Updated: May 30, 2021
STEP 1: SET YOUR INTENTION
Words are generated by thoughts and feelings. Thoughts and feelings are created by intentions. So… to change our words--really change them--we need to examine our intentions.
In parenting, there are only 2 intentions:
(1) to REACT from habit and unconscious emotional triggers from our own past
(2) to DISCOVER what your child is thinking and feeling and TEACH him how to go grow and learn through each experience
We want to respond and teach our children, rather than punish them. And to do that, we must choose our response thoughtfully. Use positive affirmations to set your own parenting intentions.
Here are a few affirmations to get you started:
"I seek first to understand, and then respond."
"I see all situations through my child's eyes."
And here's a REALLY good one to use when your child is throwing a tantrum and you feel like you are at your limit...
"This is a teachable moment."
STEP 2: KNOW YOUR TRIGGERS
Once your intention is set, there is only 1 thing that can RESET IT: a "trigger." Triggers can change your best intentions back to an unconscious reaction in a split second. A trigger is a set of emotional memories and reactions that affect how we think and feel and respond to others. It's not conscious. That is what makes them so tricky to deal with.
Every parent has a set of "triggers"--behaviors that touch us so deeply, we instantly flip into rage or depression. Here's an example...