Don’t shoot the messenger! But what if the messenger is locked and loaded, ready to attack! Regardless of the message, how do we react when someone approaches our children in an aggressive manner? I know I turn into Momma Bear and not the cute, fuzzy, cuddly one. More like the one who with the sharp teeth and claws ready to maim the messenger. But what if the messenger is me?
So often we do to our children the very things that we defend them against- insult, disrespect and even violence. And I am not judging, I have been there! Ask Marissa about the time I got two inches from her face and yelled at the top of my lungs that I would be happy to take her eyes out if she didn’t know how to stop rolling them. Ask her, she’ll tell you because she remembers how disrespected and hurt she felt. The opposite of how I ever want any of my children to feel.
Heightened emotion and impulse can lead to unintended action. Purposeful parenting is about matching our actions with our intention. One way to curb the impulse and even the emotional energy is to practice mindfulness. This week let’s try a minute of mindfulness before interactions that may elicit conflict. Five full deep slow breaths, not only calm the physical responses of heightened emotions like anger, but they can also provide the space in which we can refocus on our intention and energy to communicate love, even in the midst of a disagreement.
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