My seven year old is quite an effective communicator. She utilizes a vast vocabulary and most often demonstrates a very mild, shy temperament. She's typically well-behaved and fairly cooperative. Usually...
You can see where this is going...
Tonight, my daughter decided to display an alter ego. This alter ego exhibited frustration to the point of anger. Screaming was involved. Tears were shed. In short, she was a hot mess.
Now, I don't know about you, but when my daughter is "out of sorts," there's usually a reason. So I do my best to be supportive and patient. Sometimes, though, it takes a lot of effort. I must be conscious during these moments. I want to be in complete control of my thoughts and behavior in order to respond vs react.
I define a conscious conversation as being completely present with another person(s) where you are attuned to not only what the person is saying, but also the non-verbal cues and the general "vibe" they're giving you. Akin to how we understand some words only by their context, I don't believe we can have an effective conversation with words alone.
At the beginning of such ordeals with my young daughter, I'm typically the picture-perfect parent...patient and understanding...empathetic and loving. I focus on how my daughter feels and what she may need from me in order to regain control. Usually...
However, if my efforts appear to be failing miserably, and my daughter continues to act like she's lost her mind, it gets increasingly more difficult to be a picture-perfect parent. At that point, there's a conscious conversation going on within my own mind. It's like having two people inside my brain working out my next move: Angel and Devil. Devil wants to show her frustration and scream and make it all stop. Angel rationalizes how that response is likely not to get me the end result I desire, which in this case was to support and love my daughter through whatever was happening.
Sometimes Angel wins, sometimes Devil wins. Each experience is different. I remain a work in progress.
I'm happy to say that both my husband and I remained calm through the entire ordeal. And even though I question sometimes whether the effort is worth it (being conscious and trying to put someone else's needs ahead of your own is hard), I felt like it was worth it tonight. My daughter came and snuggled with me when she was able to gain composure and return to her "normal" self. That made all the effort worth it, and then some. I felt like that was her way of communicating her gratitude for supporting her through a really challenging moment.
Don't we all want to feel supported when we're in a challenging spot?
Wishing you all conscious conversations, with yourself and others. :)
Be open to what comes.