The sixth provision: reflecting to strong emotions. Chapter 10 (3/3)

Andrew Wake Newsletter, Parenting

Hi to all.

Here is the last of the videos directly relating to the book the good enough parent.  I hope you have found them useful.

Reflecting is a very powerful technique and approach to your child.  It means you:

  • Are staying calm and not distressed.
  • Are not reacting and saving your child
  • Are giving your child the clear experience of you wanting to understand them, supporting the development of secure attachment.
  • Are gently but firmly putting the problem back on the child, your business, their problem, and a solid experience of missing out but in a caring and empathy laden way.
  • Models to your child that difficult emotions and behaviours can be understood and repaired, not a reptile response but a mammal human response.
  • Models curiosity, wondering, autonomy yet connectedness.

Emotional and behavioural styles we grow up with or find ourselves immersed in are often contagious.

If you grew up in a reactive home, reacting will come most natural

If you grew up in a responding home, responding will come most naturally to you

If you grew up in a reflective home where people were curious and wanted to understand where your emotions and actions were coming from, then reflecting will come naturally to you.

So for some of you, reacting will be your 1st language socially and emotionally.  But for some of you it will be like a foreign language that you have to learn and experience before it comes naturally.  Like anything, practice and surrounding yourself with reflective people (family, friends, groups, therapists) are ways of more quickly developing the skill.  And it will only develop by practicing it with people.

The video is found here.