We are always responsible for our reactions no matter what anyone else has said or done, we can not blame another for the way we respond. It can be hard not to react badly when someone pushes our buttons, but we DO have a choice. We can still be authentic and real without reacting. If we feel our buttons being pushed and anger rising, we can choose to STOP and bring awareness to what we are feeling. It is okay to say “I am feeling angry right now, I need a moment alone”, it is okay to walk out of the room for a few minutes and stamp our feet. We do not need to beat ourselves up for having a reaction come up, most of us are not the Dalai Lama, but it is important to carry awareness around our reactions rather than blame the other person. Often, as adults our reactions come from the story we carry about ourselves and our past. We are not always reacting to the person in front of us in the present moment, but to someone in our past, a parent, school teacher, the school bully.
Children seem particularly good at pushing our buttons, finding our wounds. Maybe that is their job, maybe that is why they are here. My dear friend, family therapist and author, Bruce Scott says “Children are us externalised”, I happen to believe he is right. Seeing beyond “Bad behaviour” to the deeper process that is taking place between us and our children or any child, seems important. Owning our reactions sets us and others free.