if manners were highly valued in my family, I would communicate this to my child before the gathering. I explained the expectations, rules, and values that were important in my family’s home. It wasn’t about forcing my child to conform, but rather about demonstrating love for others values as well as our own.

Similarly, just as we prepare our children for school by explaining the expectations and rules, we can do the same for family gatherings. By setting clear expectations and discussing the lay of the land, we allow our children to make informed choices about how they want to show up. It’s crucial to emphasize that these expectations are not about right or wrong but about understanding and respecting the values of the environment we are entering.

Navigating family gatherings during the holiday season can be emotionally charged, but by reframing our mindset, we can approach these situations with grace and understanding. Rather than seeing our family’s values as a threat, we can hold onto our own values while supporting our children in understanding and adapting to the expectations they may encounter. This approach fosters open communication, empathy, and respect for different perspectives.

Remember, it’s not about proving anyone wrong or making anyone right. It’s about creating an environment of love, acceptance, and understanding, where we can all come together and celebrate the joy of being with our loved ones during this special time of year.

Happy holidays!

Gratitude: A Parenting Practice

Gratitude: A Parenting Practice

It is Thanksgiving week in the United States, and as we gather with loved ones to celebrate and express gratitude, it is also an opportune time to reflect on the power of gratitude in our parenting journey. Gratitude, often hailed as a powerful force, can bring about transformation when consciously cultivated and practiced.

As parents, we may sometimes find it challenging to feel grateful, especially when faced with the daily struggles and complexities of raising children. It is easy to get caught up in the mindset of constantly wanting to change or fix aspects of our parenting or our children’s behavior. However, shifting our perspective and finding gratitude even in the midst of challenges can lead to a profound shift in our experience as parents.

At times, you may feel pressured to feel grateful because you think you are supposed to. But true gratitude goes beyond mere obligation. It is about consciously acknowledging and appreciating the present moment, even when it may not align with your expectations or desires. It is about finding the beauty and lessons in every situation, no matter how difficult or uncomfortable.

Practicing gratitude involves taking intentional moments throughout the day to reflect. It can be as simple as noticing a beautiful sunset or expressing gratitude for your ability to see and appreciate it. It is about finding gratitude for the little things you often take for granted, like having two feet to walk on or the privilege of calling this Earth your home.

However, one of the most important aspects of gratitude is expressing it towards ourselves. In a culture that often drives us through self-criticism and the pursuit of an idealized version of ourselves, it can be challenging to offer genuine gratitude for who we are and what we are doing as parents. But by setting aside self-judgment and striving for perfection, we create space to acknowledge our efforts, growth, and the love we bring to our children’s lives.

So, as we embark on this week of gratitude, let us immerse ourselves in the practice of gratitude as a transformative parenting tool. Let us make it a priority to find moments of gratitude throughout our days, just as we would add spices to a recipe. It does not mean that we ignore or deny the existence of challenges or moments of discontent. Instead, it is about consciously choosing to focus on the things we appreciate, knowing that gratitude has the power to shift our perspective and invite more joy into our lives.

As we sit down to give thanks today, let us not only express gratitude towards our loved ones but also towards ourselves. Let us honor our journey as parents, acknowledging that we are doing our best with the resources and knowledge we have. Remember, the fact that you are here, seeking personal growth and striving to be a conscious and loving parent, is something to be truly grateful for.

From my heart to yours, I extend my deepest gratitude to each and every one of you. Thank you for joining me on this parenting adventure, and may this week be filled with love, joy, and a profound sense of gratitude.

Have a beautiful day.

 

Parental Pressure: Finding your Way

Parental Pressure: Finding your Way

Are you uniquely challenged in your parenting, especially when you have more than one child? Each child has their own individuality, with different regulatory systems, values, and preferences. As a parent, it can often feel overwhelming to address the needs of each child and navigate the pressure to parent in a certain way.

External influences, such as parenting advice or societal expectations, can create internal pressure for you as a parent. It’s common to have high hopes of offering your children something you may have lacked in your own upbringing. You may immerse ourselves in books and resources on conscious parenting, seeking guidance on how to be the best parent you can be.

