We’ve all been there. Completely levelheaded and calm one minute. Then, seemingly out of nowhere our bullhorns start protruding out of our forehead and we morph into something else we barely recognize. Not only would our kids call us moody at this point, but also more accurately, when the bullhorns start protruding we’ve gone mad!
Many of us parents operate with the notion that our kids are extensions of us. This is true to an extent. Yet, our kids, whether we will admit or not, are their own beings including the states of madness that they too can morph into with their very own mini-sized protruding bullhorns.
So, even though they are their own beings, our kids are like family delegates. They represent us in many ways when we send them out into the world. And, let’s admit it, sometimes we may not fall in love with the representation they are showing the world (including the ones we show well). In fact, we may turn from proud parent into powerful pit bull.
When the big bullhorns meet the mini bullhorns, one word or action can shift a seemingly getting along, great family representation, feel-good space to a catastrophe calling for disaster relief.
But, this kind of disaster relief is a bit challenging to navigate because it must be addressed from the inside out.
Here’s how we shift from what I call madness into miracles. When faced with challenging social and emotional circumstances, there are three shifts in our ways of being that we must activate to tame those pesky bullhorns that cause tumult in our family life.
Here they are:
Reaction to Response
We can choose to react, which calls on the bullhorns to win the fight or we can choose to respond, which will have your heart fluttering with the latest kidz bop, hip-hop, or Miles Davis pizzazz. Take a deep breath. Embrace the pause. And, enjoy the silence. Maybe even remove yourself from the room. Whatever you do, embrace the pause so the bullhorns have time to go back to their rightful place – the imaginary world of our mind – and not into the hearts of those we love.
Accusation to Conflict
Conflict is a healthy part of the human experience. Accusation is on the other end of the spectrum. It’s not healthy at all. No one likes the finger pointed at them, including our kids. But, don’t mistake this with not holding others and ourselves accountable for our lesser than efforts of trying to get along for the team. Accountability is important. Accusations are like throwing fireballs into an already primed ground waiting for any misstep to blow its surface off. Disagreements are great and help us grow. Take a deep breath. Embrace the pause. And, learn from different perspectives.
Victimization to Personal Power
Playing the victim is like throwing yourself a giant pity party and wondering why no one showed up to help. Thus, starts the vicious cycle of victim-walls-bitterness. Haven’t we all been there though? Man, this life stuff is hard. Playing the victim is easy. Embracing our personal power is hard. We’ve all been done wrong – parents and kids alike. Take accountability (see above) for your wrong and discover the personal power in the challenges we face in life through taking them head on instead of blaming others. I know we’re itching to prove our rightness for the sake of someone else’s wrongness, but hey is it worth it? When we discover our personal power, life is pretty magical. There’s a pattern here. Take a deep breath. Embrace the pause. And, get busy living in your personal power.
While our kids are extensions of ourselves in some sense, we all are extensions of a deeper self found on the inside in the pause and in the silence. Let’s not just send our own kids out into the world as family delegates, send yourself out into the world as a delegate for humanity. Our kids will follow us most of the time and then they will take the lead. Turn your madness into a miracle. It’s only a deep breath and a pause away.
Embrace it whole-heartedly.
And, if you want to learn more tips and tricks filled with practical wisdom, quirky wit, and edgy savviness created with an educator’s lens, a yogi mom’s heart, and a superhero love for humanity be sure to check out my new book to be released at the end of this month, Today’s Gonna Be Awesomesacue: Daily Meditations for Youth, Parents, and Families. Read more all about the book here –
Om Shanti Om ~ Athea