No, your triggers are not your children. Or even their behaviors. Your triggers are yours and only yours. They are activated when your inner child is scared, vulnerable, or uncomfortable in some other way. When a parent is particularly triggered (emotionally upset) by an undesirable behavior in their child (typical examples: rude behavior, messy room, sibling rivalry) they may want to ask themselves:
1. Why did this happen today, and not yesterday?
2. Is my reaction typical or is this a unique reaction?
3. Do I have an unmet need that this is forcing me to confront?
4. Is this typical of other parents in this situation?
5. Does this trigger reflect something implicit or explicit about my way of being in our family? (Another way of saying this is: Am I who I want to be in this relationship with these children?)
6. What happened in my childhood that may have contributed to these feelings?
7. How can I find a pause before I react next time so that I can respond more effectively?
Be in touch. I can help you go through this evaluation…I empower parents to find joy in the hardest job they’ll ever love. Parenting is art but there’s a lot of science to it too that I can help you understand. We are all in this together.
(c) 2017. Nurture: Family Education and Guidance