Know yourself.

Hint: Your little person is not the only one in the relationship!

While attuning to your child, don’t forget to attune to yourself , as well! Paying attention to how your brain and body are feeling as you navigate the joys and frustrations of caring for your DHH child is worthwhile. This is called “self-awareness.”

Whether you realize it or not, your brain is actively responding to the shifting moods of your little one. This is a lot of invisible activity! Our brains are loaded with “mirror neurons,” special cells that help us naturally sense the emotions and intentions of others.  Mirror neurons helps us have empathy. They also cause our emotions to have a “ricochet effect” upon one another.

  • Ask yourself regularly, “How am I feeling at this particular moment?” Honor your own needs and feelings so you can be your healthiest self as you nurture others.
  • It is completely normal for your child’s BIG feelings to become distressing to you at times. Try the following “quick check-in” ideas:
    • Notice what is happening within your body.
      • Where are you feeling your body tense or “heat up”? This could indicate a hyperarousal response.
      • Where are you feeling your body “drift away” or disconnect? This could indicate a hypoarousal response.
    • Name the emotion you are feeling as you attune to yourself.
    • Try to identify what might have triggered this dysreguation (hyperarousal or hypoarousal) within you.
    • Extend reassurance and compassion to yourself for what are very real and normal emotional responses. All you can be is a human!
    • Choose the wisest response in that moment to calm yourself. Some ideas include:
      • Take a few deep breaths. This tells your brain, “There is no emergency.”
      • Step outside to get some fresh air, sunshine, and a change of scenery.
      • Cuddle with your little one to soothe one another. Physical contact is comforting.
      • Speak encouraging words to yourself for all you are doing and giving each day.
      • Journal: gratitude, positive qualities, joyful moments shared, griefs you need to process.
      • Exercise to boost positive chemicals in your brain.
      • Grab a few still, quiet moments away from all stimulation to allow your brain a “reset.”

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