PARENTING CONNECTION: Rupture and Repair

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LANSING, Mi. – (WLNS-TV)

It’s Parenting Connection Tuesday and 6 News is here for you with tips, strategies, and helpful reminders from local child development experts on how we can be better parents and guardians.

Today’s topic: Rupture and Repair.

This is when out of nowhere your child has a surprise breakdown from somthing you said or did — the “rupture” — and it falls on you to “repair.” Unfortunately, many times a parents reaction to repair is misguided and ends up causing the situation to get worse. For example, parents often respond sharply or with a raised voice, while others don’t respond and instead feel like they’re being a terrible parent for their child’s sudden outburst. Child experts say, those reactions are normal… but the key to a good relationship is how you repair what just took place. Experts say, when a rupture takes place it’s important for parents to recognize it, and then take a moment before responding. It’s important to find out why they’re child is feeling sad or mad, and then respond accordingly.  

“Our tendancy is to feel like, wait, what’s going on, that’s not suppose to happen,” says child development expert at MSU Claire Vallotton. “Just take a pause, take a deep breath, and do whatever it takes to calm yourself to just go, ok… I missed something, something is going on and let’s find out what it is. Taking that pause is really crucial.”

As you may imagine, these moments of rupture and repair mostly take place when your kids are toddlers or teenagers. Child experts say, if there is a rupture and it’s not dealt with positive repair, parents then risk the chance of deepening problems in their child’s sense of self.

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