I have learned so much about TBRI (trust based relationship intervention) and took a long course on this subject over zoom, spread over many meetings. Some things stuck with me. Some were not yet relevant and went over my head. But one thing stuck: if you forget everything you’ve learned, because emotions run high with disregulated / agitated children, when they react from the reptilian brain, their amygdala is flipped, and you as the adult find yourself slipping into disregulation, matching the agitation of the kid, in order to connect, before you correct, treat your kids as if you were the babysitter who are less concerned with lessons to teach a kid and more with keeping the calm and safe, until the parents come home.

I have tried to soak all the wisdom up, from books, from classes, and implement naturally in my behavior to help my kids thrive. It is rarely about changing the kids. It’s about changing how we respond to the kid’s behavior and that influences them with our consistency over time.

It’s our last weekend in Austin. My brain wants to escape into anticipation and peace and contentment. I will myself into a good mood, and then I remember yesterday was not a good day. I’m making a mental plan, not to over correct but to wisely navigate the last get together. I’m honestly nervous because I tried so hard and got burned. I made myself vulnerable trying to understand and fully feel. Self preservation has its merits.

We all do the best we can but occasionally the best we can is to ask for help, for feedback, for hands on support.

Mom has been the most direct adult I know we as I moved to California, as her daughter in law. And I loved that about her. But when it comes to family, she is just as vulnerable as us all. Holding back to preserve the relationship, using discernment about what to bring up and when, and giving space and grace. Not every battle needs to be fought. Not now at least. Why do today what you can put off till tomorrow. It used to be a joke but when it comes to relationships, it has merit.

Kids can be emotionally disregulated the way everyone’s body can feel disregulated due to hunger or exhaustion or overstimulation. To have someone you trust, slow down and offer their hand till the darkness passes, to breathe slowly, “smell the flower”, “blow into the soup bowl”, and remember we are safe…