Mentally Strong Moms Raise Mentally Strong KidsDec 17, 2021
My daughter and I had a really tense moment yesterday. It's the kind of situation that a few years ago would have turned into a yelling match, then slammed doors, then days of silence. I was feeling rejected, and it hurt.
I used to struggle to remember to use my strategies in this moment. My coach assured me that as I practiced (by visualizing the exact scenario and imagining applying the strategies), I would eventually remember in the moment. She, of course, was right. Now I remember in the moment to stop and process the emotion.
Two cues indicated the need for me to stop and process: tears were filling my eyes, and some of the thoughts going through my head were terrible. The thoughts felt true, but I knew intellectually that they were inconsistent with how I think when I'm coming from a more rational place. Regardless, the stories forming in my head were about to determine my reaction to my daughter.
My brain yelled, STOP! STOP is the acronym I use to remember to process an intense emotion. So I stopped.
I said to my daughter: my nervous system is going crazy, my brain is telling me I'm being rejected, I need a second. I talked through what I was doing as I went did it.
I told her, I'm choosing not to resist, react, or avoid this emotion. I'm naming it rejection. I'm taking control back from my brain by focusing on my breathing. Now I'm finding the emotion in my body.
I described the emotion to her, telling her it looked like a sword shooting up from my abdomen into my throat. It was bright yellow, glowing. It hurt. I stayed with that hurt. As I continued to breath, it began to dissipate.
As it did, the loud, cruel thoughts that were filling my head seemed irrational rather than true. I was so, so grateful I hadn't said the things I almost said.
I was astounded when she crawled across the couch and put her head on my shoulder. Weren't we fighting?! She said, "I want to learn to do that."
Friends, this is the daughter that listens to what I teach out of obligation, but crosses her arms and rolls her eyes. She's the one who is resistant to my suggestions to apply them in the moment. But seeing me use it and seeing it work caused a shift in her.
Over the next hour I shared with her the latest acronyms I had come up with that help me remember what to do in the moment.
She listened and adapted the acronyms to be something she could remember. We talked about how and when she could use them, and why they work, based on how our brains work.
This is why I teach things the way I do in the Mentally Strong Mom Method (MSMM). The strategies I teach in the program gave me the strength to face the situation with my daughter and helped build my mental fortitude. The fact that she saw me applying the techniques impacted her very differently then if I just tried to tell her about them.
If you are interested in supporting your child's mental health by building up your own, please join me in my signature program, MSMM.
It will change your life, it will change your child's life, and it will change your mental health legacy for generations.
Cohorts open in mid-January, then run throughout the year. To find out about when we open, join my free online community, the Mom Squad by going to MomSquad.Ashley.Tube. I can't wait to see you there.
Join my free online community, the Mom Squad to build the strength, learn the strategies, and get the support you need to raise mentally strong kids.