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Looking after yourself when your child is not ok

What’s it like for you when your child is not ok?

When your child is feeling anxious, sad, overwhelmed, acting out, picking on siblings, withdrawn…

Let’s face it - it can be crawl-our-your-skin uncomfortable.

Seeing your child in a not-ok place can bring up a deeply visceral response - let’s fix it and get out of this place as quickly as possible.

There can be many reasons for the discomfort - being responded to like that when you were growing up, judgments that pop up about you as a parent if your child is anything but happy, time pressure…

So you look for the best advice to help you deal with it.

There is nothing wrong with it.


If you take a minute to tend to your discomfort first, even though facing it might be the last thing you want to do, it can make a huge difference in how you and your child will experience that situation.

Can you imagine yourself feeling calm, grounded, present, available, and breathing deeply when your child is not ok?

Can you imagine supporting them with whatever they are going through from that place (instead of a place that feels more like “ahhhhhh, let’s do something, anything, just make this stop)?

What would that feel like?

You might end up following the exact same advice, but when you tend to your state and find your calm first, your and your child’s experience can be as different as day and night.

Looking after your state is a practice. You don’t need to do it perfectly. You can develop a relationship with it by tending to it daily. The more you practise it in simple day-to-day situations, the easier it becomes to stay calm and connected when things get intense.

If you would like to explore it further and create more moments of calm, attentive, joyful connection with your child, have a look at the Circle of Security Parenting course.


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