Time to discuss getting your own head too much.
It has become more apparent in the Parenting Posse, since the isolation has begun, with parents getting too stuck in their own heads.
Everybody’s experienced this, I’ve personally become quite a bit better about recognizing when it’s happening to me, but it still happens to me frequently!
My term “getting stuck in your own head” means when you are trying to figure out something, or you have got a problem that you are trying to solve, and you start thinking it over and over.
You are then just going around in circles.
Sometimes you start to catastrophize, that’s when you start thinking that a negative outcome is inevitable. You can ‘t see it from any other angle.
Often what happens when you get stuck in your head is you can’t see the solution that is right in front of your face, or that you’d usually be able to work out on your own.
It’s a vicious cycle.
It happens to EVERYBODY!
People who are very skilled and used to organizing out other people’s problems.
Many of you know Megan, she’s one of our amazing moderators in the Parenting Posse. She’s been working with me for over 3 years, she’s probably one of the people who has the most experience with Uncommon Sense Parenting strategies.
Megan is extremely used to helping parents work through their children’s behavioral struggles.
This happened to her just the other week, we were talking about her kids in our private mod chat and she was struggling to figure out a solution to a fairly minor problem of her son chewing with his mouth open during mealtimes.
Within like 5 minutes of chatting it out with me and our other mod Milli, we’d figured out what was causing the behavior, and some strategies to try and fix it.
It happens to literally EVERYBODY.
Grab the scripts for crazy-making behaviour and know exactly what to say next time your toddler, preschooler, or kindergartener isn't listening.
As parents, we’re too close to our own kids!
We’ve emotionally invested in their success and their failures, and the same thing that happens to our kids happens to us.
When we get emotional, our connection to our rational, thinking brain gets lost.
Our emotions, our ability to sense and feel, are actually more important to our survival than our logical, knowledgeable brain. When we react to something emotionally or we’re emotionally invested in something, our brains will automatically give that part of our brain more resources.
It’s a survival mechanism.
However, it really works against us when we’re trying to work through a problem.
Which means that parents aren’t stupid.
On the contrary, we’re smart AF.
Given enough time to calm down, process, and Google, we can figure almost anything out.
However, that’s really time inefficient.
It’s really energy inefficient because we have to work our way out of the downward spiral of catastrophizing before we can even begin to look at it calmly and rationally.
The best way to get out of our head?
Answer: is to talk it out.
the part of our brain that deals with reason, and logic, and knowledge, is also the part of our brain that deals with language.
When we force ourselves to put our fears, concerns, and worries into words and explain them to someone else, we instantly redirect how our brain is allocating resources.
It also calms our emotional section of our brain, because generally how we communicate these to other people are by telling a story.
We explain a scenario where it happened or the circumstances around the problem, which appeals to our hippocampus. The hippocampus likes narratives.
The hippocampus makes the information easier to process. We bring other brains into the equation that can see things from a perspective we can’t.
Those brains aren’t emotionally invested.
They can see possibilities that we can’t see, and they’re generally willing to make connections that we might not be willing to make right away, either because our emotional brain thinks it’s dangerous, or because they’re considering the information we haven’t.
In Megan’s case, it was that her son’s nose was plugged from a sinus infection, and while Megan was reacting to his insistence that he couldn’t chew with his mouth closed emotionally because it was disgusting to her.
Milli was able to point out that maybe he couldn’t breathe while chewing and that’s why he was suddenly chewing with his mouth open.
Would the problem have gone away on its own when he got healthy? Probably.
However, Megan would have spent the time he was healing frustrated, annoyed, and disgusted. In other words, expending a lot of energy trying to fix a behavior problem that had nothing to do with behavior!
Taking the time to talk it out with a trusted group of people saved her a tonne of time, energy, and frustration.
The reason this kind of came to the surface for me, and why I thought it was worth talking about, was because I’ve also noticed since social isolation started that more veteran members of ParentAbility have been having similar exchanges amongst themselves, and with me.
They know the problem, they even often know the solution, but they just can’t put together how to implement till we talk it out. It’s not because they’re dumb, they don’t have the resources they need, or they’re lazy.
It’s because they’re spending so much energy dealing with the various stressors of social isolation that they’re brain just doesn’t have the bandwidth to put it together right now.
By talking it out, whether that’s in our members-only group or on one of our bimonthly coaching calls, they’re able to make those connections and work through those problems a lot faster.
If you’re finding that you’re getting stuck in your own head a lot lately, you’re not the only one.
You haven’t dropped a few IQ points.
You’re not losing your mind.
It’s just that being stuck in your head is the absolute worst place to be.
The only real remedy to it is to find a community you trust to talk it through with you.
For a lot of parents, that’s the Parenting Posse!
That makes my heart sing because that’s what it’s there for!
I’ve had lots of members mention that it’s the ONLY “Mommy group” on Facebook they’re a part of anymore, because it’s not just a free-for-all of personal opinions.
We moderate it heavily, thanks to Milli and Megan. We get rid of bad advice, or we correct it.
For others who need more support, need more information, or just want their information all in one place, that’s ParentAbility.
We have systems in ParentAbility to help parents figure out why their child is behaving the way they’re behaving and then making a plan to fix it, so they don’t have to spend all their time Googling and reading articles.
Everybody in ParentAbility has the same background information and the same resources, so we can usually figure it out and get strategies in place really quickly for them.
If you’re reading this and you’ve been thinking “I don’t have that in my life” well then come join us in Posse.
If you’re ready, go put your name on the waitlist for ParentAbility! We’d love to have you next time we open registration.
The MudRoom is going to be changing times!
Through June, we will continue having the Mudroom broadcast at 9pm EST on Tuesday night.
Starting July, we will be moving to our new time, 1pm EST on Wednesdays.