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Guide Overview

Week 4: Communicating Repair

This week's worksheet helps you demonstrate care for your children during times of emotional distress and aims to turn the two included activities into regular practices in your relationship with them.
February 24, 2023
Summary Notes

- This week focuses on communicating care to children when they're feeling dysregulated or moody

- First activity: Acknowledge the child's state, offer support and presence

- If the child rejects comfort, persist and let them know you are there for them

- If the child is young, physically reach for them and offer to hold them

- Second activity: Follow up after a period of time to show that you have continued to hold awareness of their emotional state

- Aim to make these two activities practices in your relationship with your child for better emotional resilience

- Understanding that it may not happen every time, but work towards making these practices a pattern in your dynamic with your child.

 Welcome to week four. This week we're gonna focus on communicating our care, specifically around when our children are feeling tender off kilter, moody, something is dysregulated in their nervous system. We're gonna practice how we communicate care to them while they're in those states. Your first activity is to acknowledge when you can tell that your child is feeling dysregulated, and then to communicate your support that you are there to help, that you care not to.

But to offer presence while they are in that state. Now, if you haven't been doing this for a lot of years, your children are gonna be like, nice try. Do not give up. And you can say something like, Hey, I get why you're rejecting my comfort because I've spent a lot of years shutting you down when you are emotional, but I'm not going anywhere.

And when you are ready and you need support, I'm ready to do something very different than I've done in the past. If your kids are little, I want you to literally physically reach for them. So if they're like, Six, probably somewhere in that range, but honestly, even 8, 9, 10. If they're above 10, they probably aren't gonna be that end of this part, but when you see them starting to be sad, like literally put your arms out, go to them and like say, can I hold you?

Like you're going to reach that. They can see that you want to be present when they are in these painful states. The second activity is actually just to tag onto this first activity, which is that after a period of time, whether it's hours or a day or two, I want you to follow up. . I want them to know that you have continued to hold awareness of that thing that they've felt.

Because when we feel like our tender states are held safely and kindly in the heart of another person, there's something magical about that sense of resilience that it brings to us. It's like, I am cared for. It's just like last week. We want these two things to become practices in your relationship to your child.

Are you gonna drive every time? No, of course not. Sometimes they're cranky, and you're cranky too, and you're not gonna reach and. Fine, but as a pattern, may these become patterns in your dynamic and watch the way they shift the rhythm between you and your child.