is really a GIFT we can give our kids and ourselves!
is free from expectations so it offers opportunities for SUCCESS.
can't be misread so it creates a SAFE relationship.
allows us to be more effective in helping our kids HEAL - our stuff isn't in the way.
cuts down on your child being triggered, which convinces them we are DIFFERENT!
is one of the knots of a STRONG Safety Net.
While being NEUTRAL (in the face of bad AND good) is an incredibly POWERFUL tool, it is also not an easy one to have a handle on all of the time! Lots of parents ask me how they can do better at staying NEUTRAL, so I have put together 6 hints to help you stay NEUTRAL!
1. STOP TALKING! (she says with a smirk on her face because she knows of what she speaks) I'll just put it simply...if you are trying to convince someone of something, putting conditions on the moment, having a discussion and expecting your child to jump on board and say "I get it" or "you are right," asking repetitive questions, or ranting and raving - You are NOT being NEUTRAL! The quickest way to remedy this? STOP TALKING!
2. CREATE A MANTRA! If you just HAVE TO TALK, I suggest you create a mantra and that is what you say. Yes, if you are not feeling neutral then every time you feel the need to speak you repeat the same mantra. For example, "It is my job to keep you safe and healthy." (If I had a penny for every time I said that,there'd be palm trees in my backyard and a yacht docked near by, because I would be able to afford to live on a tropical island).
3. TAKE CARE OF YOU! Keep yourself healthy. Get enough SLEEP. Eat right. MOVE your body. You need strength of body mind and spirit to be able to remain neutral in the face of your child's hurdles. (This is really hard for a lot of women; keep working on it).
4. HAVE SOMETHING TO LOOK FORWARD TO! Don't let your life become one big reaction to your child's struggles. Balance is key to staying neutral. Plan little treats for yourself - something you can look forward to. Anything from a magazine, new nail polish, a bubble bath, some really expensive chocolate to a night out, lunch with a friend, or time alone. You are in charge of YOUR LIFE...keep it full of HOPE!
5. KEEP YOUR TOOL BOX FULL OF TOOLS THAT WORK AND KEEP IT EASILY ACCESSIBLE! Tools I am talking about are tools you use on yourself. Tools that will help you stay neutral because they help organize your brain. They help you react out of your executive thinking rather then your emotional self. Make a list and post inside your kitchen cupboard door, put it on your phone, and share what works with a friend. (here are some easy examples: chew gum, listen to or make music, use square breathing, drink through a straw, count or do math facts, i.e. 2+2=4).
6. PHONE A FRIEND! There is just nothing like being surrounded with people that GET IT. Find a support group, educate your friends and family, and be honest about your challenges so that others can be brave enough to be honest too - they may become your sounding board. Teach your friends how to help you. Help them understand what works so they can help you use your tools when necessary!
Being Neutral is good for everyone! It creates feelings of being safe. It promotes opportunities for our kids to succeed, which makes them feel like they are worthy of good things. It promotes the peace and calm we all long to have in our lives! Make it your goal - Be Neutral!
Remember...you are NOT alone