Do you ever feel like pulling your hair out when you are trying to get your child to take Tylenol for a high fever and they are refusing adamantly? Or you are trying to have a short phone conversation and you are interrupted 2000 times by a tiny human that “needs to find his Darth Vader action figure NOW”? Or the weather-appropriate clothes that you were summoned to advise upon, and mother nature would agree should be worn on this 10 below day, are being cast aside for a tank top, capri’s and a shiny pair of flats have become the insanity inducing attire? And through it all, getting to your 9:15am meeting that you begged to have pushed back so you can gently and lovingly drop your kids off at school, as opposed to ejecting them from the car, is now history!
You know this scene. All parents do. We start out with the best intentions (we always do); we are on the high road or as Daniel Siegel (physician and author of Parenting From the Inside Out) calls it, the “High mode.” This type of functioning or “processing” as Siegel refers to, gets the name due to the part of the brain that is in the top front, called the prefrontal cortex. When we are processing in the high mode, we are engaging our rational mind, we are able to be reflective, flexible, and have a sense of self-awareness of how we are being received. In this mode, we can moderate the tone and volume of our voice, speak with love and kindness to our children, use open body language and offer mutually respectful and dignified choices for our children to respond to as well as relevant and related consequences can be used should they become needed. In this mode, we are the parent we want to be. So what happens?
*The views expressed by our authors are personal opinions and do not necessarily reflect the views of the CCPA