You are not a failure. When things go wrong or don’t work (and they will), here’s how to handle it. We use a process called R & R, that is, Rupture and Repair. It is an evidence-based approach to having a healthy attachment with your child and healing any breakdowns or rifts in your relationship with them. This can apply to a big fight or a more subtle build up of disconnection over time.
The rupture part refers to when a relationship has been broken down or impacted by conflict or when needs are not met. The repair part is the process that you do to bring the relationship back into harmony. If a child has rupture with the parent that isn’t repaired they can form beliefs that are incorrect and can lead to all sorts of self-esteem and mental health issues. They can also develop ways of being in other relationships that are ineffective and disconnected. They may not have had the modelling to learn how to repair issues that go wrong in a healthy and communicative way.
Making mistakes is important: children need to learn this is OK. In fact it’s fantastic for learning AND it’s the way mistakes are handled that gives the relationship so much depth. It develops trust between child and parent so that your child knows they can come to you even when they stuff up or things are really bad. It’s a healing opportunity. It often brings you closer. Repair is important modelling for learning about our inner world and the inner world of others, and about relationship. This helps develop empathy and compassion and skillsets that help with intimacy and the ability to be open-hearted, forgiving, able to ask for what you need, and be well boundaried.
Video 3 of The Missing How-To in Motherhood explains the 5 step process Of Rupture & Repair. Lets review it here.
Rupture and Repair: the 5 Step Process to repair and forgive your mama mistakes
- Approach your child when you are calm, and they are calm
- Say what happened, and how you felt. Ask your child how they felt. Listen. Really listen.
- Tell your child that you’re sorry, and that they’re not responsible for how you feel or what you say or do.
- Ask them what they need from you. Tell them how you’re going to meet their needs and do it differently next time.
- With a breath of self-compassion tell yourself its ok to be human. “there’s no way to be a perfect mother, but plenty of ways to be a good one”. And you just did the most awesome repair act that only AMAZING MOTHER’S DO.
Let’s get you prepared to manage a Rupture and Repair Process with your own child. Go to the Boundaries Playsheet and do the exercise below.
Think of a scenario where you might need to do a repair with your child. Design a plan of how you might approach this using the 5 step Process.
Share in the Facebook Village. Learn from other mothers and my word for word how-to example.
Well done. Boundaries has been a big part of module three. You might like to revisit this playsheet time and time again as things change within yourself, your child and your situation at large. Even though the motherhood journey is fluid and ever-changing you can use these formula’s as your toolset to carry you through.