Being On Auto Pilot

Saturday morning my seven year old, Brigham, had a basketball game. I decided to run to the game, and just meet my family there. As I got to the Rec. center I was greeted by a very upset little boy who told me that his game was at 8:00am, not 9:00am.

What?!?

At first I was kind of upset too. The coach doesn’t send reminders, so you’re on your own to figure out when the game is every week. And now, because of his lack of communication, I have to deal with a super sad and mopey kid.

If we’re being honest I wanted to send a passive aggressive text to the coach letting him know that he made my kid cry, and I’m sure I would have really like to imply how incompetent he was that he couldn’t send a simple reminder text.

But I didn’t.

One of the functions of our brain is to save energy, and one of the ways that it does that is it goes into auto-pilot. So, if someone does something that you don’t like, your auto-pilot, or subconscious, kicks in and you respond in your same usual way.

Here’s the great news. You can override your auto-pilot.

At first, it takes some pretty intentional thinking of how you want to respond, until one day your new auto-pilot just kicks in.

What’s even better is then you can help teach your kid how to respond to situations that don’t go your way. So, instead of telling Brigham that his coach is dumb and he’s now a victim; it created a great teaching opportunity to help him learn to manage his own emotions.

I could not find a picture of Brigham playing basketball, because apparently I’m too busy talking to everyone to take a picture, so I’ve included a picture of him in his basketball shirt instead. :)

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