Ce Eshelman, LMFT
YOU are a precious child in my eyes. Make sure your eyes are saying that.
Ce Eshelman, LMFT
My children and I have something in common. We have all three been scared “to death” in our lives and survived to see another day. That kind of trauma can have varying impacts on people. Some become more fearful and others repress fear completely, thus NO FEAR (or any other feeling for that matter.)
Eventually, the feelings of fear must be uncovered, so life can be engaged with appropriate amounts of risk taking and caution. I think my children have work to do in this arena. When my daughter calls in tears about how scared she is to be on her own, I hear the grief and work to soothe her. My son still glazes over to avoid his fears. There is more processing to be done for them to emerge feeling safe inside themselves and in the world.
Felt safety needs to be our parenting goal for our children, so they can face forward without fear and with love in their own lives.
You’ve heard the terms spitting mad, fighting mad, biting mad, right? How often do you feel this way in the face of your attachment challenged (or not) child’s persistent behavior that causes you to repeat yourself? If it is often, then you have to do something different! It won’t just go away.
I am intimate with anger, my own. My misunderstanding about the meaning of behavior in the early years of parenting made my blood boil. I really thought my kids’ behavior was purposeful. It “felt” that way to me. Those were only my feelings though, not the facts of the matter. The facts of the matter were more complex and required me to dig deeper into two things: 1) my own history and 2) my children’s history.
Once I realized that the attachment challenge and trauma suffered in my childhood and the attachment challenge and trauma suffered in my children’s early years transformed our normal brains into chemical turbine factories, I had a better way of understanding behavior, which facilitated the growth of my own empathy for myself and for my children.
Empathy significantly cools the jets of anger.
If YOU are too familiar with anger in your relationship with your children, then it makes sense to up your empathy through understanding the impact of attachment and trauma on the brain’s function. In traumatized humans, survival mode is chronic and pervasive. Turns out it isn’t really that hard to understand from the factual side.
However, when you are swirling in a chemical spiral of emotion, it is pretty hard to see the fear at the center of the tornado.
Behavioral symptoms of a traumatized brain:
Resisting Parental Authority