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When my child is expressing anger towards me and I don’t have the capacity to hold them in it, my nervous system will perceive them as a threat.

When I haven’t met my own needs and they’re expressing theirs, they becomes like an enemy to my unmet needs fighting over the lack in resources.

My natural parent instinct is to protect my child but when my nervous system simultaneously sees them as a threat, I’m caught in an inner conflict.

This inner conflict can either explode outwards blaming my child or inwards, shaming myself for having these feelings and reactions towards my own child.

❄️ Shame activates the immobilization / freeze instinct in me, shutting down my ability to act or think logically as well as my social capacity. From this place I cannot attune to or meet my child’s needs, nor my own.

➡️ I am no longer capable to be present with them and check out, dissociating or distracting myself. It gives them the imprint that expressing anger, which is linked to expressing their needs and boundaries, leads to disconnection.

💥 My anger / fight instinct might get activated to protect me against this perceived threat and I might raise my voice at them to make them stop.

➡️ this would scare them and activate fear in them, which would shut their expression down to protect them from my anger. This gives them the imprint that expressing anger leads to punishment.

🏃🏽‍♀️My fear / flight instinct might get activated to take me out of the situation. I might leave the room and close the door to put distance between me and the perceived threat.

➡️ this would lead to them feeling abandoned by me and give them the imprint that their expression of anger leads to abandonment.


💡Knowing what is going on in theirs and mine nervous system helps me to catch myself before my instincts take over.

🔑 I can put words on what is happening by mirroring back to them that I see that they’re angry and then help them to move through it without any of us getting hurt.

➡️ read more about helping your child to move through anger and why it’s helpful to do so here:

🙏🏽 When I don’t manage to catch myself I can at least understand what happened afterwards, so that I can repair and rebuild trust again.

🔑 I can put words on what happened and show them that I’m sorry that I acted on my instincts. By rebuilding trust right away I give them the imprint that expression of anger still leads to connection, even if we first need to move through the process of repair.

➡️ read more about the power of repair and how it creates a deeper bond with your child here:

🌬 When I understand that both of our nervous systems are activated I can do something to regulate my own or co-regulate with theirs.

🔑 I can take a deep breath, move my body and use my senses to come back to the present moment. I can invite them to move with me through playfulness and let our bodies regulate together.

➡️ read more about how our nervous systems communicate with each other here:

❤️ We will talk more about this and learn tools & practices to regulate our nervous system in the upcoming Somatic Parenting online immersion that starts in 3 days ➡️

💌 Sign up to my love letter to get a special price on the immersion + a gift ➡️

🙏🏽 If you like this work I would love your support in reaching the parents that need it. I share more over at IG: somatic_parenting ➡️


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