Attitude Lift

Dear Parents,

Back to school comes with yays and nays.  Yay, structure and chaos all day somewhere else.  Nay, structure and chaos all day somewhere else.  The double-edged sword of raising children of any kind in one line, and the extra added bonus of raising children from  difficult beginnings is the line you stand in.  Look around–you have company.  Most parents are feeling what you are, and both joy and misery love company.

Parents often ask me how can I make this back to school thing less of a thing.  While there may be a few ways you can keep the kettle at slow rumble, the best solution is to cool your own jets.  Keep your attitude in the flow and don’t insist on too much regimentation.  Flow allows moving and shifting with the current.  Regimentation smashes you up against the bank and into boulders in the middle of the stream.

Go with the flow when your child is dysregulated, because it is what it is.  Why fight it?  Accept and the dysregulation will pass faster.  Acceptance has a cognitive, physical, and biological component.  When you are accepting the dysregulation that most would call a tantrum in the middle of 4th R or the parking lot before school, your countenance will be like this:

Cognitive/Emotional:  Oh, my sweet baby is overwhelmed and having a fear reaction.  Poor child.  I must stay soothing.  I must remember to soothe myself and to tell myself that this is not a crisis; it only seems like one. I must be unconcerned with whomever sees.

Physical:  I must stay close and non-threatening to my hurting child.  My face must stay kind and loving.  My stature needs to be inviting and attentive.  My eyes must be gentle, not staring. I must make myself smaller, not bigger.

Biological:  I must regulate myself to keep myself in the flow and attentive.  I must breathe to soothe myself.  I must create a calm mind/body complex to be a safe harbor for my distressed child.

Be sure to slow way down this month.  There is a tendency to rev up.  If you rev up, who will be the calming influence?  Just saying.

Love matters,


P.S. Here is a nice article by Dr. Stewart Shanker for those of you new to the regulation/dysregulation theme ride: Five Ways to Help Misbehaving Kids.  P.S.S.  I am not endorsing his book, as I have not read it.  I like what the article says though.

Attention regular monthly support group attendees:  

Our Monthly Support Group for Therapeutic Parents will not be held on the 2nd Wednesday of September.  We will have an alternative group meeting on the 3rd Wednesday of September, which is September 21st at 6pm at our office at 3406 American River Drive, Ste D, Sacramento, CA. My apologies for not realizing this hitch in the calendar until just now.  😳 

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