Change your expat life…
How Do You Connect with Your TCK While Homeschooling?
If you are like me 100% human and trying to connect with your TCK’s while homeschooling chances are you have been feeling a cocktail of emotions over the last year.
In my case, I’ve ranged from feeling involved, connected, loving, supportive, patient, gentle, and perseverant to feeling demanding, fatigued, frustrated, tired, tearful, discouraged, impatient, and overwhelmed.
It’s a lot, right? And when it’s feeling tough, it can be hard to see our way back to true connection. But don’t worry, I’ve got your back
Our thoughts shape our feelings
Most of us think that emotions stem from what happens in our lives. When I feel angry, for example, it’s because my child has done something to make me mad. In actuality, though, our feelings stem from our thoughts.
- When I feel patient, it’s because I’m thinking that my child is doing his best.
- When I feel frustrated, it’s because I think he’s not pay attention to what I’m saying.
- When I feel overwhelmed, it’s because I’m thinking that I have too much to do in addition to the homeschooling.
When we really get down to it, emotions are harmless. They are simply vibrations in our body. But most of us fear them deeply. In fact, most of us want to escape what feels uncomfortable.
However, emotions are precious. They are telling us something important: they’re telling us about what we are thinking about the situation we’re in. They are giving us information!
Listen to your feelings and change your life
Unfortunately, it is not in our culture to talk about emotions. Our society doesn’t prioritize them. Due to our upbringing, we even mis-categorize them in order to avoid facing them head on. I often hear people talk about feelings as “something women do” and that men don’t.
As you probably know, this thinking gets messy and harmful.
It’s time to open up to the idea that everything we do in life is to feel something. If you do, you’ll start to understand why emotions are so important and why working on them can bring such rapid and permanent change to your life.
All the things we do in life are to feel something. Not the other way around.
- When you teach your TCKS (your “third-culture kids”) every single day making sure they continue to learn, turn in their assignments, and all the other things that come with homeschooling it might be because you want to feel satisfaction, reassurance, and pride.
- When you hire a tutor to help at home, it might be to feel relief, peace, and the feeling of relaxation.
- When you raise your voice and tell your children to concentrate on their homework, it might be to feel respected or in control.
So, if we take actions based on how we want to feel, the question is: what can we do to turn this information into connection?
How to stop reacting to your children and start connecting instead
Many of us confuse the action of reacting with the emotional function of feeling. This is, in fact, one of the most common misunderstandings I see. But, in order to connect with your child, you need to stop reacting and start really feeling.
The more uncomfortable the feeling, the more important it becomes to allow it. Allowing is feeling. Allowing the emotion you are feeling helps you connect rather than react.
Which scenario do you think will bring more connection?
You raise your voice and tell your child that she is not concentrating enough; she’s just wasting your time; or,
You tell your child, “I am feeling annoyed right now because I think you are distracted and I think I may be wasting my time.
This semantic difference is key because it causes you to take responsibility for what you are feeling. This is what brings connection in all relationships. It creates less reactivity and helps you take actions that will serve you better. (Don’t believe me? Check out my post, “How to stop arguing with your spouse.” )
Are you looking to make the most of your expat life while raising awesome TCKs? Well, so am I! So stay tuned for more on this topic that’s near and dear to my heart.
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