However, it’s essential to recognize that not all traditional parenting methods align with your values and experiences. How your were parented may not resonate with how you choose to parent. Trusting your own wisdom becomes paramount in finding your unique way of parenting.

For single parents like myself, the pressure may be even more pronounced. With only ourselves and our child in the home, we may feel the weight of external expectations. When our children’s behavior triggers our own early templates of what is deemed acceptable or not, it’s crucial to pause and reflect.

Shifting your focus from telling your children what they can’t do to understanding the underlying emotions that are driving what they actually “are” doing can release external pressures. Instead of trying to mold your children into someone they are not, you can ask yourself, “What is going on for them inside that doesn’t feel okay in this moment?”

Recognizing that pressure often stems from within yourself allows you to create a more supportive and understanding environment for your children. While some pressure can be motivating, excessive pressure can hinder growth and lead to behavioral challenges.

Children may express their internal pressures through their behavior. They may act out, become aggressive, or withdraw when they feel overwhelmed. As parents, it’s essential to dig deeper and understand the underlying emotions driving their actions. By doing so, you can reduce the pressure they feel and create a space where they can move forward positively.

Finding the balance between support and challenge is key. It’s natural to experience pressure, but it’s important to differentiate between healthy and excessive pressure. When pressure becomes too intense, it can hinder progress rather than promote growth. It’s important to note that not all pressure is negative. Healthy challenges and deadlines can motivate and support growth.

By recognizing and addressing your own internal pressures, you can better understand your children’s behaviors and respond with empathy and guidance. When you release the need to fit into societal expectations and focus on your children’s individual needs, you create an environment that fosters their well-being and personal growth.

As you embark on this journey of parenting, strive to find balance, trust your instincts, and create a space where your children can flourish. It’s through understanding and supporting their unique needs that you can truly empower them to become their best selves.

Wishing you a beautiful week ahead!

 

Understanding the Energetics of Feelings

Understanding the Energetics of Feelings

Parenting is a journey filled with intense emotions, both for children and parents. It is important to explore the energetics of these feelings to create a healthy and balanced parent-child relationship.

When a child experiences a strong emotion, such as fear or disappointment, it can feel overwhelming to them. As a parent, it is crucial to understand that these intense feelings are a result of their young regulatory system. For example, not getting a desired treat can feel like a life or death situation to a child. Their fear and frustration may manifest through challenging behaviors like hitting or biting.

In our culture, it is common to view such behaviors as threatening or wrong. However, it is essential to look beyond these perceptions and energetically attune to your children’s emotions. Just like an energy ball or a hot potato, their emotions can trigger similar energetic charges within you. These charges are often influenced by your own childhood experiences and repressed behaviors.

Recognizing your own energetic charges is key to responding effectively to your children. Some behaviors may not trigger any charge within you, allowing you to respond with your adult capacity and support your child’s emotional needs. However, when the energetic charges activate, it can feel just as intense for you as it does for your child. This can lead to reactive behaviors, escalating the situation further.

To break this cycle, you can create a SafeSeat for yourself. In this safe space, you acknowledge your activated state and work with the energetic charge without acting it out. Instead of suppressing or denying these emotions, you offer them kindness and allow them to move through you in a safe and supportive way. By doing so, you cultivate emotional safety for yourself and your children.

Understanding and managing your own energetic charges allows you to show up for your children in a new state of being. You can attune to their emotional needs and respond with empathy and calmness. This shift in your energy can help to calm their nervous systems, ultimately leading to a positive change in their behaviors.

Parenting is not about overpowering your children or demanding compliance. It is about creating a fair and balanced exchange of emotions and values. By linking your highest values with those of your children, you foster an environment of respect and understanding. This fair exchange promotes healthy self-esteem and strengthens the parent-child bond.

As a parent, you have the power to transform your own energetic responses and create a nurturing and supportive environment for your children. By embracing the energetics of feelings and practicing attunement, you can navigate the challenges of parenting with grace and compassion.

