Saturday, July 12, 2008

What are you afraid of?

In parenting children that have a history of trauma, you have to strip back your own layers and understand your own fears, before you can help your children work through them.

Don't think you're afraid of anything?

Well, what makes you angry? Anger often emerges from fear. You have to peel back the layers to discover the fear that drives your reaction.

It has been like free marriage counseling for my husband and I. It is easier for me to see his fear behind anger - and vice versa. Our anger blinds us to really see the root of it all.

Once you discover what frightens you, and why it turns into anger, you can then start to respond (instead of react) to your spouse or your children when they are "pushing your buttons." Those buttons have the word "FEAR" emblazoned across them, and sometimes just a look can activate them.

Dig around in your own brain and heart. Peel back the layers and try to discover the frightened child hiding under that adult anger. It's not going to hurt anything to spend some time this weekend working through your "stuff." In fact, it might help.

(photo by kat callard)


Recovering Noah said...

What frightens me? Losing control. I've been trying to figure out why Nandini gets to me so easily and have really had to dig down deep - back to my childhood - and for me, it's losing control. If I feel that I'm losing control then all h**l breaks lose. And I need to stay IN control to parent a hurt child. And I've realized that I parent boys better than I do girls. Have no idea why. Probably stems back to my relationship with my mom.
Yeah. You do learn a lot about yourself. And it's not all pretty.

Scott R. Davis said...

i like your image of the kid behind shattered bars of ice. Like he is looking for a way to get through the release. fears do bind us but Jesus has good words in that perfect fear casts our love. I found your site through recommendations from the CT Post religion editors.

Peace. my blog is
feel free to link it to yours. scott

Amrita said...

Got to your blog through Zen master. I am interested in what you have to say.

DJ Dual Core said...

Actually, it probably will hurt, don't you think?

If it doesn't, that person doesn't have much stuff.

Kim said...

Wow! This post was like a free counseling session. I find myself getting angry when the kiddos aren't learning a new skill in spite of my best efforts. The fear, of course, is that they will never learn it, never get into college or get a good job, may end up an inmate, etc, etc, etc. And of course it's an irrational fear, but that fear of failing them is at the root of it all. At least after reading this, I feel like I've put a name on it and can put it into some perspective. Thank you.