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It’s Christina here. I hope this finds your summer going well.
We have been in the midst of some hurdles and challenges, but moving through them with some pretty amazing results.
Do you ever get to the point of extreme exhaustion as a parent?
If so, you’re not alone.
I call it, Parent Fatigue.
You see, this summer the drama has intensified with my seven-year-old. We went from seven-year-old to 17-years-old just like that. And with the drama comes a lot of highs, lows, and exhaustion. I don’t do drama. I never have and I’m pretty sure I never will.
Now, just because I don’t do drama, doesn’t mean I don’t address it. And in this case, I couldn’t fight drama by putting my own anti-drama spin on it. Instead, I needed to find a way to talk through it when our emotions were NOT running high. I also needed to figure out how I could communicate in a way that didn’t lead to shame and blame.
So, I decided to make it Playful.
I told my daughter I was going to interview her. I asked if she would be okay with me recording it for us to refer back to. She said, Yes.
And so, we jumped in last Saturday night.
(Preface: We talk A LOT about our brains and emotions in our home. I believe that the most empowering thing you can do for your child is teach them about basic brain science, brain development and self-regulation.)
I started off by asking her about her decision making? I didn’t jump into the drama or sassy language because I knew that would just trigger her.
We started off calm and easy. I asked about her prefrontal cortex and how she goes about making choices. She talked about “bad army men” who sometime tell her to sneak candy or wear mom’s jewelry when she shouldn’t.
She shared, from her perspective, what was going on with the drama. It was a pretty epic conversation and it took all the pressure off of me. I was just “holding space” for her without judgement. I actually felt lighter after listening to her. Sure, a little furious about the jewelry, but we worked through that.
I asked the curious questions, and she talked and talked. This lasted for nearly 20 minutes. I finally encouraged her to wrap up.
At the end of it, I thanked her for the interview and told her it was time for bed.
She walked over, got a glass of water, turned around… and what came out of her mouth was NOT what I expected.
“WOW, THAT FELT AMAZING. Thank you SO much for letting me get all that out!!!”
I almost fell off my chair in disbelief.
I stood up, walked over and gave her the biggest hug.
I said, “Honey, I’m glad you felt safe to share. We all will make good decisions and bad decisions. It’s how you handle it and move through the experiences, take responsibility, forgive ourselves, and move on knowing you will try to do better next time.”
“Once you move out of being the victim of poor choices or try to cover them up, you’ll become an empowered human.”
She smiled with a glow that lit up the room.
“Thanks, Mom. I love you.”
If twenty minutes of listening to my child had this much impact, what would happen if I did this once a month, once a week?
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Wishing you peace, love and connection.