Think about temper tantrums in a shopping centre… being uncooperative when asked to go to bed… your toddler starts hitting his or her siblings…or when you are locked in a power struggle with your older child?
When this happens, does it trigger anxiousness and stress within you? Do you wish it will just stop, or do you just want to get away or even try to use force to control the situation?
It could be:
- Maybe you are worried about what other people will be thinking about your parenting style?
- You feel that your request for them to settle down is not being heard and respected by your child.
- You fear that your "parenting" authority has been challenged.
- You feel that you are powerless because your children are not cooperating and not do what you want.
- You wonder what you may have done,i.e. something wrong "again", to result in the meltdown.
- You feel that it is your duty or job to discipline your child and conform to an acceptable level of behaviour by your standards.
- You feel frustrated and clueless on how to handle the situation.
Where do those feelings and emotions come from?
During your child's meltdown, if your emotions were triggered, it could be reflecting on unresolved issues, hurt, or unmet needs from your childhood.
The raw emotions from the meltdown trigger the "memory" of how you ( your inner child) felt all those years ago, or remind you of similar unhappy emotions that you have forgotten but kept deep within your subconscious mind.
If could be whether:
- Did you feel you were ignored as a child?
- Did you feel safe?
- Were you respected for who you were?
- Did you feel loved?
- Did you feel powerless and constantly have to give in to please your parents or adults?
- Were your emotions triggered by any of the above statements?
When you were young, you may have encountered situations that resulted in your believing that:
- Your behavior was unacceptable.
- You were told that you could only be seen and not heard.
- Your parent cut off your explaination and told you just do as you were told and don't defy them.
- You felt that your feelings were not important.
- Your needs were not important.
- You may have experienced harsh punishment for speaking out or challenging your parents' authority.
- Other triggers?
What can you learn from those meltdown moments?
Once you have settled your child, take a moment to reflect on your emotions and journal down your triggers.
- Sit with your feelings, feel it and pay attention to the emotions that arise.
- Bring the emotion to the surface and label them – name the emotion you are feeling.
- Think back to your childhood, what could be the cause of the trigger?
- Why did you feel that way?
- Imagine the little child in you and why were you hurt?
- … Keep journaling
…… keep going until you feel that your emotions have subsided.
The whys may not come to you right away, but keep journaling. You will have clearer answers and more awareness of your reactions to the triggers.
- You have full control of your emotions.
- You do not need validations from your children or anyone else, but only from yourself.
- Your emotions that surfaced were from a long time ago; they were the beliefs and vows you made then to keep you safe, and it is time to release them and let go.
The more awareness you bring to your conscious mind, the easier it is for you to understand the source of the frustrations and anxiousness.
I know it is not going to be easy, and for certain emotions, it can be challenging, as some wounding and vows can be very deep and too painful to comprehend. If this is the case, do not hesitate to seek external help from trained professionals to help you with awareness and how to clear the ‘stuck’ emotions.
From my own personal experience, I needed the help through my personal life coaching sessions as well as several Reiki sessions with the lovely Robyn, plus the help of my family.
Personal growth is a journey, and through the relationships with your children, they are able to mirror back (push your buttons) to your unconscious feelings. Those “push your buttons moments” are great reminders that you are reacting from your wounds and fear… this is wonderful way to remind yourself to keep checking in every now and then.
One very important lesson to learn though, when you are reacting: remember it is not about your children, it is all about you. Take the responsibility to own it, take the steps to overcome your unconscious wounding, and move towards healing and getting to know yourself better. It all starts with you!
Have a wonderful day with your family.