So What to Do?
"Let everyone sweep in front of his own door, and the whole world will be clean." -Goethe
Frustrating as it may be, the truth is that we can only change ourselves. When we take responsibility for our own personal role in the family dance, important shifts can take place. Remembering the way we affect each other can help reduce blame when the "air is thick.”
Tending to our own emotions, learning to center ourselves, and taking slow, deep breaths are actually among the most powerful interventions that we can make with others in our presence. This is especially true for helping to calm your child or partner, particularly when they are going through a difficult moment. They will gradually climb into your calmer mood state. If not, the likely alternative is that you will both be bathing in a sea of painful feelings.