My daughter is nearing eleven years old. I am starting to see signs of adolescence on a daily basis. Her body is metamorphosing. She is more reactive when conflict arises. We are entering into a phase of rapid brain development, which cause larger than life emotions and irrationality, similar her early years.
I have been taking notice of how triggering it is for me when she yells or explodes about an issue. It is so easy to fall into the reaction trap. Someone is yelling, so the automatic and primitive response is to yell back. But she is a child, not my peer. What is is doing is not based in logic. It is a cry for help, love and guidance. And as I always tell her, no one can hear you when you are yelling. You need to speak softly.
In taking a moment to step back and reflect, I understand that my daughter is struggling to manage the brewing storm inside of her. My work is to create a container for these emotions: to guide her in learning to express herself in a positive and respectful way, without taking any of it on personally. This is easily enough said but harder to achieve in the heat of the moment.
This is when I remember to hold onto myself. To use my belly breathing as an anchor. To allow the storm to blow around me and trust in the strength of my roots to hold me fast. Sometimes it is just a matter of not saying anything when I desperately want to lash out. To take a moment to breathe and create space for reflection. To remember that none of it is personal. It is just a difficult and uncomfortable phase of necessary growth. Although it does not always work, it is a good starting point as we navigate uncharted territory together.