I was talking with a friend the other day about raising kids. We discussed how we as parents, myself included, can get triggered by our kids' behaviors and strong emotions. Many of us grew up with parents telling us to stifle our emotional responses - the real feelings we had to certain situations. Now that we have kids of our own, we find it hard to be around our kids when they express their true feelings in strong ways. Some of us grew up with parents who had strong emotional reactions of their own. They yelled or had otherwise angry outbursts. And some, like my friend, grew up with parents who never yelled.
How we were parented impacts how we parent. There is nothing wrong with us - or our parents. Living with another person whether they are 3, 13, or 23 can be challenging - especially if they don't play by the ordered, rational adult world we are used to. It is normal for us to feel triggered. Yet reacting strongly to these triggers does nothing to maintain a strong relationship or teach our kids how to manage their strong emotions.
What is it you need to maintain calm so that you can respond to your kids and give them what they need in the moment? Read my latest article in Jackson Hole News&Guide to dive deeper into the idea that the first step in responding to our kids has to do with us - the parents.