Step 1: Stop!
As you thought about how you would respond, did you react automatically without thinking?
“Stop!” is what you tell yourself to pause for just a moment to overcome your initial impulse, possibly to rush in angrily. “STOP!” is a brief cooling-off period and a preparation for thinking and acting.
So in the Journal example, you would have to transition from relaxing in your chair to being fully alert. As you arrive in the living room, you take a deep breath and calm yourself. You do not give in to your first impulse. You might even tell yourself “Stop!” before acting.
❖ JOURNAL 16: Cooling off
Over the next week begin strengthening your ability to react to emotionally charged encounters with your child with the “STOP!” step. When your heart starts to beat fast and you feel the heat rising to your face, shout to yourself, “STOP!” then take a full deep breath, followed by a slow exhalation. Get into the practice of giving yourself some “emotional space” to help you think about how you might respond.
Describe the difficulties you have to face in finding this moment of peace in difficult circumstances. Is pulling back a little contributing to your self-confidence?
Next: 2. Observe