Dan Siegel, MD coined the term “high road parenting” in his book Parenting From the Inside Out–one of my favorites for helping parents understand their mission as parents and how to achieve it. High road parenting isn’t any different from high road anything.
When one is cut off on the freeway, high road driving is called for–not the middle finger with a side of Mad Max road rage. When one’s mother-in-law looks sideways at you while referring to today’s slackers, high road son-in-law behavior is ignoring the slight and offering her another piece of cherry pie. When your partner, under stress, acts a tiny bit “hole-ish,” high road loving is to ask if you can do something to help–instead of “hole-ing” back an insult of greater proportion. Where is the love, baby?
Taking the high road may seem like being a doormat, and I am not suggesting that at all. It is perfectly fine to kindly take care of yourself. I am, however, saying that the world is a better place when people are attached to their own humanity and the humanity of others. Relationships are stronger when we treat them with love and respect in the face of adversity. And parenting is healing when it is served up with a dose of kindness, empathy and sensitivity to the wounded hearts of our traumatized children.
The next time you get to a crossroads during a moment of heightened stress, take a moment; take a breath; and choose to take the higher road. You and those around you will be grateful for your personal awareness and your dedication to being love in action.
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The next 8-hr. Trust-based Parent Training is scheduled in June (TBD) from 12 noon to 4 pm. $200 per two person couple. Childcare available for $30 each day, second child $10 additional. To sign up, email Ce@attachplace.com and I will register you.