Uncovering Triggers in your Parenting Struggles

Uncovering Triggers in your Parenting Struggles
Family, Self

How to trace those unresolved emotions that can trigger you in parenting.

On one of my previous blogs, I wrote about dealing with tantrums from the inside out. If you haven’t checked that one out, I suggest you start there! Because this one builds on it nicely, as I got a few questions on this part:

"Children can trigger unresolved emotions in you, causing you to feel hurt and frustrated. They can also pick up on those unresolved feelings and mirror them. Beware of the projection of your own unresolved feeling onto your children.”

The main question seemed to be: “Ok…got it, but how do I work on my triggers?”

I feel compelled to make a huge side note on this. Please don't think that every time you yell at your child or discipline him, that this is a trigger moment. A lot of the times, it is just 'what it is'. Nothing more and nothing less. Your child is doing something dangerous and you yell to 'STOP, RIGHT THIS MINUTE!'.  Good for you, you kept him safe. Your child is being a whiny brat about wanting something or being 'BOOORED' (you know exactly which whiny voice goes with this one!) and all your counting to ten and deep breathing is not making her stop. And you snap. Well, guess what, you are human and your child needs to stop right now. 

So, don't forget, I am not talking about these moments. I am talking about triggers...those nasty ones, deeply, deeply imbedded in your subconscious. The ones that get you screaming, punishing, and controlling in ways you KNOW are not right. The ones that leave you feeling powerless, cringing and full of shame. The moments of "What have I done!?"

I can tell you it's difficult. Every time you feel you clear one trigger, another one may come up. It’s been a huge process for me to: 1) recognize them and acknowledge them as triggers, and 2) heal the unresolved emotions behind them. Anger issues towards my mother for never being there for me. Hurt from never being comforted when I got hurt, but being punished instead. But I vowed not to raise my children in fear, but in understanding and love and took the time to do the inner work necessary.

And how can you do this as well? I'll try to simplify the process (simplify in words, not implying in any way that the inner work that must be done to achieve it will be simple.):

1) Create awareness by shedding light on your triggers:

Take out a journal and write down as many situations as you can think of when you just "lost it" in a situation with your children.

2) When you are done, look for patterns.

See if you can identify a few different patterns: When my child does this...I react with that...

3) Dig deeper.

Take a few deep breaths and feel your way into your child self (This child self IS your subconscious mind). How did your parents react in the same situations? How did that make you feel? 

4) Take some time there.

What did you want your parents to do? How did this make you feel then? 

5) In the same space, be the parent to your child self.

Give them the love and recognition you were looking for. Invite your child to show you the way.

6) Come back and journal for a while.

Write down all your insights. Did new information or feelings come up? How did this exercise make you feel? Did you feel energy shift in your body?

7) Take one of your triggers and work on it for at least 2 weeks.

Give yourself all the love and permission you need to clear it and declare it healed. This doesn't serve you. This is not the person you want to be. Let it be changed into actions and beliefs that let you become the parent you want to become.

8) Do this with other triggers, as well.

But take your time. It takes time to heal, so one at a time. You don’t want to get overwhelmed, and you want your system to integrate this new way of being.

9) Celebrate!

Be proud of yourself for doing this inner work!

10) Test it on the parenting situations...
 And don't punish yourself if you don't get it 'right' right away...it's ok. You're human.

Share your thought on this process and keep me posted! And if I can assist in any way...let me know...I'm here to help!

Dr. Karin Monster-Peters is an Energy Healer, Life Purpose Coach, Psychologist, Parenting Coach and founder of The Vibrant Sensitive and Highly Sensitive Parents. To contact Karin, click here. For in-depth information and actionable tools, download her free 6 Steps Guide for a Vibrant Sensitive Life.

This article was originally published at Highly Sensitive Parents. Reprinted with permission from the author.