- When feeling triggered, I ask myself “What or who is this reminding me of?” It’s usually some version of my own mom and the old patterns of struggle I experienced with her as a child myself.
- Visualize the transformation of what is happening in the moment. If I’m angry, I imagine my heart melting with love for my baby girl and my feelings are usually transformed in an instant.
- Do the opposite of what my “lower self” wants to do. My mom was super controlling so that impulse will arise inside of me to just make the irritating behavior STOP. When I’m mindful, I can stop myself instead and let go rather that grip tighter. That usually loosens Jade’s need to keep pushing against me.
- Reflect back to Jade what is happening for each of us in the moment. Instead of blaming, shaming, or punishing her I like to do what I call “sportscasting”. It goes something like this, “Jade, you really want to touch all the delicate things in this shop. You are so curious about every little thing. I love your curiosity but Mama is telling you to keep your hands to yourself. It’s hard to keep your hands to yourself…….” I don’t know if it helps her but it definitely helps me to depressurize and buy some time internally while I search for a solution to the situation — like running out of the store before she breaks anything!
- Move towards connection over the issue at hand, rather than polarizing Jade and I against each other. In the kitchen, for example, she often wants to do things that are dangerous so instead of telling her “no” I try to find a way for her to get the need met in a safe way. That usually means giving her my full attention and working alongside her rather than kicking her out of the kitchen altogether…. although sometimes I do resort to that too!!!!
Really, there are no perfect answers to the imperfect and bumpy road of parenting…. but these little shortcuts seem to help me a lot and I hope they help you too. xxx, Leah