Amazing Parents

Sometimes it\’s AMAZING. Sometimes it\’s just A MAZE.

Stop and Smell the Grocers

Have you ever been in a crowded grocery store at 6 pm on payday? There are like a million rushing moms in there with all their exhausted kids trailing behind them. Mom looks like she’s just gotten run over by a steam roller or wishes she would be. Kids just want to go home. They are tired. They are rushing. The lines are long and the coupons are hard to figure out. They are just trying to get out of there as fast as they can.

I have decided that a perfect lesson in learning to see dysregulation is to visit a grocery store on a Friday night after work. Grab your cart and begin walking up and down the aisles. You will find a plethora of opportunities to test out the theory of the stress model.

There will be single people, mindlessly going about their shopping business. These people are quiet and seem pretty much concentrated on the task at hand. People like me envy people like that. They can actually read a label or compare prices without being interrupted twelves times by their kids. Then you’ll see sweet young couples grabbing snacks to take over to their friends houses to “hang” for the night, with Dad’s permission of course. They will be laughing and maybe running down the aisles, waving around their cars keys to make sure everybody knows they’re old enough to drive, and all the while making fun of signs and quietly reciting lyrics to their new favorite pop song.

Then there’s the mothers, with their children — basically people like me. These are the ones you want to pay attention to. Because this will be the heart of your experiment. Watch how the children’s behaviors make mom react. If mom is connected and attuned, she will respond in a sweet, strong way to her children. Maybe reassuring them of her love or maybe engaging them with thoughtful conversation about what each child did that day in school. But when mom is tired, trying to concentrate, or embarrassed, she will react to her children in very negative ways. She might yell or threaten the kids. She might even have shut them out and be ignoring them all together.

Which mom is reacting out of stress, fear, and overwhelm? Which mom is responding out of love? Which mom is regulated and which mom is dysregulated?

Now think of yourself. When you are at the grocery store on Friday night after work with your three kids, which mom are you?

Isn’t this a fun experiment?

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February 27, 2008 - Posted by | A New Paradigm

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