When you pick up something really hot, what do you do? You drop it because that’s what your brain tells your body to do in order to keep it safe.
This example is an obvious physical response but we have emotional knee jerk responses everyday too, within all of our relationships. This often happens without conscious thought, and without reflection can go on for our entire lives.
Circle of Security, a wonderful approach and model to being a parent, talks about shark music. This is music that plays in the background during moments that feel uncomfortable for us a parents and distracts us from seeing what our child needs in that moment.
For example, our child’s need to stay close to us whilst they warm up in new environments might make us feel uncomfortable (aka shark music). It might lead to us trying to push them out to explore and play when they aren’t yet ready. Everyone’s shark music is likely to be different and can be in response to any emotion that our child experiences (e.g. anger, frustration, shyness, sadness etc.). If we can understand our own shark music then we are going to be far better at supporting our children through these emotions.
Here is a link to wonderful video created by Circle of Security explaining the concept further via a clever animation.
What is your shark music?