My husband and I are working with Cynthia and I learned that I was a part of my 10-year-old son’s outbursts.
So, rather than trying to change him, which I would try doing through arguing and yelling which never worked, I’m working on changing myself instead.
My son gets upset with projects at school, he’s afraid of failure and therefore procrastinates doing the work which just makes it worse. This makes me crazy and so I would give him advice on how to do his work, He didn’t like this which often led me to yelling at him. Then he would yell “Leave me alone.”
It’s not easy to make changes. I started by learning about how the emotional brain, the limbic system, is connected to the logical brain, the prefrontal cortex.
When he is upset he can’t think straight so trying to use logic and tell him what to do just shuts him down. I knew my giving advice and yelling wasn’t working yet I didn’t know what else to do.
I also had this need to keep talking to him, to get him to change. So now I’m working on not feeling like I have to say something to fix him when he’s upset.
Instead, I’m controlling my shouting a lot, and instead, I’m just listening.
The other day I caught myself getting upset, feeling like I had to get the last word in. I stopped and just listened. He had already said, “Leave me alone” but he quickly came back saying, “Don’t leave me alone.” The upset duration was reduced dramatically
We’re even experiencing less upsets because now I understand that I need to listen to him like he’s a pressure cooker with a release valve where steam needs to come out.
Once he is calm, then we can have a problem-solving discussion together, not during his outbursts. What Cynthia has taught us about emotions and the brain makes so much sense that I know her strategies will get us much better results than what we were doing.
I can control myself first and be the model of emotional maturity that my son needs. Thank you, Cynthia
Mother of a 10 and 7-year-old son.
Read more about how Emotional Intelligence is Related to Our Thinking
Learn about Emotional Intelligence with Daniel Goleman’s book
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