Reactions vs. Responses

How do you respond to conflict?

Do you wince in irritation when your child starts whining?
Do you turn threatening, scary or react with impatience?
Maybe you take a very left-brained, logical, methodical or practical approach?

You may have noticed any one of these reactions often leads to a communication fail.

It can be frustrating to think we are responding, when, in fact, we are in reactive mode - looking to problem solve, advise or fix.

This #MindfulMondays post includes some ideas to remind you of what to say - so you can stay in responsive mode.

Addressing negative behavior requires you to remain emotional - not logical. You have to connect first.

Move from reactionary and defensive to responsive and receptive is a skill which takes an enormous amount of self-care to develop. If you want to move the situation in a positive direction - you have to believe you CAN do it without force.

If you don't have the patience, awareness and self-love to empathize with yourself - you won't be able to find compassion for another. 

Speaking with empathy is not a way to make your kids obey. It is the way to provide the conditions necessary for children to LEARN and develop the skills they needs to thrive.

Tweet: We're always more receptive others when we feel we have been heard & considered. @TEACHthruLove #TEACHableMomentsBe a leader instead of a boss. (Tweet it!)
Bosses ask for obedience, leaders show others how to make good decisions. Instead of making your child responsible for shifting the situation - take action to address what is motivating it.

And, can you let go... a little bit? 

Whining and crying are not manipulative attempts to annoy you. They are stress behaviors. When we are stressed, we lose access to our language centers. We can't think or speak clearly. We may grunt, sign huff and puff our way through the day - and children whine and cry.

Whining is not a life or death conflict, and it WILL NOT become problematic or a habit unless fueled by dismissive remarks, fear or indulgence.

Your kids need to know you are in control - not of the situation, but your emotions

When they whine, and you tell them they are causing you discomfort, you let them know they are in charge. This is a leadership position which does not belong to them, nor are they equipped to handle the power that comes with it. 

Handing over the reins increases the fear and then - the negative behaviors.

If you want your child to receive your logical and reasonable suggestions, you first have to make a heart-based connection.

Accept where your child is (a whining stage) and help by providing outlets for stress so that as s/he matures, so will the capacity to manage upset.

What do you think? Do you have trouble remaining emotional? What part of your self-care routine might be in need of a lift?  

Share your story in the comments and let me know. I'd love to hear from you!



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