What kind of a role model am I? What kind are you?

When adults get stressed out, they tend to act like adolescents because “When we stress, we regress”. Our amygdala is hijacked, our higher functioning frontal cortex is shut down and we are no longer running the show. The same of course for our children. Think about this the next time you are tempted to say to them, “What were you thinking!?!?” The answer is simple - Not.

I got so mad at my 22 year old the other day that I had to hang up the phone on him. I didn’t even decide to, I just “did” it. He texted back, “nice move dad. Really mature”. Yeah. 65 years old and still acting like a kid. How does that happen? It’s really simple. Stress causes us to react from the past, completely miss the present and obsess about the future. Our thinking processes become confused and distorted, and with our short term memory suppressed, we don’t know who we are or who we are interacting with. We become strangers I in our own bodies, in our own experience and can almost say with impunity, “I didn’t do it”. Almost. This is what happens when I am ‘not home’.

The same is true for our children, when they do things they shouldn’t, behave badly, is it “them” doing it or their own stressors of fear triggering their actions? No, this is not amnesty for every wrongdoing. This is simply ‘understanding’ which leads to learning which leads to healing, correction and better choices — or in many cases choice period. I didn’t choose to hang up on my son. I was so wound up I had no choice. “It” just happened. And I am the adult with 65 years of experience and I know better.  So when “it” happens to our child, how do we respond? How could we respond? What is the teaching moment here? Or, do we get so upset with their stupid behavior that we just re-act (as in acting over and over again and again) cause the cycle of unconscious  behavior on both our parts to just continue endlessly into the future, never learning, never stopping, never being mindful and never being free?
 
"Let he who has never sinned cast the first stone..."

Think about it. Can you blame us? Can you blame them?

Choose Love.

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