Regulate Yourself

When we fear the unknown, we expand our imagination into distant lands, believing in the worst scenario to play out in reality. Instead of letting things be and taking whatever life throws at us, we succumb to despair, frustration and sink deeper into a black hole.

It’s at these times where we need to regulate ourselves. Even if you think this is the worst event to ever happen to life, you need to spin things with a different web in your mind. We may not like it if a series of events means that in order for change to happen other teams of people need to get together for a solution, but we need to understand that flipping out, becoming self-destructive or attempting to power through to regain control are all poor choices.

Last night my wife and I were out with our daughters. The younger one was upset that the older one had more money than her. They both did significant chores around the house for the week to earn some money. Instantly the younger daughter lashed out while we were running errands at the older one, to the point that she started making a scene with her voice and her actions.

My wife and I both knew the issue was about the money, but she didn’t want to admit the case, so she stated she didn’t know why she was getting frustrated. 20 minutes later we find out that is the case- and we find out that she didn’t ask the right question to find out that her sister had extra money due to babysitting the sister did during the week for another family. Instead she assumed that we were paying her extra, which in turn fuels her internal system to believe that like always (to her), we favor one person in this family over another.

I think in older sibling/ younger sibling relationships, the younger one does feel slighted. I’m guilty of this belief as well. Growing up my older brother got the chance to go out with his friends right after school, and I wouldn’t be able to go out for an hour or two as I had chores and homework to finish up. Once outside, if my brother was ready to come in, I had to also come in- even if that meant I spent a paltry 15 or 30 minutes outside.

Before seeing rage, I think it’s important to seek out all of the correct information. There’s nothing wrong with asking questions. The key is to keep your tone and attitude in check as you seek out the answers. If people sense you are already tense or angry, they may tip toe around your questions and lead you down a path of an explosion. Deep breathing, exercise, music, reading, cleaning, etc. may be a good first step before engaging in this conversation so that your frame of mind and body are entering more of a neutral state.

The toughest job as a parent to adoptive children with well formed personalities before they lived with us remains gaining trust. There are so many times that when they go through the everyday bumps in the road that they would rather believe they can handle it on their own than seek out support from us as parents. Keep your options open, allow the door to be knocked upon at all times without fear of judgment and your children will come to you at times that you least expect it.

Have a wonderful weekend. Thank you again for all of your encouraging comments and support for this blog- if you have any suggestions for future entries, please feel free to let me know.

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