Being a parent is a wild ride. As my kids get older I am constantly amazed at how our conversations get deeper, more interesting, and sophisticated.
My kids are also my biggest teachers. I am challenged to practice every tip I teach in order to stay centered and be the best mom possible.
I was tested yet again by my ten year old. There was an afternoon recently that he was being disrespectful, which he knows is not tolerated in our home. I sent him to his room, and told him that he was welcome to come back down when he was ready to alter his tone. He knows that is code for take a few minutes to breathe and chill out.
That is one parenting win…my kids have seen me pause in the middle of many situations to take a few nice long deep breaths, and apparently the modeling is paying off. They will often pause to breathe too when they feel overwhelmed or upset. The keyword is often. My son did not do that in this case and needed some downtime to regroup.
Later that evening as I was tucking my son into bed, he apologized for his disrespectful tone. Because he brought it up, I jumped on the chance to talk about it without sounding like a nagging mom. I asked him if he could tell that he was feeling agitated and getting triggered, and he said yes. I then told him one of my favorite lines from Gabby Bernstein, I said “Babe, you gotta check yourself before you wreck yourself.”
I explained that awareness is the key to any situation. When you feel your emotions escalating you need to check in. What are you needing in that moment? How can you get back to center? Do you need to breathe? Do you need to excuse yourself? Do you need to talk? Do you need a hug?
I really think he got it, and it was an awesome conversation.
The same concept goes for kids, teens, and adults. We need to learn the signals of our body and how to be aware of our emotions. When we feel that we are escalating to unwanted levels of stress or anxiety what do we need to do to come back down? We can check ourselves before we wreck ourselves.
I encourage you to take a few minutes and note what brings you back to center. Create a plan in your mind of 2-3 things that always make you feel better. I call this your trigger plan. Maybe it is a walk around the block, deep breathing, 20 jumping jacks, or a hug from a loved one. There is no right or wrong.
Share in the comments what your trigger plan is and how you will check yourself next time before you wreck yourself.