What State are You In?

My intense training week at work is over and I made it out alive. Actually, I made it out inspired!

I work with some of the most amazing people. The amount of knowledge and experience they have in business, sales and education is impressive, and I feel lucky to have had a chance to hear them all speak this past week.

One presentation in particular (Positive Guidance for Young Children) has possibly changed my whole approach to parenting, how I interact with other adults and even how I analyze my own actions. Actually, it was one slide in that presentation in particular that stuck with me…

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The speaker giving the talk has been in early childhood education a long time and her speaking style was phenomenal. She shared stories and acted out scenarios. They were kid-based scenarios too so you can imagine how funny they were. Especially if you are a parent.

Anyway, the point of this slide and the majority of her talk was how to manage young children’s behavior as they are normally in a survival or emotional state. We, on the other hand, can and should stay in an executive state when dealing with them. She, of course, gave great examples,  which I will not do justice to in trying to explain, but the whole idea is captured in this quote…

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Looking back, when my kids were younger (and even now but to a lesser extent) there were no doubt times I joined their chaos and ended up in an emotional state with them instead of an executive state helping them and the situation. Heck, I can think of quite a few examples of husband interactions that escalated because we were both in emotional states and joined each other’s chaos!

The thought of these three states — survival, emotional, executive — has entered my brain like an earworm. I can’t stop thinking about it!

Last night The 11-Year-Old was upset about something and did what preteens do — wouldn’t listen to reason, stomped upstairs and buried his head in his pillow. I looked at The Husband and said, “He’s in an emotional state. Let him cool down and then we’ll talk to him.”

Thirty minutes later all was right with the world.

We stayed executive and did not join his chaos.

Of course this may not always work because sometimes you are the one that is in an emotional state. However, by being more aware of these states it can help you to identify your own behavior and possible respond more effectively. At least it has felt that way for me.

At home I have been using this ad nauseum. Partially joking, partially not, because I think it’s that poignant. The 11-Year-Old literally just told me, and I quote, “Ugh…not this state-crap again!” and I’ve got some good chuckle-eye-rolls from the husband last night. I consider it payback for all the puns I’ve had to live through for the past 20 years. He’s relentless. It’s maddening.

Anyway, sorry for my inactivity this week. The training pulled me out of my typical work schedule and I struggled finding my groove. I still hit the gym every day but my diet was less than stellar and I missed all my lunchtime walks.

This coming week is a big week for a different reason. Someone is turning 6 on Friday!

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I know. I can’t believe it either. Remember this? And this?

Craziness! I think I’m about to enter an emotional state!

All kidding aside,  we have a family celebration, a party at Chuck E Cheese (he’s been begging) and some family coming in for it. My house is a mess and frankly, by the end of the week I’m finished. I don’t even work out Saturday mornings anymore. I was pondering a run but I chose to nap instead.

Saturdays have become my day to just be.

3 comments On What State are You In?

  • At home, I always find myself in the Executive state, probably learned at my job. I really do try and stay above the fray and chaos and sometimes my kids tell me that I am emotionless… I just laugh it off…but underneath, I am really fighting for control of my emotions too. Sounds like a great training opportunity, and this is a great topic!

  • Did she have any advice for when your tween is in an emotional state more often than not? Seriously. We can’t have a normal conversation anymore. It’s tiring.

  • From all the states, I loved this one: “Saturdays have become my day to just be.”
    That’s Poetry.

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