Remember, it is through your own self-awareness and willingness to engage in a fair exchange that you can truly meet your children’s emotional needs and foster their growth and development.

Meeting Fear and Embracing the Present

Meeting Fear and Embracing the Present

In today’s fast-paced world, it’s easy to get caught up in worrying about the future. As parents, we often find ourselves projecting into the future and trying to prepare our children for what lies ahead. However, constantly living in the future can make us lose sight of the present and create unnecessary fear and anxiety.

The problem with projecting into the future is that it takes us away from the reality of the now. We start parenting our children based on imaginary scenarios, trying to protect them from potential dangers that may never come to pass. This projection of energy can be confusing for our children, as they are living in the present moment, not the future.

It’s important to recognize that we cannot control or predict the future. Instead of expending energy on worrying about what may happen, we can focus on being present and grateful for what we have right now. Take a moment to reflect on all the difficult times you have faced in the past. Despite not knowing what the future held, you were able to navigate through those challenges and come out stronger. Trust in your ability to handle whatever comes your way.

During uncertain times, such as the recent pandemic, it’s natural to feel a heightened sense of fear about the future. However, remember that you have resources and the capacity to adapt and persevere. Rather than dwelling on the fear of the unknown, shift your focus to the present moment. Are you and your family safe and well right now? Appreciate the blessings you have in the present and let go of excessive worry about the future.

As parents, our instinct is to protect our children at all costs. But we must also recognize that constantly projecting into the future can create unnecessary stress and anxiety for both ourselves and our children. Instead, let’s strive to be fully present and engage with our children in the reality of the now. By doing so, we demonstrate to them the importance of mindfulness and resilience.

It’s crucial to strike a balance between preparing for the future and being fully present in the present. Acknowledge that the future is uncertain, and no amount of projection can change that. Embrace the power of now and trust in your ability to handle whatever comes your way. Focus on nurturing your relationships, creating meaningful connections, and enjoying the present moment with your loved ones.

Remember, the greatest gift we can give our children is to be fully present and mindful, appreciating the beauty of the present moment. Let go of unnecessary fear and anxiety about the future, and embrace the power of now.

Managing Expectations in Parenting: Recognizing and Embracing Reality

Managing Expectations in Parenting: Recognizing and Embracing Reality

Parenting comes with a multitude of expectations, both conscious and unconscious. We envision how our children will behave, achieve, and navigate life. However, it’s important to acknowledge that these expectations often stem from our own desires and perspectives. In this blog post, we will explore the challenges of managing expectations in parenting and the significance of recognizing and embracing reality.

Recognizing Personal Expectations: As parents, we often have a clear vision of how we want our children to behave, succeed, and make choices. These expectations can arise from our understanding of their capabilities and potential. However, it is crucial to remember that these expectations are our own and may not align with our children’s aspirations or values. By acknowledging that our expectations are ours alone, we can avoid projecting them onto our children and imposing unnecessary pressure.

The Impact of Unmet Expectations: When our children’s actions and choices do not meet our expectations, it can lead to disappointment, frustration, and even judgment. We may question their dedication, discipline, or commitment. However, it is essential to separate our expectations from their own journey and goals. Understanding that their decisions are driven by their own high values can help us approach the situation with empathy and support.

The Importance of Open Communication: To navigate the complexities of expectations in parenting, fostering open communication with our children is key. By genuinely listening to their desires, high values, and aspirations, we can gain insight into their perspective. This allows us to provide the necessary support and guidance without imposing our own expectations on them. Engaging in meaningful conversations helps build trust and encourages our children to express themselves freely.

Embracing Reality and Individuality: As parents, we must recognize that our children have their own unique paths and dreams. Embracing their individuality means letting go of the need to control their every decision and encouraging them to explore their own journey. By accepting the reality that their choices may not always align with our expectations, we create an environment that fosters growth, self-discovery, and independence.

