What comes first the chicken or the egg?

 

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What comes first the chicken or the egg? This is a well known conundrum and one I will not aim to solve in this blog but it has been going around my mind as our title for this weeks blog buddies post is ‘eggs’. When I spend more concentrated time with my kids the temperature seems to rise within us all – the kids start bickering and arguing with each other, I get stressed and irritated by tiny things and it becomes overall quite intense. It’s reminded me of something I heard some time ago about how the most dominant emotion in a room sets the temperature.

Many times children who’ve experienced early trauma struggle with their emotions – with self-regulation, with feelings of paranoia in relationships and with fear of the unknown like being in a peaceful environment. When you’ve lived in chaos, even though you may know chaos is not good for you, it’s your comfort zone – it’s what you know and so will push to create chaos wherever you can.

For us as adults life can be really stressful – relationships, job pressures, money worries, health concerns, meaning of life and purpose questions and that’s before you throw children in the mix. Before we had our kids I had what could be considered a stressful job at times – targets, redundancies, dealing with difficult staff but nothing prepared me for raising children. Nothing does prepare any of us I don’t think – even when you have children naturally there’s no training that happens, no test and exam to sit. One day there’s just you to consider (and your partner) and then all of a sudden you have this tiny person relying on you, depending on you to have the answers and to make things good.

When you have children through adoption you do at least have a bit more training and preparation – not anywhere near enough though. Of course the children have already had stressful lives themselves and bring that along with them. I’ve come to believe that to go down this route of parenting you need to have built up so much resilience and inner strength before hand because once they arrive that will be tested to the max.

What is the difference between a thermostat and a thermometer? I may have said this before on a blog as the thought of this comes back to me time and time again. A thermometer reads the temperature in a room. When my kids come home from school I can sense straight away what their mood might be like. From their bickering, or their smiling it can be easy to see what the next few moments might be like. However a thermostat sets the temperature. I know that many times I set the wrong temperature in our house. My tiredness, moodiness, impatience and stress levels impacts on the children and theirs impacts on mine. Which comes first, the chicken or the egg? I know that as I’m the adult and the one who needs to set the temperature that it has to change with me. Not that it’s easy at times but if I don’t turn that dial down and start to bring calm and peace into the house it will remain hot and tempered.

So this week when your temperature begins to raise remember that picture – the thermostat or the thermometer. It may be of course that you need to step out of the situation if you can’t turn the dial down but the most dominant emotion in the room will impact everyone else. Chicken or the egg – me or my kids. It’s hard to tell but I do know that only I can make the difference.

 

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