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Published:April 4, 2023

It is not your child’s job to avoid triggering you

Here is the reality, your children can trigger you. This is not intentional. Children are just being children. It is our job to process those triggers. Oftentimes what I find is parents inappropriately respond to their children because of their feelings and not necessarily the child. When I ask parents what they are feeling, they typically will say they are stressed or overwhelmed and this is independent of their child’s behavior. I then tell the parents that they need to address the root of their triggers and they need to take action steps to decompress before they react to their child. 

Here are some ways to address your triggers and decompress

  • Stop allowing yourself to get overwhelmed. Start paying attention to your emotions to prevent exploding
  • Start asking for what you need
  • Prioritize your to-do list. Everything does not need to get done right now
  • Pay attention to your body sensations and when you feel triggered, step away
  • Redirect what you have the children doing so you can have a moment to yourself
  • Cry
  • Journal how your feeling 
  • Regularly scheduled self-care
  • Distract yourself by doing something you enjoy at that moment
  • Ask for help with your children
  • Seek therapy
  • Exercise

Written by Shareela Allen, LCSW

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