Thought for the day – being triggered

This morning my son has refused everything.  He is refusing to get dressed, to shower, to even come out of his room.

He has tried to refuse to go to school before, but this is the first time he has gone all out in a full blown bad mood refusal.

I was doing OK with this, allowing for the behaviour, allowing for his emotions and fear.  I was using parental presence and being available for him.  I was doing all of this and then I started to feel triggered.  My chest was getting tight and I was getting irritated.

Guess what? I am not perfect.  It is at this point that I shouted for my hubby and said “I need a swap”. He went upstairs for the parental presence and I went downstairs.

My son is still refusing, he is still angry, but I am no longer getting pulled in and triggered.

Why am I telling you this?  Therapeutic Parenting isn’t about never getting triggered. 

  • It is about knowing when you are and then having plan in place for when it happens.
  • It isn’t about your child always doing what you want. 
  • It is about supporting them to enable them to feel safe, be successful and allowing them to learn from natural consequences.

It is likely that this child will be late to school or not go.  Probably my day now looks a lot different, but it won’t go up in flames. I am not going to get angry or allow for it to make me feel bad, I am not going to become a screaming parent trying to force something I actually don’t have control over (an emotional teenager).

My hubby and I aren’t fighting about what to do because we have a plan in place already for if things like this happen. This day may not go according to plan, but it is also not going to be a damaging one either.  We have also decided to alternate days for parental presence.

Remember to look at what you actually have control over…it is likely going to be your response and your emotional state.  We simply can’t control the behaviour of another person. We can control how we react to their behaviour. We can have a plan in place for when things go wrong.

I am feeling better now so its my turn to go upstairs again.  I hope he goes, but if he doesn’t the world won’t end. I hope your day goes OK too.  Even if things aren’t going the way you had planned.



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