279: Navigating Parenting Triggers // Nat Vikitsreth

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In today’s episode, we are going to be discussing how to navigate our parenting triggers. A trigger in parenting is a small action, often done by our children, that releases a spring within us the parent and sets off a reaction. This reaction can sometimes feel like it is exploding out of us against our will, much like a real life trigger was pulled inside of us. So what do we do with our internal triggers? Can we tame them? Get rid of them altogether? Are triggers always a bad thing, or do they sometimes protect us?

We are going to discuss those questions and so much more in today’s episode with Nat Vikitsreth.

Nat is a licensed clinical psychotherapist, a graduate school lecturer, a social justice practitioner, and a podcast host. Her organization, Come Back to Care, helps parents break free from the family patterns that they no longer want to pass down to future generations. Nat is a transgender Asian immigrant from Thailand, and she says she is passionate about helping parents go from parenting on Autopilot, to Bold, Conscious, and Decolonized parenting, most of the time. 

 

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3 Takeaways from from Nat Vikitsreth on Navigating Your Parenting Triggers

 

  1. Understand your brain to transform shame and guilt into action and healing.  When you are triggered, it does not mean that you are a bad mom. This is a neuropsychological response that is trying to protect you from things that hurt you in your past or that you fear happening in the future. Understanding that can help you release your shame for being triggered and recognize it as a very human, very normal protective measure. When you explore where your triggers come from, you can make conscious decisions about how you want to move forward with self-compassion.
  2. Reflect on which of your child’s behaviors trigger you the most and why–and then make a plan for how to address that. I love that Nat divides common triggers into two categories: those that relate to your child’s attachment to you and those that relate to your child’s autonomy or independence from you. Which behaviors bother you most–when they are clingy, needy, and whiny? Or when they are independent, defiant, and asserting their own will? Maybe it’s a mix of both for you, but as you reflect on which of their specific behaviors trigger you the most, you can start to create a plan of action.
  3. Remember to reconnect and repair after a rupture. You are not going to be perfectly patient all the time, even with all the reflection and proactive planning and inner work that you do. But the good news is, you only have to get it “right” 30% of the time to maintain a strong connection with your child. The other 70% of the time, you just have to try to go back to them and apologize–talk through it, work through it, and model accountability, humility, and resilience.

 

>>>Are these tips from Nat Vikitsreth on navigating your parenting triggers helpful? What would you add to the takeaways? Tell us in the comments below.

 

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