Feelings can be powerful and sometimes cause us to react or behave in ways that we don’t think we have any control over. However, we always have a choice about how we respond to situations, and no one can take that choice away from us.
The secret is to give yourself a little time to acknowledge your feeling, then pause for a moment to choose a response according to your values and the person you want to be (not according to how you feel), and only then respond as you have chosen.
Many of us weren’t exposed to this ‘time to pause’ when we were younger; and some of us benefit from being reminded of how beneficial this is. A considered reaction is almost always better than an immediate, knee-jerk response, and especially so in personal relationships.
Here’s a fun activity for parents and children to help you both identify and talk about your feelings, and maybe share some ways you can respond rather than react.