7 Easy Steps to Embracing your Child’s Tantrums as a Gift
Via Jennifer Griffin & Elephant Journal on Dec 13, 2016
Thank goodness I discovered the connection between my husband, Rob, and my daughter, Arcata. If I hadn’t, we would still be living in chaos, controlled by those invisible, unconscious moments that happen so frequently between a parent and child.
Arcata screamed for the first three years of her life, rarely slept, and totally exhausted our family. As my husband slowly started to respond to her tantrums as messages alerting him to become more authentic, she stopped ruling our lives with her constant outbursts. In fact, what we realized was that Arcata was channeling Rob’s unexpressed feelings and that she’d continue to act them out through unwanted behavior until he expressed the feelings himself.
One night as bedtime was approaching, my daughter’s eyes began to glaze over and she yelled, “Get out of here! I want you to leave now!” to our dinner guest.
Our guest had previously suggested to my husband that she leave because bedtime was nearing, and my husband had assured her that there was no reason to leave. When Rob finally expressed himself and told our guest to leave, Arcata instantly transformed into a calm, peaceful spirit. After numerous experiences like this, we realized she was a gift here to show my husband that it was safe for him to express himself after 42 years of being codependent and people-pleasing.
Not only did Arcata verbalize my husband’s words, she also manifested situations that resembled my husband’s unexpressed struggles.
One day while Arcata, her siblings, and I were driving past a piano store, she burst out, “I am sick and tired of how all we ever do is shop for pianos!”
Arcata continued on and on about how difficult it was that she had to go to so many stores to look at pianos. Her older sister and I were so confused because our family never shops for pianos. I called my husband to find out what was going on with him—a habit that has calmed Arcata many times. He explained that a teacher was demanding that he hook up her printer and fix her computer. He had a class to teach and was having trouble setting a boundary. As a result, Arcata was feeling the pressure that he did not feel comfortable expressing to the teacher.
After he expressed himself to me, Arcata began to talk about how excited she was to make origami for an upcoming craft fair when she got home. One minute she was strangely obsessing about shopping for pianos and suddenly she switched to her excitement about making origami.
As we scrambled to figure out how to stop the channeling, I drilled him to uncover what he was not expressing. Then I learned that the issues were sometimes very deep. He began to embrace long-term healing techniques such as Emotional Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR)—a simple trauma release technique that teaches your brain how to respond to situations from both hemispheres of the brain. During trauma, we lock into the dominant side of the brain and fail to send messages through the corpus callosum (the tube inside your head that connects the two hemispheres of your brain).
We taught my daughter about the corpus callosum too. When we explained this to her, she responded that there was a little man inside the tube that got stuck in the tube when the channeling was occurring. She began to nudge the little man when she noticed she was experiencing feelings that belonged to her dad. In addition to using visualization to nudge the little man along, she would also simply ask her dad to feel his stuff so she did not have to. This empowered her to take control of her overwhelming feelings and release her from the channeling.
Discovering the channeling connection is an opportunity for a parent to get to know what is inside herself. When a child is released from feeling a parent’s feelings, she can more easily tap into her own creative energy. To find out which parent a child channels, look to see which child acts and/or looks most like which parent.
Here’s a list of how to proceed with the channeling theory in action when challenged with a tantrum. Encourage the channeling parent to work through these steps.
1. Stop. Do not focus on the child, instead realize her difficult behavior is a message for you to reflect on issues within yourself or your partner.
2. Look for issues or themes within the tantrum to decipher the message.
3. Apply those issues or themes to yourself and think about what is not being expressed in your world. Often a channeling parent thinks she is fine and that she has expressed everything. Remember the child’s tantrum is a message to dig deeper to find your authenticity.
4. Find ways to genuinely express what is occurring inside. Simple actions are enough—call a friend, journal, punch a pillow or punching bag, scream outside, or pretend to argue with someone who is not there to express what is stuck inside.
5. Observe how your child calms down and often creates or happily engages with others after you have genuinely expressed yourself.
6. Take note of re-current themes for the future. Record the patterns.
7. Thank yourself for doing some awesome parenting.
Now my daughter’s tantrums are rare. When they do occur, a quick check-in with Rob’s thoughts are enough to remind him to express himself. Once he does, she no longer acts out. Our discovery has resulted in a great sense of relief for our family and the ability to thrive without being controlled by the chaos of an unpredictable child.
Author: Jennifer Griffin
Image: Poltergeist Still
Editor: Travis May
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#tantrums, #tween, #teens, #babies, #helpmychildisoutofcontrol, #colic, #babies, #preschool, #spiritualgift, #behavioralissues, #parentingtips, #parentinganswers
Click here to buy a signed copy of this life-changing book, which introduces a new parenting theory to explain channeling, for $12 (redirects to Paypal)* or click here to buy the book on Amazon.
