Bryan Post Attachment Parenting Blog

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I Cannot Control My Children’s Reactions

QWhat do I do if I offer time-in and my child reacts to it angrily and shouts no? What happens if the challenging behavior takes the form of pushing parents away, how do we achieve a time-in or other love based parenting approaches especially when children react so negatively?”

As always you do what you can, not what you can’t. What do I do when my spouse has a meltdown and she doesn’t want to be hugged, touched, talked to and just wants to be LEFT ALONE? I step back – even though I want to ‘help’, and say, “ok honey. I can do that. I will be here when you need or want me. I will be right here (wherever here is…). The key is – when you get a negative reaction, the underlying fear has been stimulated. That is a message not to be dismissed or judged. It is to be heeded, accepted and learned from. We don’t punish fear, but try to calm the distress. We cannot control our children – a great illusion shattered – but we can influence them.

Anger Will Not Calm Anger

ANGER WILL NOT CALM ANGER. If a child comes to you and is angry and annoys you, and you get angry and annoyed at their being angry and annoyed and start acting angry and annoyed, it will not calm them down.

silouette finger pointingAnger is real. Anger is acceptable as are all our emotions. How we use it, and what we do with it are key elements to not only improving our parenting (all relationships) but in revisiting our own buried past. I sometimes feel that if I am angry when I give my children commands, it will be more effective because then they will KNOW that I am serious. What does serious mean here? It means that something worse is coming and you better fear this or else….

Let’s look at the reverse. When a child is angry, they are serious. It is a red flag. If we don’t help them here, we can expect an “or else” from them. David wrote an article in one of our Parenting Toolbox (#41) emails that addressed this.

“I heard about a parent recently who, when the child refused to mow the lawn, started the process of taking privileges away. The more she took away, the more out of control the behavior grew. This culminated with the child – now too big to physically handle – pushed the front windshield of the car out with his feet while mom was driving. Next step was either taking him to the police station, the ER or a psychiatric facility or ?. I know how this goes. I have been there. It breaks my heart to hear stories like this, when, if, we could just remember Bryan Post’s most basic teaching. Stress is at the root of all behaviors and bad behaviors stem from fear. So he says, scared kids to scary things.

To learn more about the debilitating effects of reacting rather than responding, click below to read more and to listen to two short audio clips on Negative Feedback Loops.

Feel Like You Are Going in Circles?
Maybe because you are.
Neurophysiologic Feedback Loops: The more we react, the more we react. It’s really that simple.
To learn about this easy to recognize this phenomenon, visit here.

Neurological Feedback Loops #1 - 3:18 min.

Neurological Feedback Loops #2 – 4:38 min.




The Art of Curiosity by Sherrie Boles-Rogers

Sherrie Boles-Rogers, author and creator of the website The Parenting Heart, posted a ‘to the point’ article recently that spoke directly to our parents. Do you yell?  Do you put her in time-out?  Do you lecture, threaten, punish?  All of the above?  Do you casually push your cart past the melt-down in the cereal aisle […]

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Feel What You Feel

I have been presenting information regarding ‘feeling what you feel’ and other aspects that involve Mindfulness (i.e., paying attention on purpose, in the present moment, and non-judgmentally to whatever is arising inwardly and outwardly). Learning to feel at the level of sensory input I describe as ‘the longest journey in the world – the 18 […]

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Good at School/Bad at Home? Bad at Home/Good at School?

Behavior Chameleons Q. My 16 year old adopted a daughter has been diagnosed with Attachment Disorder while incarcerated in a juvenile jail. This led me to read two of your books which I found very helpful and insightful. My wife does not believe she has such an disorder because she behaved very well during incarceration. […]

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Unconditonal Love: What is it and how do we get there from here?

We have talked about unconditional love many times.  but for most of us, it is just an intellectual pursuit. We really have no idea, no concept, no real experience of unconditional love. I often wonder how we can teach this to parents who have no model other than their own very limited “conditional” parenting imprints […]

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IEP and The Law: Your 9 Parenting Rights for Helping Your Child Succeed in School – Attorney Jamette Pruett

With Bryan Post and Jamette Pruett, Attorney You must know and take action for assuring your child has the best chance to succeed in school or home school. We have an excellent resource – IEP and The Law which features Attorney Jamette Pruett and I which provides lots of valuable information, tips, and specific Federal […]

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Sick and Tired of Being Sick and Tired?

The fact that our children’s behaviors affects parents so personally and deeply is a critical issue. It is heart wrenching, heart breaking and depressing at times to have to “put up” with our children’s behaviors – especially when it affects us so directly (hitting, spitting, hurtful words etc). It takes a lot of personal work […]

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The End. Not.

Bryan often talks about process versus outcome. Outcome is the end. Process is ongoing. It never ends. This process is observable, knowable, and predictable. The more you observe, the more you know and the more you can predict. The more you can predict, the more you can be proactive in your parenting approach. I know […]

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To Spank or Not To Spank

Ever wonder if there just might be a better way? I  heard a mother threaten to smack her child if he didn’t stop crying, and a father yelling at his children to sit down and shut up! Professor Murray Strauss of the University of New Hampshire has conducted research which indicates that 94% of adults […]

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