Most parents know what it’s like to feel overwhelmed and before we know it, our brains have snapped into Survival 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…
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.
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.
Reconnect. 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 emotional awareness, communication, appropriate vulnerability and simply being human with your child is so helpful for their development.
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? Let me know!