Talking about teenagers and our resilience journey, I started to think whether there is any benefit in continually reprimanding them for their bad choices when they are already aware of the fact they have “screwed up”.
Shouldn’t we change how we react?
Things we learnt in our childhood are sitting deep in our subconscious, determining our instant reactions as parents.
I am talking about how our parents reacted to us – and most of the time we pull out the same patterns with our children.
How many times do we hear our mother/father talking to our children through our mouth?
Furthermore, how our parents treated each other has an impact on our instinctive reactions to our spouse. There is no magic in it: we use the learnt behavioural patterns, until we consciously re-write them.
Why is it worth putting time and effort into something like this? We have already started when choosing to love, and acting accordingly, haven’t we?
To get from A to B we need to start with recognition:
realizing and admitting we need to change.
Unfortunately, we cannot do much without looking in the mirror and acknowledging our issues.
I think one of the most heart-breaking revelations is seeing our older child treating the younger one in a way our parents used to treat us, the way we have said we would never ever act.
Well, how has the child learnt this, if not from us?
However the painful realisation comes, we need humility to deal with it in a positive way. When we analyse our behaviour and can spot the triggering factors, we can create a plan to establish a new reaction. Having true friends around who can provide honest feedback can be quite beneficial. Many times just sharing our discoveries with someone trustworthy helps to find the solution when we describe it (either verbally or written). The further we step back from it, the bigger picture we get:
The easiest way to get out of a maze is to fly above it.
Figuring the way out, making the map and using it to reach the end. Once we can see our problems from a higher perspective we can identify more contributing factors and can have a better established response to deal with the situation.
Why is it us (always us!) who needs to put effort into these connections and relationships?
Well, if we don’t act, who will? Who else can change the outcome if not us?
There are things in life we have absolutely no control over. Nothing we can do will change these things happening. But the determining factors of the outcome are our own reactions to these things.
And it is resilience!
As long as we give the same reaction to the same issue the outcome will remain the same: no change has happened in the equation.
If we want change in the outcome we need to intervene in the one and only part which we have control over: our reaction.
We need to re-wire how we act through re-writing how we think.
As our innate reactions are rooted in our subconscious, we have to really push the new “how to” to replace the existing patterns.
It starts with declaration – as we made our choice to love, we need to hang onto it, even in the midst of turmoil. If we keep repeating “but I have declared I love” it will make us pause before we act, realising in our subconscious there is some contradiction between how we are about to act vs what we declare.
Pausing enables us to use the new reaction we have found, or simply gives us space and time to come up with an alternative response.
Either way we successfully changed one factor in the equation, so we can expect a modified outcome.