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Stand by, Not Over

This video is about learning to manage our own anxiety about our children's pain or failures so that they can learn through the pain instead of being rescued from experiencing it.
February 24, 2023
Summary Notes

- It is not about creating a secure environment for the child by never letting them feel any discomfort or pain

- Anxious and intrusive behavior while trying to avoid pain can create an insecure attachment with the child

- The goal is to be available and present for the child to support them through their feelings and emotions

- Interrupting violence and harm is necessary, but not all instances of discomfort or pain

- Standing by the child during difficult experiences creates resilience and confidence

- Grounded and calm approach is crucial for being available for the child, without being intrusive

- Trusting the child to reach out for help or support when needed, rather than constantly checking in

-A calm and supportive presence can help the child process their feelings and emotions without fear of panic from the parent.

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 One of the things I see a lot of people get mixed up on is the idea that if you are giving your child a secure experience, you are never letting them feel any kind of pain, or you're kind of right there up in their grill, making sure that they're not having any kind of discomfort or trauma is the projection.

Like, I don't want you to be traumatized. Okay. And what happens actually is that it creates an insecure attachment for that child because the energy that you are bringing in that moment is anxious and intrusive, and it doesn't allow them the process of working through their feelings and their emotions.

It feels like you are not okay parent. If I'm not okay, which means that it's not okay to be not okay. Does that.  the term helicopter parent. I don't really love. Cause it feels kind of mean actually. Like you're like, yes. You know the reason you're like that is cuz you've gone through a heck in your own life and you don't want your kids to have that same thing, which is really a tenderhearted parent, but it is an anxious tenderhearted parenting approach.

So what are we doing? We're not trying to helicopter over, we are trying to stand. , the trauma that you grew up with was not just that you had pain, it's that there was no one there witnessing your pain and available to help you feel it, understand it, and co-regulate with you. So that is our goal as a secure attachment focused parent, is that we are available to our children, that we are present with our children, not that we.

Interrupting their pain. Although sometimes we have to, right? Like you don't just sit there and watch one of your children smack another child over the head with a two by four and go, what was it like to be hit by a two by four? No, we're gonna interrupt violence. We're gonna interrupt true harm, but we are not going to call all the mothers in the neighborhood and make sure that, uh, our kid has got all the right kind of friends, because if they don't, what if they feel rejected and hurt?

Our children have their own journeys and their own stories, and they need us to be there when maybe they aren't connecting with any of the kids in the neighborhood and they feel sad and like there's something wrong with 'em, right? That process of standing by is what creates resiliency for our children.

Is resiliency, even a word? Not sure that it as resilience, and this other really cool thing happens when we take that kind of. Grounded, calm mentality that our job is to be available to support them when they are in pain, not to interrupt them experiencing pain. So when we're standing back and we are standing by, oh, that's a good clarification.

We're not standing back. We're not standing away. We're not standing down. We're standing by. Right. So when we're standing by, that helps our children to feel that we have confidence in them because when we move into that space where we are standing in, Right, and we are getting in the middle of them having that experience and working through their own choices and the consequences of those things.

What they feel is that we don't think they can handle their pain or we don't think that they can handle the process of making a good decision, and then they start hiding things from us as a general rule of them. What you want to think is, is this dangerous for my child? I'm going to try and intervene if there's a real true imminent.

If there's not a danger, then I'm going to stand by and be available and I'm gonna say, Hey, sounds like things are rough. Kind of there. Do you want my help? Do you want my advice? Do you want my thoughts, or do you just want my support? Knowing that you'll figure it out and you'll handle it and they will let you know because if they want that, that will be something that they need from you.

If they are like, I don't, I don't want that from you. And all kids are different in this way. Some kids are very independent in their process and they really don't want you to intervene. They're like, I got this, that I got this. I think I have two of those other kids are more interested in having that touch base.

They really want that reassurance and they want that process of discussing it with you. Great. The important thing is your own groundedness, your own ability to allow for what it is they want and need from you in that moment, and trust them that they will come to you as they need you. If you are truly being available, they can sense that, and you don't need to over spill all the time.

Hey, I'm here for you. Do you need anything? Are you okay? Are you sure you're okay? Right? That energy is intrusive and that will lead them to not telling you because they are afraid that once they tell you, you're gonna be like, panic, panic, panic, panic, panic, right? They need someone who's gonna say, Ooh, yep, that's hard.

I can hear you. I can hold your pain, and also I can stay grounded in. While I'm doing that, so you can borrow from my calmness. You can borrow from whatever wisdom I have if I have any, and I am not putting my own sense of security and stableness into your life outcomes.