Bryan is a best selling author, child behavior expert and consultant, internationally recognized speaker on challenging behaviors and attachment issues, and founder of The Post Institute for Family Centered Therapy.
Holidays are always more stressful. So it is even more important the parents approach these days with mindfulness that our own window of tolerance for children misbehaving may be smaller than usual. The saying is, “If momma ain’t happy, ain’t nobody’s happy.” So what is a busy stressful parent to do? Stress in the parent-child interaction may originate either with the parent or with the child – or in both – but it is the responsibility of the parent to rebalance the emotional see-saw. Finding the way back to a harmonious interaction requires the parent’s awareness of their own emotional state, the only way to create a regulated environment is to constantly be asking ourselves, as parents, “How do I feel”?”
Understanding our own parental fears allows us to express our love for our children in a way that is not threatening to them and that helps them to de-escalate their anger, fear, and stress. The Bible says, “There is no fear in love, but Perfect love cast out all fear.” This understanding is at the center of a parenting model I call “Family Centered Regulatory Parenting”. In a nutshell, Family Centered Regulatory Parenting relies on two principles: (1) that the only basic emotions are fear and love, and that anger represents a defensive outlet for fear but really derives from failure to regulate stress, and (2) that the parent in the home must bear the responsibility for creating an environment in which stress, while unavoidable, does not create constant tension or crisis.
A farmer must first understand the environment needed for her crops to flourish, and then must go about creating it. Understanding that our children are immersing themselves in computers and television due to unexpressed fear – and understanding angry, emotional outbursts in the same way – is the first step parents can take in examining themselves, their family, and the environment they are creating for their children. Parents have the responsibility and the ability to foster the environment necessary to calm the state of stress their child may be experiencing.
How might the busy parent begin?
First, relax yourself. Make certain you are not passing along the stress of a busy day to your child. Second, present a calm and supportive emotional demeanor to your child. Naturally join him in what he is engaged in without expectations. Observe quietly and give your child an opportunity to invite you into his world. Finally, doing these things in the context of the home and family allows you to regulate not only his environment, but the larger environment which consists of the interactive space between the two of you. Keep in mind that children don’t act out because they want attention; they act out because they need it. So calm the stress and fear, and diminish the behavior. You’ll be thankful you did and you just might find this the most peaceful Thanksgiving yet.
Choose Love…and Peace will Follow,
Bryan Post is a best-selling author, internationally renowned speaker, and psychotherapist specializing in attachment, adoption and trauma. To learn more about Parenting Challenging Children, Oxytocin the Love Hormone, Mindfulness, and How to Thrive instead of just survive as an adoptive or foster parent, visit www.postinstitute.com, www.oxytocincentral.com, and www.reactiveattachmentdisorderparenting.com, To find out more about Bryan Post’s ground breaking parenting program Parenting Attachment Challenged Children “Hands-On” Home Study Course visit www.postinstitute.com/Aattachment Disorder. Join our Facebook page for daily parenting help and inspiration, videos, articles and contests along with other parents and professionals just like yourself. Also visit our Blog at www.bryanpost.com and join the conversation.
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This article is courtesy of the Top 1% Club and the Top 1% Club Mentor Gail Kasper. For additional information on Gail Kasper, her television appearances and speaking engagements, please visit gailkasper.com