So let’s talk about behavior. All behavior in life…yours, mine, your kids.
Is the body’s attempt at regulation.
And regulation really just means being safe and connected.
Behavior is not whatever label you want to put on it, to try and fix it, it’s literally your body trying to move you with energy because it feels unsafe.
We like to look at behavior as this reaction that isn’t ok.
You judge yourself by thinking you shouldn’t yell.
Going back to it’s simple, but it’s not easy.
Your body has always done this. Your body knows when (blank) happens, you need to fight, which for you comes through your throat as yelling. That’s its first attempt at trying to regulate. Your body at this point knows it’s not going to get any direction from you and defaults quickly to what it knows to do. Because it’s job is to protect you. And because it has been wired over and over.
Of course you feel out of control, because you try everything, but you still end up yelling. It’s because you’re not doing your job. You’re trying to fix the symptom of yelling. The symptom of a scared nervous system in protection mode.
You have to get to the root cause. And that is your nervous system.
Symptoms are all of the things we’re told or think we should be doing. They will never work because they are just band-aids to superficial, short term relief of the symptoms.
So you’re a symptom chaser without even realizing it.
The most frustrating piece to this, is you are trying, you’re actually spending time and energy and effort at doing something. It’s so defeating and frustrating, but you’re only on a hamster wheel.
It’s also like playing the whack-a-mole game because you hit one and then another symptom will eventually pop up or just the same one again and again.
Until you call it something else. And this is the other trap!
As moms we hear, it doesn’t get easier, it’s just different.
But my perspective on this now is…root cause.
It’s always been and always will be nervous system dysregulation.
You moved through an age or a stage and now you’re just giving it a new name.
For example, we have babies that cry, that turns into whining, that turns into tantrums, that turns into yelling. All of this is body language trying to communicate that they need us because they can’t handle this uncomfortable energy in their bodies and they don’t know what to do with it. Well neither do we because we’re still looking at the symptoms. We are approaching the wrong thing and we’re also not teaching them healthy regulation.
The other part of behavior that is the most complicated and where we usually find ourselves triggered by our kids is when their behavior wasn’t safe for us as a child.
It’s like your younger self comes out to try to protect them. To shut down or stop whatever wasn’t ok for you to do. That left you unconnected or unsafe.
Or even more confusing when you’re trying to do better or differently than you were parented. When you give your child something you didn’t receive, which can actually dysregulate your system because it doesn’t seem safe to it.
So instead of trying to control behavior, you have to look at the one variable that you have the possibility of real control of, and that is YOUR nervous system.
And you can only accomplish this when you know your body.
So let’s change the word control to connected.
True control = being regulated, which remember just means connected.
As humans. We love a label and we love a box. Because we can solve or fix or control what’s in that labeled box. But instead of labeling all the symptoms and putting them in a box. Look at your body as the box and when you understand why those things are in your box, that’s how you can be in real control.
Look at it like, my body is trying to make sure I’m safe and in the end connected.
So in your mind you’re confusing control as connected.
You feel if you can control everything, then you can ensure you’re safe.
You need to be able to access safety within your body, then in anything outside of you. There is a gap between what your mind thinks you should be doing and what your body wants you to know. This is why you need to be connected to your body, so you’re not completely doing opposite things, that will never get you where you so desperately want to be!
If you actually think about this...we walk around so fragmented from our bodies. It’s not safe to feel any distress or discomfort because we don’t know what to do with it. So we essentially are just working against ourselves, all of the time. We’re not working with our body to get to that connected place.
Also a huge piece to this I want to point out. If you’re always just trying to control everything because that’s how you think you accomplish safety. Your life is so limited.
Even just creating the simple connection back to yourself, your whole world opens and widens. Because it becomes safe to do things or try things or feel things.
Because you have trust in your body and you are in control of yourself. You’re able to stay regulated when life doesn’t happen exactly as planned. Things outside of you don’t control you. You know how to bring yourself into connection and safety, always.