Our Emotions and Behaviour

The relationships we have had with significant others affect the relationships we now have and will continue to have in the future. If we become aware of our behaviours this can help us to feel and be more secure in our current relationships and with our children and children in our care.

When reflecting on our past we are not blaming ourselves or others we are merely doing this to see how we can continue to grow as a person and have happier, healthier and more honest, trusting safe, secure and committed relationships.

It is not brushing it off in a way that we ignore but revisiting so we can identify our emotions that are difficult to deal with as our emotions affect our behaviour without us realising. A simple example is if we are angry or frustrated we may scream and shout out.

If we have behaviours of blame and do not take responsibility or ownership of our behaviour then we won’t change and will continue to have insecure attachments and create an insecure relationship with our children and the children in our care.

One way to identify our insecurities is through reflection as we have discussed. When we are reflecting we are noticing our feelings and how these react in our body and the thoughts we may have i.e referred to as our self-talk.

The Circle of Security refers to this as Shark Music. Shark music is described as how our emotions and behaviour interfere with meeting children’s needs on the circle at the top and the bottom of the circle.

When there are big ‘jaws’ moments of shark music and you are unable to be with a child it is not a time to put a child in time out or try and rush through the emotions, it is time to really be with the child. If you really are unable to then it is time for you to have your own time out when it is safe to do so. Where you are able to label your own emotions and reflect on your behaviours.

To identify our own shark music and for children not to experience their own shark music in relationships we need to be with them and help them to label their feelings. As we discussed the feelings that the circle of security looks at are curiosity, joy, sadness, fear, anger and shame. To have more insight into our own shark music it is important to reflect. To do this a journal can be very helpful to write down your thoughts and feelings. Once they are on paper they become clearer and more easily able to be challenged through reflection. Another way is to complete the following attachment. We need to continue to identify our emotions so that we own them and so they are not guiding our behaviour in subconscious ways that may be less helpful to ourselves and others. I highly encourage you to continue identifying your emotions in a journal often as this will help you to grow by allowing you to respond rather than react as you identify your emotions and behaviour.

After you have completed this experience you may wish to do this same considering the emotions you experience with your own children and children in your care. Each day starts to reflect on what emotions that children express are you finding difficult. Identifying this will help you to challenge this feeling and to try letting go of any judgement and instead just Being With the child. Talk with colleagues and share how you feel in relation to specific emotions and offer them the opportunity without pressure to share what emotions they are and are not comfortable with. Then you may like to look at how you can support each other. This could be as simple as saying to your partner or colleague or significant other I am feeling shark music at the moment, this would then be code for them to assist you with the child. This assistance where possible would be them Being With the child.

Below is a story from a parent completing Circle of Security International training where she shares her own shark music.

Watch the video below and see how as adults we need to label our emotions more accurately. Also out of interest as Susan David shares her story and knowledge see if you notice anything about what you have learnt thus far in relation to attachment theories.

You may like to use the emotional colour wheel below to identify your feelings in more depth as an adult as a part of your reflection and or journal writing.