OWL (Offer of Wise-Minded Learning): Emotional Trickery
When we have our buttons pushed, our emotions trick us into thinking in extreme ways. This “fight or flight” response was created to save our lives in prehistoric times, but it rarely helps us in addressing problems with our teens. When we lash out at our teens, we sometimes rationalize it by thinking about their nasty behaviors. But does lashing out accomplish anything?
This exercise is suggested to give you a pause to think about your own reactions. Reflect on a recent situation in which you lashed out at your teen, and make a note of the situation, the emotions and the thoughts. Can you see how your negative thoughts may have fueled negative feelings, and vice versa? Your feelings may be understandable and valid, but that doesn’t make them helpful. And remember: Just because your kid is acting like a brat who doesn’t love or appreciate you, doesn’t mean that it’s so.
Read more about “Controlling the Big Emotions of Fear and Desire: A Brain Tour” in Wise-Minded Parenting: 7 Essentials for Raising Successful Tweens + Teens, in chapter 2: Self-Control.