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Parenting Advice Article

Your Kids can be a Mirror for You
By Susie and Otto Collins

The other day we saw words on a t-shirt that we thought spoke to a common problem, especially sometimes when it comes to parenting and your kids.

Here's what the t-shirt said...

"Almost all the people who drive me crazy are in my family."
If you are now feeling or if you have ever felt this way, here's an observation that you might find interesting...
The people in your family (including your kids), your friends, coworkers or anyone else you spend a lot of time with or may be close to may drive you crazy at times because you are close enough to them to see the mirror when something upsets you.
When we say "the mirror," we mean looking at yourself to see why you are triggered about a situation instead of outwardly blaming the other person.
One of the best "mirrors" we've seen recently is Susie's daughter and son-in-law's Saint Bernard, Ella.
Ella's a very sweet dog and is kind and loving but angrily barks at some other dogs when they take her on walks.
Susie's daughter made a great discovery that if she stays grounded and centered on these walks, not getting upset, Ella calms down a lot quicker than if her anxious energy is added to the mix.
If Susie's daughter gets upset and tightens up, Ella struggles even more to get at the other dog.
Because Ella "mirrors" Susie's daughter's upset and she is choosing to look inward at those times instead of blaming the dog, she's making some important changes in her life and her relationships.
What can you learn from the "mirrors" in your family when you are triggered?
Whether the upset is about how your child didn't act in a way that you liked or approved of--or something your child did-- we invite you to look at your upset a little differently.

Now of course we're not saying to allow your child to act in ways that are harmful to him or her or to others. We are saying to not only look at your child's behavior that triggers you, but look at yourself as well.

When you get triggered, it's more than likely that one or more of your conscious or unconscious "rules" for living have been violated.
You've heard us talk about rules before and we all have them--it's how we create our lives, our world and our relationships.
These rules can, however, be troublesome and separate us from others or we can look inward at ourselves when they are violated and we get upset.
When you get triggered or upset by something someone says, does or something that "happens," just know that...
It's an opportunity to drop your judgments of others and discover what there is for you to learn from the situation.
It's an opportunity for you to discover why you are triggered and then decide if there are some changes that you want to make.
It might be that you need to take a breath to calm down and choose your words before you talk to your child about what upsets you.
It might be that you can see that you are being judgmental when you don't have all of the information or know what's "right" for him or her.
It might be that you simply have not been willing to open to seeing that there might be another way of looking at the situation.
When you have the courage to look into the
"mirror" of the situation that has triggered you with new eyes and an open heart, you are opening yourself to better relationships and a happier life.
You are opening yourself to more love.
So this week, we invite you to look at those who "drive you crazy"--whether they be your close family members or others who are close to you--and take a moment to see another possibility.
See these people, including your kids, as the gifts they truly are and learn from your irritation. That certainly doesn't mean that you are "wrong" and the other person is "right."
It simply means that there is much to learn about becoming a happier, more empowered person in this situation and in your life.

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Contact Info
Relationship Coaches Susie and Otto Collins, PO Box 14544, Columbus, OH 43214
Contact Susie or Otto about Relationship Coaching by calling (614) 568-8282.
For all other inquiries, contact us by email.

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