Updated: Jan 9
Do you ever feel this way? Have you ever JUST. HAD. ENOUGH? Me too! Let's pause right now and breathe deeply together. Come on. Join me. Breathe in....... and out..... One more time..... There you go! Did you feel your shoulders come down from up around your ears? Did you feel your jaw and hands unclench? If you're feeling tightness anywhere right now, just breathe in and out again. Slowly.
SO...my husband and I are raising two teenage boys who are mostly sweet and thoughtful, always fun and silly, but sometimes act dumb as a box of rocks! Oops: I need to breathe again....and again....There I go!
After taking these deep breaths, you can be in a better brain space to "hear" what this article is all about.
You see, when you -or your kids- feel stressed, overwhelmed, frustrated, or angry, functioning starts happening out of the lowest centers of the brain (Brain Stem/Fight or Flight response). When this happens, what you need most is to feel SAFE. You can literally say to yourself or kids, "You are safe. I am going to keep you safe." You can also say out loud Biblical Truths like:
The Lord keeps me safe. 2 Thessalonians 3:3
I am always safe in God's Hand. John 10:28
God will never leave me. Deuteronomy 31:6
God is holding me right now. Isaiah 41:10
God is with me in troubled times. Psalm 46:1
The Lord restores my soul. Psalm 23
My help comes from the Lord. Psalm 121
Printing and posting Biblical Truths in your home can help you all be reminded of what is TRUE of you in Jesus Christ.
Once you feel SAFE, you have moved out of the lowest centers of your brain. You are no longer in "fight or flight" mode, but you may start to say or do things you swore you'd never say or do to your kids. 😬
These are signs that you are functioning out of the EMOTIONAL centers (Where you hold memories of all your own junk) of your brain, needing most to know that you are LOVED. When your child is functioning here, it's most helpful for you to give them empathy, saying things like:
"That's hard. You wanted to _____ and you can't."
"You seem frustrated. That didn't go the way you wanted it to go." Here are some Biblical Truths to speak out loud for you and your children:
I am a child of God. John 1:12
I am not condemned by God. Romans 8:1
I am accepted by Christ. Romans 15:7
Jesus is my friend. John 15:15
God gives me all I need. Philippians 4:19
God loves me and has chosen me. 1 Thessalonians 1:4
The Holy Spirit dwells in me. 1 Corinthians 6:19
I am chosen, holy, and blameless. Ephesians 1:4
Remember, what you THINK is what you SAY. And what you SAY to your kids becomes what they say to themselves.
Once you feel SAFE and LOVED, you are best able to access your BRILLIANCE by functioning out of the executive centers of the brain - otherwise knowns as the prefrontal cortex.
If you touch your forehead, this is where the prefrontal cortex is located. Keep in mind this part of the brain is not fully formed until after age 25. Now, this doesn't mean you don't have access to it until then, but it does mean we need to adjust our expectations regarding our children's ability regarding planning, making decisions, and moderating social behavior.
For example, it's developmentally appropriate for a three year old to need to be reminded to wipe his face after eating...less socially acceptable to have to remind a 23 year old!
For our teenagers, understanding that we need to be their prefrontal cortex because they are more likely to act impulsively, misread social cues and emotions, or engage in dangerous or risky behavior. We can help them learn to pause and consider the consequences of their actions or change inappropriate behaviors by first being CONNECTED with them. But this connection can only happen when WE are functioning in the higher centers of our own brains! It's so important that we first understand why we do the things we do, and know how to emotionally regulate ourselves so that we can best build connections with our children that will last throughout our lives!
Building relational connections with others creates neural connections in our brains: Connected brains are healthy brains!
#ConnectPointMoms helps you create stronger relational connections with the children in your life. This starts with being aware of your own stuff so you can BE PRESENT with your children in the moment you're in, and then knowing and using the best ways to communicate with them!