The PEACE proces, is a fabulous tool to use when there is a moment of madness with your child. We will talk through the p,e a, c and e of peace and what they relate to...
P - Pay Attention
E - Everyone’s feelings and needs
A - Allowing yourself empathy
C - Caring with empathy
E - Exploring a solution
P - Pay Attention
So when we do this we look at what the situation is, we Observe it without placing judgement or evaluation on i, we don’t project our thoughts or fears onto our child - soooo hard to do right?
We look at what may have happened in the moments leading up to now or what happened in the day for them leading up to this time?
For example, your child has just started school and finished their last day of school for the week, they suddenly have an epic meltdown because you’ve said they can’t play on the playground today, you need to get home.
So lets pay attention to this:
he’s been at school all week,
- So he’s tired,
- he’s hungry, and
- you’ve been chatting to the other school parents for the past few minutes not really paying attention to him, while he was asking to go on the playground... or on a work call or any number of things that take our attention away from the moment - we’ve all been there.
The best ones are at the supermarket with all three kids in toe…
So if we find ourselves in a storm with our child, we 1stly observe - what may have lead to this moment… we observe without judgement or evaluation, without projecting our own ‘stuff’ onto our child.
But how do we get to here?
E – Everyone's feelings and needs.
There are 6 core needs we all have:
Attention - to be seen
Affection - to feel loved
Appreciation - feeling valued
Acceptance - I am ok as i am
Autonomy - ‘go away, i’ve got this’
Connection - the sense of belonging
As we become more attuned to these we can become more aware of what our child might be feeling and needing in every situation.
You could crouch down so you are at eye level and ask “help me to understand what’s going on for you” - when we move into a place of wonder, of curiosity it takes the judgement out of it.
If they’re unable to express what it is, there are a few ways you can ask them what’s going on...
Let's take yesterday’s end of school example depending on what was going on you could say something like:
“I wonder if you’re feeling frustrated because I wasn’t listening to you when you asked if you could go onto the playground, is that right?”
Or “I wonder if you are feeling mad because you want me to get off the phone so I can listen to you. Is that right?”
“are you feeling frustrated because you’re hungry and I’m talking to cooper’s mum?”
Many examples here and you’ll intrinsically know the language that esonates with you and your child.
I ask if you’re willing for the rest of the week, to pause as often as you can for 5 seconds and sense what your feeling or needing, this will help you to understand your needs more. So you are better able to meet those needs.
A allow yourself self-empathy.
Some supportive thoughts you can have when you are having your own big emotions are “Wow, this is really hard” or “this situation really sucks” “it was my boss on the phone and I’m on deadline!”
Part of giving empathy to yourself is being very honest with yourself about your feelings in that moment. As we talked about last week they are probably not going to be thoughts or feelings that you want to act on or share with your child like “what were you thinking?”, or “this kid is driving me nuts and I just want to get out of here”.
Don’t edit your thoughts or feelings here. All are welcome and it's really important to acknowledge your thoughts and feelings about the situation - no matter what the situation is.
If you judge or try to suppress your thoughts and feelings, they will just emerge later on in really unhealthy ways – it could be yelling, slamming doors, over indulging in vino or chocolate cake
You need to find your way to reset your limbic system in these moment. Like pressing your palm to the third eye, fingers to your temples, clenching your fists… stepping away for a minute or two, focusing on your breath. take a few moments to offer yourself empathy, then you’ll be able to care with empathy for your child.
C care with empathy
Showing your child empathy and offering empathy to your child. This is the core of the practice and can be introduced anywhere and everywhere throughout this PEACE tool.
Take a moment to imagine what life looks like from your child’s eyes. Could you imagine being the age of your child and can you step back into the wonderment and newness of these moments that they are experiencing?
we’ve been here on earth longer than our child we can understand and guide them. But they need to have their own experiences.
If we can understand where our child is really at - like what they are feeling and needing, if we can go underneath their behavior, become a bit of a detective and get curious on what it must be like for them in this very moment?
Then it will be much easier to Explore a solution together.
E Explore a solution together
These are the concrete actions you would like to be taken. Invite your child to explore a solution together with you.
If you have an outcome in mind already, then offer your child at least 2 choices around how to arrive at that outcome- the idea here is that your child feels involved in the solution, empowered by making a choice towards the outcome.
9 times out of 10, we don’t even need to get to this point because things have resolved themselves, by offering empathy.
Most parents want to jump to find a solution to ‘Fix this’ but the solution can be found with both parent and child being given a voice – parenting with our children!
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