Getting Proactively Unhooked

practical steps for parent regulation Jan 07, 2024

Dear Parent,

If you find you are frequently getting triggered by something your child does, here is a little exercise that can start you on a more conscious parenting path.

1. Think about the last few times you got hooked or became reactive during an interaction with your child that lead you to what Dr. Dan Siegel calls the low road of parenting--yelling, punishing, rejecting, banishing, shutting down, saying something mean or sarcastic, shunning, shaming, or simply feeling like you might explode, etc.

2. Write down the kernel of each situation that got your goat.  For example, I don't like to be talked to every second for hours on end, so the kernel for me is the experience of being badgered.

3. Next to each kernel write what you imagine your child needed right then (food, sleep, safety, abundance, attention) and what was the true instigator of the problem--hunger, tiredness, fear, deprivation, emotional loneliness, etc. 

4. Now write what you thought you needed.

5. Now, take one of those hooked situations that you know recurs often and brainstorm ways you can intervene in a proactive, mindful, solution oriented way.  

That was a lot of work so don't let it go to waste. Go do number six.

6. Commit to working on that one triggering behavior for two weeks straight with proactive, mindful, solution oriented interventions. Be sure you are thinking about your needs and the needs of your child as root causes.  That is the place to start.


Love matters,


P.S. To join a vibrant post-adoption parenting community, check out Love Matters Parenting Society. For an easy to read parent pick me up, get Ce's book, Drowning With My Hair On Fire: Insanity Relief For Adoptive Parents. If you're looking for a quick pick-me-up or a gift for someone you love, visit our Love Matters Swag Store! And, did you know Ce has a new podcast? Yep, you can subscribe to it here: Unmuted Love With Ce Eshelman. 


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