Blog posts, musings, and thoughts on life in general

The subject of ‘triggers’ has been on my mind a lot today. We all have triggers, things that just ‘push our buttons’, or ‘set us off’. I spend quite a lot of time trying to work out what has triggered certain behaviours in Tickle or Fairy, but unusually for me today, it’s not triggers for my children’s behaviour that I have been thinking about - it’s my own.

When you’re a parent to a traumatised child, day to day life can be somewhat emotionally fraught. Some days I’m quite good at riding the wave, but other days less so and on those days there are a couple of things that will instantly flip my switch. Borrowing my husband for an example, one of his main triggers is when Tickle goes a bit loopy and starts to chase the cat.

I can’t quite believe we’re in March already... where did February go?! Our family has been making the most of the glorious (and slightly scary) weather with some lovely walks.

I will admit got a bit distracted from the blog link up last month, what with the book launch and everything, but back on it this month and I will try to tweet out some more reminders to share your posts! Blog link ups can be a really useful resource for people who are discovering our online adoption community for the first time - it was how I ended up meeting a lot of my lovely Adoption Twitter friends. Blogging has been really cathartic for me over the years, I’d recommend giving it a try.

Scroll down for some shiny new blogs for you to read: please remember to comment on and share any blogs you like! Click on the blue ‘Click here to enter’ link at the bottom to add your own post.

Don’t forget to tweet me when you’ve added a post, so I know there’s something new to read and share!

I’ve just added my blog post [YOUR POST NAME GOES HERE] to @folkycat’s Adoption Blog link up. You can add yours too! Click to Tweet

Hello! Well January is finally over after what seems like at least six months, so we’re here in to February and I’ve got a new Linky for you! I hope things are settling down after Christmas now, and you’re starting to get back in to the swing of things. (Until the next disruption in routine, that is!)

Scroll down for some shiny new blogs for you to read: please remember to comment on and share any blogs you like! Click on the blue ‘Click here to enter’ link at the bottom to add your own post.

Don’t forget to tweet me when you’ve added a post, so I know there’s something new to read and share!

I’ve just added my blog post [YOUR POST NAME GOES HERE] to @folkycat’s Adoption Blog link up. You can add yours too! Click to Tweet

Today I want to talk about a thing called affect matching. It’s a really useful tool when it comes to helping children to regulate their emotions; it’s something we do instinctively with young babies, although it seems to drift away as our children get older. Learning about affect matching (pronounced with the stress on the ‘a’) has completely changed how I interact with Tickle, and his emotional literacy has come on in leaps and bounds. I’ve written about affect matching before, both on this blog and in my book, but today I want to break it down a bit to help you understand the science behind it, and how to put it in to practice.

So what is ‘affect’?

That’s a good question. Affect refers to the external presentation of an emotional state. It can encompass facial expression, body language, and tone of voice, all in one word. It’s also a way of talking about how someone is acting, without making assumptions on what they might be feeling, for example ‘he has a negative affect’ means ‘his body language and facial expression are quite negative’. Usually you would expect affect to be consistent with an internal emotional state, but that isn’t always the case.

As you may know, if you’ve been knocking around this website a bit, I have a book coming out next month. The book has actually been written, and ready for about a year, and in that time I must have asked my husband about 200 times when he is going to read it. I mean, it’s about our family! It contains all the research and learning I have done on how to be the best parent I can for our son, all packaged up in one easy-to-read, not-even-that-long book! However, for one reason or another, Husband has been fairly resistant to the idea. Perhaps he feels like he already hears enough of my voice, I don’t know.

Anyway, when the paperback proofs came through, I put my foot down. Not quite you-will-read-my-damn-book-or-I-will-divorce-you but not all that far off. I laid it on pretty thick. It is my life’s work, after all.

Suffice it to say, he did start reading, and is currently about half way through. Whether he’ll ever finish it... well, I wouldn’t like to hazard a guess. However, I have very quickly become aware of a downside of this new enlightened-version-of-Husband.

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© 2019 Cat McGill