I have found the secret to dealing with the emotional intensities of my children, while attempting to deal with my own emotional intensities. Remain calm. There it is, folks! Problem solved. You are welcome! Stop laughing. Stop throwing things too! Okay, I admit, this was probably not a big secret to you. I also admit, that it is way, way, way, way, way the heck easier said than done.
I continue to struggle with this, but I have noticed that dealings with my daughter and my son continue to improve the more I practice. By “practice” I actually mean “rehearse.” My husband and I will actually have rehearsals Much like King Fergus and Queen Elinor do in Pixar’s “Brave.”
Odds tend to be more in favor of our kids overreacting to being told to get their chores done, or even being asked if their chores or homework has been done, or having the answer “no” to a request, so we prepare ourselves. My husband is better at this than I am. I have a tendency to physically feel the negative energy created by their responses and my body translates that as pain. It can get to the point where I just want to curl up and take a nap instead of dealing with things. Sometimes I take that nap. Sometimes I forget my resolve and let myself get drawn in to my own emotional overreaction. But lately, I’ve been taking the advice from the old British WWII poster that has become a popular meme in the last couple of years:
I acknowledge that when one is on their Very Last Nerve, this advice can feel trite, perhaps even to the point of feeling the need to slap the advice giver. No? Okay, it’s just me, then. There is no such thing as a cure-all that completely eradicates overly intense outbursts. What I have noticed is that sometimes when I have managed to remain calm during someone else’s outburst, sometimes they manage to calm down on their own a little quicker. Even if they don’t, at least we don’t have two people allowing the negative effects of their emotional intensities to get the best of them.
Keep Calm and Practice On!