Michele Coleman, Ph. D. LMFT
Sometimes I find it easier to look at someone else and bemoan all of his or her faults that make me feel bad. “They always .... If they would just stop doing that life would be so much better.” Unfortunately, this is not how we heal and grow. When the other is our child and we continue to focus on what they do wrong, this does not set either one of us up for growth and healing. Blaming our child for how they treat us does not help us support our youth’s healing.
I know this may be hard to hear, and some of you have already stopped reading. However, if you hang in there with me you may find that these tools help not only with your youth, but your other relationships may transform as well. You will not be the change agent for others, but you are the change agent for yourself. As they say in the 12 Step programs, “When I’m in pain, something’s wrong with me.” This month we are stepping into owning our reactions as a reflection of our inner pain.
We step into our point of power as the change agent when we recognize we have just had a reaction to our child’s behavior. We have a poster at our office that says, “When my child escalates it is my cue to get calm.” This was a direct quote from one of the parents in our 2016. Getting calm in the face of adversity is not what we usually see modeled in our society, and yet since our children are wounded because of childhood experiences with parents, their healing is in relationship to their current parents. – Us.
If you have a reaction to something your child does, I invite you to stop and notice you are having a reaction. If you are having a reaction there is something in You calling for attention to be healed. This is step one.
C - Courageously own the pain that has just been activated by my child