One thing, I have found has helped me when I can feel myself about to react to my children, in a way that is not in “Peace and Love”, is to voice my reaction, before it happens. I allow my children to hear my process as it unfolds. If, my children are not tidying up the mess they have made I might, stand still for a moment, pause, feel the rage and say, “You know what guys, I’m feeling really angry right now because I feel like you’re not helping me and I have to do all the work myself and that doesn’t feel fair to me”. I say this in a neutral tone because I allow myself to feel the anger and respect it. I seem to find I can stay neutral when I speak about it.
I think, I have let go of believing I shouldn’t react and rather, have accepted that mostly, I will and I do react, but I can honour and own it.
Of course, many times I fuck up and just shout, like I did this morning when my son flooded the kitchen floor while I was trying to help my daughter with her reading practice. But, I did not judge myself for reacting and a few minutes later I said I was sorry. I did not explain or justify my reaction to my son because, I don’t think he always needs that from me. I just apologised and cuddled him, he was happy.
I have noticed, if I communicate this way, nothing hidden but every part of me respected, even the raging part, my children seem to respect it too and often they will calmly tell me why they disagree with me or will understand and help me. I love that it creates a space for all of us to be honest and heard fully. I love that we do not always have to explain or justify ourselves but maybe sometimes just say, “Okay, I got it” or “I’m sorry I did that“.