My Kid Saw Someone Get Hit by a BusJul 28, 2022
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In this episode, I’m sharing a story about something that happened with my son just this past week.
It’s still pretty fresh, but it was just so powerful and also a huge learning experience for me so I’m telling you about it now.
Last Friday night, my 16-year-old son was riding the public bus home from the mall when a woman walked in front of the bus on the freeway and was fatally struck.
When he told me this over the phone, my mind could not catch up to the words that I was hearing. I didn’t even know what questions to ask.
I’m sharing this story with you for a couple of reasons.
Being 100% calm isn’t the goal
You are a human being. Your nervous system is going to get activated in moments like this. You're going to feel stressed and scared and you're gonna have a lot of feelings.
The goal in these overwhelming moments is simply being as calm as your nervous system will allow. Which might look like a lot of sliding between calm and chaos in hard moments. And that’s ok.
I wasn’t a cool cucumber for every second of this. I was confused as I spoke with the highway patrol. I mixed up freeway exits. I felt panic at moments. I snapped at my husband.
I asked my son too many questions and second-guessed his actions. I listened to him and I also zoned out.
Perfection is not the goal. Being 100% calm isn’t the goal. The goal is to thread the needle between what you need and what your kid needs.
The real work is learning how to navigate the periods of time when we aren't calm. Remembering to catch yourself and reset when your fear makes you feel like controlling or avoiding or stuffing things down or checking out.
Modeling happens when things are hard. Be gentle with yourself and show your kids what taking excellent care of yourself really looks like.
Your kids are going to go through hard things
Listen, Mamas. Your kids are going to go through hard things. No matter how “good” you are as a mom. It’s just life.
They will feel disappointment, sadness, fear, hurt, anger. These are totally normal, healthy, natural emotions.
But trauma does not have to turn into some sort of catastrophic, terrible thing. It only does when it gets shoved down.
Your role is to calm yourself as best you can and show up as a connected and compassionate witness of your child’s emotion.
It doesn't mean trying to change the emotion. All it means is just allowing for what actually is there. Be super curious about it, help them make sense of what happened to them, let them tell the story.
That's how healing happens. Things happen. We talk them through, we give words to the thoughts and the feelings that they are experiencing. Then we feel all the feelings and slowly the emotion shifts.
By modeling healthy ways to deal with stressors, you not only show up better for your kid, but you teach them those tools, too. You show your kids how to manage themselves when they have their own big emotions.
- How to care for your own emotional needs while being there for your kid
- The tendencies parents have when their kids are suffering
- The healthy way to support your kids through hard things
Connect With Me:
- Follow me on Instagram @darlynnchildress or Facebook @calmmamacoaching
- Learn more about working with Darlynn
- Book a call
Real life stuff is what we talk about in Calm Mama Club. If you want a safe place that you can talk about hard things that have happened to you or to your children and you're not sure how to process it or what to do, you're always invited to the Calm Mama Club.
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