Most parents know what it’s like to feel overwhelmed and before we know it, our brains have snapped into Threat Mode and we’ve started shouting at our child, or maybe we’ve blurted out an ill-advised threat. We might realise half-way through that this wasn’t in our plan, but we don’t know what to do next…
You Can Backtrack at Any Time
The great news is that you can change your mind or back-track at any moment if you need to, once you realise you want to do something different.
It’s totally fine - and actually good for your child to see you modelling this process.
Any time you become aware that things aren’t going as you had hoped, no matter how far along the path you are, you can pause… notice what’s happening…
...and say you need a moment to decide what to do.
Once you feel calmer, you can use your wise mind to decide how to handle the situation differently.
Label to your child how you were feeling (without blaming them); say sorry for something you did if you need to, that your approach wasn’t so helpful; say you’re learning ways to handle things differently but you don’t always get it right. You’re human and that’s ok. Empathise with them if you can. And then calmly take the lead.
Modelling to your child
Modelling emotional awareness, communication, apology, appropriate vulnerability and simply being human with your child is so helpful for their development. They learn it's ok to feel anger or anxiety and that ruptured can be repaired. Your relationship is strong.
This type of changing our mind is very different to “not following through” - which is usually when we inconsistently change our boundaries based on our child’s reaction to them. This takes us away from a wise mind decision and calm, predictable leadership. The back-track in this example is because we realise we don’t like OUR reaction, and instead takes us towards both of these things.
Does this work for you? Do you find it hard?
Want to find out more?
If you'd like to learn more about parenting strategies to handle tricky situations with your kids that also support their brain development, check out The Brain-Based Parenting Bootcamp.
If you'd also like ways to help you stay calmer in the first place, come join us in The Guilty Parent Club!