Managing expectations in parenting is an ongoing process that requires self-reflection and open-mindedness. By recognizing our personal expectations, separating them from our children’s goals, and embracing their individuality, we can cultivate a supportive and empowering environment. Let us strive to be understanding and adaptable parents who guide our children while respecting their autonomy and aspirations.

Disaster! Crisis Alert! by Masha Blokh

Disaster! Crisis Alert! by Masha Blokh

Disaster! Crisis! Alert!

This is how my everyday life often feels to me. Say I’m already a couple of minutes late to a scheduled meeting, and as I step onto the front porch, I see a neighbor walking over to say “hi”. My brain yells: “Alert! Abort conversation immediately, or lateness may increase by a disastrous 30 seconds to a minute!” My blood pressure rises, my brain goes into fight or flight, and I truly feel as if I need to ward off an enemy or flee for my survival. I only relax when I arrive at the meeting, and the other person, as usual, is either totally fine with my lateness or is even more late themselves.

I have been practicing giving myself compassion instead of criticism for this degree of alarm. As a young child, I relied entirely on others, so getting scolded really did feel like a threat to my survival. And it’s understandable that a lot of that fearful thinking has carried over into my current life, however unproductive it may feel for me now as an adult.”

With two sensitive young children at home, sibling conflicts used to be a major source in triggering this kind of fight or flight energy. Tears, shouts and thumps would ring my alarm bells many times a day. Then a few months ago, I had a powerful experience of responding differently to a sibling conflict that has begun to change this pattern in our family. It was my son’s birthday, and I had bought a few boardgames for us to play together with his sister that day. I bought whatever looked good at our local second-hand store, and one of the games happened to be made by a company called The Peaceable Kingdom. According to the box it was designed to “inspire cooperation and cultivate kindness”…so it was no surprise when my son grabbed a token out of his sister’s hand and began to run around the room with it, laughing. She yelled in anger and frustration as she tried to get it back, and he yelled back, “Look mommy, isn’t it so funny when she’s so angry?” as he continued to dodge her and keep the token out of her reach.

Maybe because of the humorous irony of witnessing this war break out in the Peaceable Kingdom, I did not hear any alarm bells in that moment. Instead I felt a calm conviction that my daughter does not “need” that token back and my son does not “need” to learn a lesson. From my new felt vantage point I saw that what I can calmly offer them right now is to see, hear and understand my daughter’s distress, and to validate her feelings. Those feelings were intense, and yet there was no disaster or danger going on – just a lot of discomfort and intensity that was difficult for her to process in that moment. As I held and listened to my daughter, I connected to my own inner child, and to all those times that I was frustrated or thwarted as a kid. I saw that what would have supported me to process and move on from those events with my self-love and self-image intact was not for anyone to be punished or for the problem to be fixed. All I needed was to feel someone’s kindness and care towards my feelings, to hear someone gently saying: “Of course you feel that way. Of course you didn’t want that to happen.” What I needed was for someone to be my SafeSeat.

Since that event, something has changed in how I see sibling conflicts, and some of the emergency-urgency energy has dissipated. Since I can validate my kids’ feelings almost anytime, under any circumstances, it does not feel so urgent to resolve the conflict. With the sense of crisis removed, I’m not jumping into fight-or-flight right away, and I’m able to provide support and make space for a creative and collaborative solution that my kids often come up with on their own. (“OK, I can throw the balls that way so that it doesn’t break her tower.”) Or if safety is a concern I can step in to take one child to a different room. Whatever I decide to do, it is so much more effective when I don’t approach the conflict as a disaster.

When I do approach conflicts in an urgent way, I pit myself against reality. Then I feel trapped between the voice screaming in my head to fix everything and make it better, and my inability to control another person’s behavior. Pretty quickly I’m overwhelmed with a feeling of powerlessness, which I then try to avoid and push aside with a big dose of anger. Once I’m at that point, my inner wise adult is not available to support my children, and I join them in their distress and dysregulation until I take a time out for myself and spend some time in the SafeSeat. This comes with its own benefits for me and my children…and it is really nice when we can coast through a conflict without a 30-minute dysregulation fest.

