As parents/ caregivers, we often navigate the intricacy of family
dynamics, striving to create the best environment for our children/
young people. Yet, beneath our interactions, lie behavioural patterns
that significantly shape our parenting styles. These patterns, inherited
from our upbringing, have a considerable impact on how we approach
parenthood, unraveling these patterns allows us to consciously break
free from generational cycles. Even in cases of a wonderful upbringing,
parenting remains a complex journey. It's not about blaming our past;
it's about gaining clarity and making mindful choices.
Behavioural patterns represent deeply ingrained ways of thinking,
feeling, and responding, learned primarily from our early interactions
with caregivers. These patterns, whether positive or negative, exert
more influence on our parenting than we might realise. Often, adults
unconsciously replicate the parenting styles they experienced as
children. Those who grew up with nurturing parents may adopt similar
approaches, while others may unknowingly echo less effective
behaviours observed during their upbringing.
How can I identify my behavioural patterns?
Mindfulness, EFT, self reflection, journalling, recognising
triggers are all effective ways to identifying your own patterns of
What is a trigger?
A trigger refers to situations, behaviours, or events that provoke intense
emotional responses or reactions in parents. These triggers can vary
widely among individuals and are often connected to personal
experiences, beliefs, or unresolved emotions from their own upbringing
Common triggers in parenting might include:
Challenging Behaviours: When children exhibit behaviours that
resemble ones that caused distress in the parent's own childhood or
trigger feelings of frustration, helplessness, or fear.
Lack of Control: Feeling overwhelmed or anxious when a situation
feels chaotic or when a parent/ caregiver feels hopeless or out of
Stressful Situations: Stressful events, such as financial difficulties,
work pressure, or personal stress, can heighten emotional
responses to children's behaviour.
Unmet Expectations: When a child's actions or choices don't align
with a parent's expectations, leading to disappointment or
Past Trauma or Experiences: Parents may be triggered by
situations that remind them of their own traumatic experiences or
challenging memories from their upbringing.
Identifying these triggers is crucial for parents as it allows them to
become more aware of their emotional responses and enables them to
respond rather than react in such situations. Becoming mindful of
triggers can help parents develop healthier coping mechanisms,
manage emotions better, and foster more positive interactions with their
children. Seeking support, self-reflection, and using effective coping
strategies, such as mindfulness, Emotional Freedom Technique or
therapy, can assist parents in managing these triggers effectively.
What is Mindfulness?
Mindfulness is being completely engaged and attentive in the present
moment, without criticism, during both the difficulties and pleasures of
parenting. It involves being mindful of thoughts, emotions, physical
sensations, and surroundings without letting them overwhelm.
Practicing mindfulness helps parents interact with their children and
handle parenting responsibilities with increased concentration, serenity,
and empathy. It's not about reaching a flawless state but about
adopting a more aware and purposeful approach to parenting. This
approach allows parents to handle the intricacies of nurturing children
with more consciousness, tolerance, and inner strength.
Self-Help for Parents:
Emotional Regulation: EFT empowers parents to manage their emotions
effectively. It helps in reducing stress, anxiety, and overwhelming
emotions, providing a sense of calm amidst parenting challenges.
Stress Relief: Parenthood often comes with its share of stressors.
Utilising EFT can assist parents in alleviating stress, fostering a more
relaxed and harmonious household atmosphere.
Personal Growth: Tapping into personal issues and behavioural patterns
through EFT allows parents to address areas they wish to improve. It
promotes self-awareness and growth, leading to more fulfilling
relationships with their children.
Using EFT with Children:
Teaching Emotional Management: EFT can be adapted to suit children's
understanding, teaching them emotional regulation. Parents can guide
their children through simple tapping techniques, helping them manage
emotions like anxiety or frustration.
Bonding and Communication: Practicing EFT together can create a bond
between parents and children. It provides an avenue for open
discussions about emotions, fears, or concerns, fostering trust and
Building Resilience: Introducing EFT to children equips them with a
valuable tool for handling emotional challenges. It promotes resilience by
offering a method to cope with stress or anxiety, ultimately contributing
to their emotional well-being.
EFT serves as a bridge between parents and children, offering a shared
method for emotional self-care and growth. By integrating EFT into daily
routines, parents not only support their own emotional health but also
nurture their children's emotional intelligence, fostering a more
harmonious and resilient family environment.
What is Emotional Freedom technique (EFT)?
Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT), often referred to as Tapping, is a
therapeutic method involving gentle tapping on specific acupressure
points on the body while focusing on emotional distress or negative
thoughts. This technique can aid parents in regulating their emotions by
reducing stress, anxiety, or overwhelming feelings. By using EFT,
parents can effectively manage their emotional responses, promoting a
sense of calm and balance. This practice offers a quick and accessible
way to alleviate emotional tension, allowing parents to navigate
challenging situations with greater ease and clarity.
Counsellor | Accredited EFT Practitioner
CEO at Solace and Healing