Our personal experiences form the narrative scripts that our minds cling on to and in a crude way this can determine the way we interact, the relationships we form & the way we live our lives.
The problem lies in the fact that if we are not reflective or self aware, we can end up being too rigid & replaying out past dynamics. It can be very limiting & prevent us from being open and receptive to the present, making real connections.
As parents, especially solo parents, this can mean that we can sometimes react out of proportion or seemingly unexpectedly towards our children.
Feeling quickly full of rage from a small act of petty defiance.
Being ignored by your children & taking this personally to the point of extreme sadness.
Reacting to your small child’s tantrum in a way that makes you feel you’ve lost control yourself.
Getting stuck in an inflamed & aggressive stand offs with your teenager.
Being plummeted into a state of extreme anxiety & terror when the kids go to stay with your ex partner.
What can we do?
As always, find room to pause & breathe.
Notice when you react quickly; strongly; unexpectedly.
Take your self away from the situation. Reflect on possible triggers. Does it remind you of past trigger/ & or situations? Has this reaction happened before?
Ask yourself what happened there? Think of or draw out a pie chart. How much of your reaction could be understood by the situation itself? How much was your own stuff perhaps because you are just stressed today? How much was your stuff because perhaps it resonated with an unmet need in the past (feeling ignored; a fear of being alone; being unable to assert your own wishes; a fear of losing control & being harshly punished).
Try to take responsibility for self development & unpicking your triggers. Keep a journal for these moments. Look for patterns. You’ll learn so much about the way you react & it’ll help you to stay present & be open.
explains this process beautifully in her book #thebookyouwishyourparentsread
which I heartily recommend.