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When you lose it with you child or teen, Repair Is Your Way Back!

I talk a lot on this blog about how to keep from losing it with your kiddo:

  • How to understand what’s happening with them when it comes to emotional regulation.

  • How behavior is an SOS not an attack.

  • How to notice and calm your own stress reactions, in order make the best parenting choices from a place of loving connection.

The truth is, however, that we all lose it with our kids sometimes! It’s part of being real and human and messy. My guess is, if you’re like me, that your “go to” when you lose it is to beat yourself up. :(

Take heart! We are wired for connection, not perfection. The skill of relationship repair is a necessary ingredient for building loving connection and resilience.

So, what to do when you lose it?

Here's a Quick Tip for a Quick Win with your parenting...

>>When you lose it... Repair is the way back to loving connection<<

Before you even try to approach your child, sort yourself out first.

  1. It can help to name your feelings to yourself, especially the hard ones. I feel angry, ashamed, scared, frustrated… Simply naming them can loosen their grip on you and feel really validating. It's great practice for expanding your capacity to tolerate your child’s big feelings.

  2. Utilize some self-regulation skills like breathing, moving your body, drinking cold water, etc.

  3. Practice giving yourself a bit of loving kindness - the way you’d treat your best friend.

Here’s the thing. Repair comes from a place of taking responsibility for your part as the parent or caregiver. It is very different than coming from a place of guilt, which in a kind of backwards way put the responsibility on your child to make you feel OK.

Children think everything is their fault.

Without repair, children take on shame.

  1. Repair sounds like, “You aren’t to blame for me losing it and yelling at you.”

  2. Repair is not behavior correction. Repair creates the loving connection needed to effectively deal with the behavior separately.

In summary:

  • Repair values connection over perfection.

  • Repair models self-reflection and personal responsibility.

  • Repair is shame busting.

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