So in a way, the Peaceable Kingdom game did “inspire collaboration and cultivate kindness” – it inspired my kindness towards myself and my children’s feelings, which makes space for them to resolve their conflicts through collaboration.

Masha is a Purejoy graduate from the class of 2021. She has mostly moved on from Guess Who to cushion fights with her son and setting up all the dinosaurs in a row along the piano keys with her daughter. She is now slightly favoring improv comedy classes over stand up open mics as a participant, though it’s still a toss up for which is more fun to watch.

 

Strategies for Parenting: Finding Peace Within

Strategies for Parenting: Finding Peace Within

Are you looking for new parenting strategies to get your kids to behave? I often come across this common theme when working with others, as well as in my own life. Rather than speaking as an expert, I believe that each individual is the expert of themselves. So, in Purejoy, my aim is to guide you and provide little sparks of inspiration for you to explore on your own. After all, I can’t have all the answers for your unique situation when I’m not there with you 24/7.

One common pattern I’ve noticed, which I experienced early on and have heard from many other parents, is that when we feel uncomfortable with our children’s behavior, we tend to seek external strategies to control their actions in order to find inner calm. We all desire a peaceful home, but what we truly seek is peace within ourselves so that we can navigate whatever arises in our home environment.

However, we often confuse this and believe that we must control the external factors. And when we inevitably fail to do so, we feel guilty and may lash out at our children, leading to a collapse in our own emotional state. One aspect of this collapse is the guilt that turns into self-aggression, as our attempts at control prove ineffective. At this point, we must confront the reality of our powerlessness over the external factors. But fear not, for there is a way out. The answer lies within.

We are constantly looking outside ourselves, but the truth is that our children’s behavior is not the root cause of our internal disturbances. When we feel disturbed, our minds start generating thoughts and strategies to regain control. We may think of consequences, punishments, or various techniques to manipulate the external environment and create a sense of peace. However, here’s a little secret: no matter what you do or say, even if you remain calm, your children can sense your true emotions and discomfort. It’s essential to understand this. They feel it, and when you project your discomfort onto them, they experience it as well and then act it out.

The most valuable lesson I’ve learned, and I encourage you to try it this week and see for yourself, is to recognize when I am disturbed. I used to experience frequent disturbances due to my beliefs and expectations about how things should be—for my child and myself as a mother. There were countless “shoulds” in my mind. Instead of meeting the present moment and acknowledging my disturbance, I would often externalize it. Many people come to this work seeking to turn inward, but they still find themselves searching for strategies.

When these strategies fail to bring about the desired change in their children’s behavior, they collapse and conclude that it doesn’t work. However, the real issue lies in the belief that your internal disturbance is solely caused by external factors. I’m not saying that the external doesn’t trigger your disturbance—it does. But that internal disturbance is often rooted in the fantasy of how you think things should be for you to feel safe and okay. I spent a significant portion of my life trying to create a calm and perfect external environment, which is an impossible task. So, when disruptive elements entered my life, such as my daughter’s behavior, I believed I had the power to change it. I would either exert control over her or blame myself for my perceived failure. Then, I would search for more strategies, as I needed her behavior to align with my expectations in order for me to feel inner peace.

In Purejoy, we recognize the challenge presented by our child’s behavior instead of trying to control, fix, or change it. We acknowledge the disturbance within ourselves and take it to our SafeSeat. If you haven’t already, I have a free copy of a five-day video series on the SafeSeat available on the website. When I refer to the Safeseat, that’s what I’m talking about. By sitting with the emotions that arise—typically feelings of powerlessness, helplessness, rejection, or abandonment—and offering kindness to these feelings, you can begin to separate yourself from them. You are not defined by your emotions. You possess the power to turn inward and be compassionate with yourself.

You may not have control over your child’s behavior, except when you resort to fear tactics. However, you can utilize the power you do have to turn inward and extend kindness to yourself. Remember, no matter what strategies you employ or what you say to your kids, your true emotions will be felt by them. So, let’s focus on you finding peace within yourself.

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