Differently Wired 7-Day Challenge: Day 6
Welcome to Day 6 of the Differently Wired 7-Day Challenge!
Today’s TILT is about getting inside your head a little bit, because what I’d like you to do is notice when you are triggered by something your child has done and ask yourself the question: What am I making this mean?
This is where we have to start, because if we are being triggered by our kid’s behavior, it is almost always because we’re making their choice mean something about us—who we are, how our child perceives us, how good (or bad) we are as a parent, etc. When we have a strong emotional reaction to something our kid is doing, we need to ask ourselves, What am I making this mean?
Maybe you’re thinking he doesn’t respect me or she shouldn’t be ignoring me or he doesn’t care about our shared agreement.
Whatever thoughts or beliefs you come up with, you write them down and dispute them one by one.
Is it that he doesn’t respect you or he doesn’t have the skills he needs to handle this situation right now? Is it that she doesn’t care about your shared agreement or that when she’s anxious all logic flies out the window?
And suddenly, what’s happening isn’t personal anymore. Usually what’s going on with our child doesn’t actually have anything to do with us at all. It’s about their not having the necessary skills to better handle any given situation. So instead of getting upset, we can look at them with compassion and ask ourselves, How can I support my child in this situation or what can he or she learn from this situation?
This TiLT can be a little tougher than the others because it requires that you take a pause and really get inside your head to uncover what exactly is going on. Sometimes it’s easy to figure out, and sometimes it takes a while to get the heart of the matter. But if you’re curious and committed, you’ll get there… I promise.
For today’s challenge, I’d like you to notice when you’re emotionally triggered by something your child does and then explore exactly WHY you’re triggered. In other words, answer the question: What am I making this mean? Once you figure that out, see if you can dispute what you’ve come up with and remind yourself that this is about your child’s abilities and skills, not you.
And if you use the downloadable workbook, I’ve included a little thought worksheet to help you process these concepts.