I want to take today’s post, to apply yesterday’s post to a real-life situation in my mothering. Let’s look again at the tool Jody shared with us yesterday.


  1. Describe what’s going on with your child and how you feel about
  2. Take a look at what you wrote for step #1. Which statements are
    facts (or circumstances)? Circle them. Everything left over is your
    thinking, which is creating what you’re feeling.
  3. When you feel this way what do you do or not do?
  4. Is this going to help you show up in the best possible way for your
    child? If yes… you’re ready. If not move on to the next step.
  5. Pick one thought that you think is causing you the most pain (or
    summarize your thoughts into 1 sentence) and try to disprove it or
    find an alternative way to think about the situation. (See below for
    some possible new ways to think about it.)
  6. Make sure you “try on” this new thought and that it feels true to
    you. When your mind wants to go back to the old thoughts,
    redirect it to the new thought.

And I get this – this is familiar to me. But I want to be in the habit of applying it, almost automatically, when a situation arises.

The past two weeks, or so, I have been working on my water intake. I was just not getting enough. So I set the goal: I want to be in the habit of drinking water, whether or not it is on my daily checklist. I want it to be a neural pathway: I’m at the fridge, I want a cup of water.

I practice it in my mind, ten times a day, still, and I physically get the water every time I am at the fridge. I have retrained my mind – this reaction is now automatic. I don’t have to think about it, I just grab the cup of water.

I want to do something similar with this 6-step pattern. I want to practice it enough mentally that when situations with the children arise – and they do all the time – my automatic response, that neural pathway, is going to be to go straight to this 6-step pattern. Automatic.

Let’s practice it together today. Then I think I will add it to my morning routines – practicing this pattern intentionally.

  1. What’s going on with your child/how you feel about it. Liam wrote a poem in his language arts class about how hard it was growing up – “brutal bruising betraying and bad” in his words. I feel surprised. I sing to him and scratch his back every night – how bad could his growing-up years have been? I feel confused. Maybe a little betrayed.
  2. FACTS in the statement above. Liam wrote a poem. His words were “brutal bruising betraying and bad”. I sing to him and scratch his back every night. Those are the facts. FEELINGS caused by my thoughts in the statement above. I feel surprised. I feel confused. Maybe a little betrayed, myself. Those are the feelings.
  3. When you feel this way what do you do or not do? I want to either over-indulge the boy, hoping to redeem his childhood, or I want to fight back, You don’t know what brutal bruising is! Either way, it’s me REACTING rather than ACTING.
  4. Is this going to help you show up in the best possible way? No.
  5. Pick one thought that you think is causing you the most pain. “I feel a little bit betrayed.” Try to disprove it. He has said nothing about me, specifically, in his poem. He could be talking about a number of influences in his life. Nothing has gone wrong here.
  6. Try on a new thought that feels true to you. My child is supposed to feel negative emotion. This is part his perfect journey.

Jody, once she’s done this work, sticks the new thought in her pocket, to remind herself regularly. And when her mind slips back into her SFD thought, she pulls out this new thought.

I can do that.


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