Does your child or a child you know have numerous or sudden tantrums? My child did and now she is relieved of intense outbursts of tears and rage. Once we noticed a connection between my husband and her, she became a peaceful and calm child. When my husband would express his authentic feelings, she would transform from a raging child into a creative and compliant child. This is because a child often expresses a parent’s unexpressed feelings, a phenomenon I term “channeling.” Check out the Channeling Questionnaire on the home page if this sounds like your child or someone you know. Your child’s difficult moments are a message to you. Learn more about the process in my book, Understanding Your Child As A Spiritual Gift, by clicking here for a signed copy or click here to buy on Amazon Prime.
After reading this book, you will begin to recognize the signs when your child is starting to express your feelings for you and what to do in the moment and how to heal in the long term.
Remember nothing is ever created or destroyed. Therefore, unresolved emotional pain from a parent’s childhood does not dissolve by itself. It sits waiting to be declared, and a child is the ultimate vehicle of expression. In order to transform the energy into something positive, the pain must be brought to the surface, examined, embraced as experiences from which to learn and blossom.
#helpmychildisoutofcontrol, #mybabywontstopcrying, #colic, #tantrum, #spiritualgift, #spiritualgiftxo, #parentingtips, #authenticparenting, #genuineparenting
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Determine If Your Child Channels You (acts out your unexpressed feelings)
1. Do you find your child happily engaged and suddenly becoming mad about something?
2. Does your child bug you to take her somewhere over and over?
3. When your child becomes upset, is she completely unable to please no matter what?
4. Does your child fixate on or obsess about an object or idea?
5. Do your child’s problems echo what you may be experiencing?
6. Has your child ever blurted out words that uncannily resemble what you were thinking?
7. Does your child have a chronic medical condition?
8. Does your child have extremely disruptive behaviors at home, in school, or in public places?
9. Does your child have many accidents or get hurt easily?
10. Does your child repetitively push your boundaries?
11. Does your child act irrationally in response to minor problems?
12. Do you find your child focusing on unimportant details?
13. Is your child sensitive to the feeling of her clothing, such as how it fits or what kind of fabric it is?
14. Have you ever noticed your child suddenly become calm or have an unexpected rush of creative energy or productivity after you have expressed yourself?
15. Does your child frequently make an abrupt decision that she no longer likes one of her favorite activities or people?
16. Does your child abruptly focus on one object or one event that has been insignificant in her life?
17. Does your child have strong feelings toward someone she just met or does not know well?
18. Does your child remain fixated on a problem even after the issue has been resolved?
If you answered yes to 6 or more of the above questions, I would highly recommend exploring the channeling connection. Click here to learn more: http://tinyurl.com/j3z75d2.
Book Group Ideas/Journal Exercises
What are your favorite scenarios/characters and why? Who reminds you most of yourself? Are you more like Rob, a people-pleaser, or like Jennifer, confrontational and upfront.
What are the most helpful parts of the book and why? What parts of the book are the most memorable? Which parts do you share with other people?
Read over Decipher Your Child’s Messages on p. 89. Fill in the blank table at the end to help discover your own messages.
What spiritual messages are your child/children trying to deliver to you or your partner? How open are you to these messages and when are you hesitant to listen to these messages?
At what time of day or around which people does your child channel you? What helps you remain open to recognizing the channeling? What situations cause resistance in you?
Discuss times when you have observed your child or another child channeling? How can you help yourself or the channeling parent recognize what is going on so that the child can be released from the burden of feeling someone else’s feelings.
Think about instances when you may have channeled your own parent and how that affected you as a child.
What exercises do you find useful in the Appendix: 52 Grounding, Nurturing, and Fun Exercises to Do with Your Child?
Make an authenticity contract with someone in the group. Agree to discuss possible reasons for channeling when bothersome behaviors arise in your child. Remember gentle confrontation is required in most situations. Agree beforehand how much you want to be pushed to express yourself when channeling is occurring. Check in with each other periodically to see how comfortable you are with the process.
Life is so busy in this day and age, especially for parents. Take the time now to try out some of the calming techniques listed in Chapter 9 and determine which ones work best for you. Now make a list of stress management techniques for the short and long term. Agree to try at least 3 of the techniques the next time your child is channeling. Both the person channeling and the witness to the channeling can benefit from using calming techniques.
2 thoughts on “Understanding Your Child As A Spiritual Gift”
What wonderful ideas are included here. I have three children and together they make up my heart. They are so incredible.
Yes, my children have been such a grounding experience for me, leading me to such empowering experiences.