For me understanding how our brain processes emotions, the triggers for the fight, flight or freeze responses in myself and in my kids has transformed my life! I have also seen it transform many parents lives in coaching or in workshops as they understand that their child’s emotional brain is still developing and the ability to put the ‘brakes’ on is not yet mature.
Once we understand how the brain works – (in video above with this model of the Brain In the Hand by Dan Siegel) then we can begin to understand our own emotions and understand our child’s emotions. What is the first sign for you that you are getting annoyed / irritated? What is the first sign in your child? What about for nervousness and excitement? The Emotional Thermometer (in video below) is one of the best tools for developing awareness and understanding of emotions – a very important part of emotional intelligence.
Once we have this understanding and our kids have this understanding then we can begin to learn some mindful calming strategies – from simple 10 second activities to longer 5-10 minute activities suitable for young and old!
If you would like to learn more on the emotions and on calming strategies check out the NEW Understanding Emotions Online Course with short videos that you can access in your own time at your own pace and begin learning the skills needed to teach yourself and your children how to regulate emotions.
Which tool would be helpful in your house – the Flipping The Lid Brain in the hand model or the Emotional Thermometer?
What do you do to stay calm or calm down? I’d love to know what works for you…..
I had to use all the mindfulness skills available to me earlier this week to keep calm….and then when I erupted (oops!) – to recover quickly! No-one can push our buttons like our kids can – and it is often when we are tired, stressed – or need to get to work on time….that we are pushed to our limits! As Jane Nelson says in Positive Discipline we are aiming for a general direction NOT perfection…so no point beating ourselves up when we revert to old ways….and instead we need to keep practicing and keep noticing the times when we remember our new strategies…when we find a way to stay calm or calm down!
For me what worked this week was:
- focusing on my feet,
- saying to myself this too will pass,
- looking outside to the view…
- then doing some LOUD breathing out…
- then when I did erupt (unfortunately!) keeping it to ‘I’ statements – limiting the blame and shame….
- and afterwards giving both kids huge hugs,
- apologising for my reaction,
- talking about what we can do the next morning to prevent the same scenario from happening again….
- and for me to identify that I need more self-care / me-time so that I have more reserves for handling BIG issues as they come up!
I am passionate about the need for all parents to understand emotions – how they work? how our brains process them? how kids develop emotional intelligence? How we can use mindfulness to find our inner calm and to help our kids to calm down too?
Here is a video I made for our recent How To Talk So Kids Will Listen group on how to deal with Big Feelings.
I’m so excited to have a *NEW* short online course ‘Understanding Emotions’ – you can work through it at your own pace, when it is convenient for you – there are slides , videos & reflective questions to encourage deep learning! I highly recommend it, you can free trial some of the videos here http://mindfulparentingmindfulcoachingonline.thinkific.com/courses/understandingemotions
I’d love your feedback!
Free Resource: If you would like FREE mindfulness prompts like the one above with strategies on how to deal with a STRONG feeling (yours or your kids) – please sign up at www.mindfulparentingmindfulcoaching.com or for recommended mindful parenting resources go to www.mindfulparentingmindfulcoaching.com/resources
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