I kept doing this same thing each morning, expecting a different result…

I kept doing this same thing each morning, expecting a different result…

Guest post by Dalia Liolia, Authorized Language of Listening® Coach:

I was overloaded.

I was wearing my laptop bag on one shoulder and my heavy purse on the other, holding my travel coffee mug and car keys in my hands with my one-liter water bottle under my arm, ready to open the door and leave for work. Plus, I was running late.

“Guys, I’m leav-i-i-i-ng!”

Both my children ran to hug me. “Bye mom!”

They asked me to bend so they could kiss me. And then bend again so I could kiss them. And then again. And then once more.

By that time, I had had it! My back hurt, and I was done trying to keep the bags, the coffee, the keys in place and my body in balance.

“ENOUGH!” I shouted and almost pushed them away. “Bye,” I growled and slammed the door behind my back…

After calming myself down, I was feeling as expected – guilty and sad. They just wanted to show love, and I acted like an @ss.  

Thanks to Language of Listening® I could quickly stop blaming myself. I could understand why I became angry and see that what I wanted was okay – I wanted to leave as calmly as possible without struggling to stay on my feet and keep my stuff in place.

I was also able to see that my outburst was not ok. The feeling, yes; my behavior, no.


Applying the Language of Listening® Premises to myself: 

“All behaviors are driven by healthy needs.” 

I was feeling inconvenienced and overpowered, so it was the need for power my reaction was meeting. 


That’s resolved.


Now let’s go to my behavior:

“Children (and we) must continue to communicate until they are heard.”

I was starting to feel annoyed, then irritated, and finally furious as they kept asking for more kisses. And I said NOTHING… until I could no longer contain my feelings and HAD TO communicate them. That moment was too late, in my perception, and I showed up – again – to my children as a mean mom.

Telling this story for you now helps me see that I have a problem with feeling inconvenienced. To me, “feeling inconvenienced = not resilient enough = not strong enough = not good enough.” Hmm… This is something I need to dig into with some serious SAY WHAT YOU SEE® to myself.

PLUS, “holding actual boundaries = showing I’m feeling inconvenienced…” You see how these thought equations work, right? By putting them together, I can see I have a belief that holding boundaries ultimately means I’m not good enough! So, it makes sense that I would resist holding them. Hmm…


Back to the story.

Trying to figure out how I could meet everyone’s wants and needs, I thought I might do a do-over – tell my children my anger wasn’t their fault and make a new rule that they could kiss and hug me before I grab all my stuff to leave for work, since that’s what they want to do every morning. It seemed a good idea. 

But the day went by, I saw them for only a few minutes, and I never got around to it. Late at night, I was still pondering about this do-over that I never did.

And then this morning, I tried something different, and magic happened!

“Guys, I’m leav-i-i-i-ng!” I said before picking up my stuff.

They did as usual. But this time I got to say, “Bravo! What you did was awesome! You came for hugs now before I’m overloaded with stuff, and I can respond easily to your hugs! This is what we can do each morning.”

And then Sophia, my 5YO, stepped back and stated the solution as a CAN DO for me: “Mom, you can announce you are leaving BEFORE you wear your stuff.”

“Yes Sophia. That is an excellent idea! I’ll do that.”

And simple as that, we had made a new rule together. We all felt at ease, calm and filled with love… the outcome I’d hoped for. And unlike the AI image we generated for this post, it’s for real!

While a do-over to set a new rule is one way to create a different outcome, DOING something different is too, especially if it sets your children up for success. In my case, their success met all of our needs, and my daughter liked it so much, she turned it into a CAN DO rule for me! 



This morning I announced I am leaving the way we agreed. As Sophia and I were hugging, she said with a bright smile, “Mom, you remembered!”

It was such a delight hearing her say that to me.

It told me that Sophia felt very empowered when I allowed her to make that CAN DO rule for me. And then she even pointed out my STRENGTH. She picked up what I have been modeling!

Keep in mind that the Language of Listening® Premises can offer you and your children a greater understanding of yourselves and new solutions. So, if you don’t like the way something is going or feel stuck repeating an old pattern, you can read our 4 Premises here, try something new, and keep going!

Our Basic Coaching Skills Course takes you into our Premises more deeply so you can apply them as I did above. If you want to change outcomes for you and your child(ren), don’t wait! Just sign up here.

Dalia Liolia is the mother of two children and an Authorized Language of Listening® Coach. Since 2021, she has co-authored our newsletter and managed our FaceBook posts. She is a native of Greece. You can contact her on Facebook at Enjoy Life Mama! where she shares Language of Listening coaching skills with Greek-speaking parents.

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