Our reactivity undermines anything and everything we do. We wonder why we don't have influence over our children. We try and control through reactivity but we don't gather respect this way, we actually lose influence.
Screaming and shouting at our kids has been normalized. Yet if we look at the stress response that sits behind our screaming and their receiving our wrath it is anything but healthy. No one shouts when feeling calm, it is always a symptom of raised stress levels and coursing adrenalin and cortisol.
When we shout we amplify this toxic physical, mental and emotional state for us and our children. What this does is it clouds judgment and reason. It removes all of our higher order faculties that would be useful in a situation when discipline is required.
Remember, discipline shares the same root as disciple, which essentially means to lead. However when we try and influence our kids through our own reactivity rather than influencing them...
Those of us "teening and young adulating" in 1986 may remember when Tom Cruise was being reprimanded for getting ‘killed’ in simulated combat because he left his wingman (Watch movie clip here). A wingman is described as a pilot who supports another in a potentially dangerous <flying> environment. Wingman was originally a term referring to the plane flying beside and slightly behind the lead plane in an aircraft formation.
I (Colleen) use this analogy with my kids. I’ve said to my daughter (now 12) often over the years “I am your wingman - don’t pull away, don’t shoot me down - I am the best supporter you will ever have.”
Let us play with this analogy and infuse it with some neuroscience and emotional intelligence understanding. Assume our kids are the pilots of their own lives and we are their wingmen - supporting them through many potential...
We all know the hamster-wheel analogy - doing things like we’ve always done them, getting to the same place we’ve always gone and never a change in scenery. In the home this can mean dealing with the same issues in the same way over and over and getting the same result. Whether it is the siblings at each other’s jugulars year in and year out, or feeling wrung out as each kid grabs a limb and attempts to drag you in opposite directions in their own interest, or yet again pleading wth the family to feed the dog and make their beds and do their chores to mixed reactions - none of them favourable.
Do you feel overwhelmed by trying to get your child to read more, eat less sugar, play nicely with the neighbours kid or just do their homework without a world war in your kitchen? Do you dream of a home where the members have more responsibility and accountability and you all contribute to more peace and joy? Do you want to shift things around but don’t know how to do...
Colleen is freshly returned from the Immersion weekend with Dr Dan Siegal where she and only nineteen other lucky people sat in a room with him in beautiful Santa Monica, California, alongside the Pacific Ocean, soaking up every word spoken for three enlightening days. She's shared the key take-outs with you here;
"The format of the Immersion weekend workshop was that we were each given thirty minutes in which we could personally interview Dan on anything based on our reading of his books namely; The Developing Mind, The Pocket Guide to Interpersonal Neurobiology, Mindsight, Parenting from the Inside Out, Brainstorm, The Whole Brain Child and his new book, No Drama Discipline. After our inteview the other people in the room were also invited to ask and respond about that particular interview. This weekend was a deep dive into the workings and teachings of this great man. The books all share a common theme, and that is simply about;
Deep gratitude to each one of you who has journeyed with us in 2014. May you have a peaceful and joyful time over the holidays and in the moments that are not peaceful may you be gifted with the presence to still see the little victories.
Colleen posted something recently that has gone viral we thought we'd share it here for those of you who missed it on Facebook.
I SEE YOU
Its a time of badges, certificates, medals, trophies, recognition, awards, prizes and 'seeing' of high achievement. I love seeing the kids that shine at this time of year - a big high heartfelt round of applause to you. You so deserve it for the effort you have put in.
But this message is for the kids that didn't get called up for any of the above… I SEE YOU.
To the child that conquered their fear of heights, or sleeping in the dark, or riding without training wheels or sleeping out for the night for the first time this year, I SEE YOU
To the child that managed to resolve more conflict than they started...