I hear you! My blogs are one-sided and unfair. The answer always seems to be that you have to change when really it is your child who is the one with the problem.

I get it, I truly do, and it’s hard but I also know that all families become happier when parents find a way of remaining clear, calm and collected no matter the emotional weather.

In this blog you will find out what buttons have to do with tango and why being able to remain emotionally steady when your child or teen is finding their way round big, scary emotions is key to fostering emotional intelligence and resilience in your child.

Families are where the fault lines inevitably show up. Unless your upbringing was one of perfect love and harmony or you have worked at your own childhood baggage you will have metaphorical buttons all over the shop that others, including your children, will push.

  • Maybe it is just one child who pushes your buttons
  • Maybe they all push different buttons
  • Maybe one pushes mum’s and the other pushes dad’s
  • You may have decided that you have one Golden Child who never pushes buttons and a Scape Goat who pushes buttons all the time.


My contention is that button pushing exists for the betterment of humanity and is an evolutionary necessity to help us grow our emotional intelligence.

Here’s the thing: other than disharmony with those we love most, what would have us reach deep and wake up to our own stuff?

We can walk away from button-pushing colleagues, spouses, siblings, and even parents but walking away from our children is for most of us not an option.

Nowhere else are we compelled to search for the source of the disharmony in ourselves. If you have buttons that are being regularly pushed by your child then I urge you to take a close and curious look at them.


Your child is not behaving disastrously into a vacuum.

Any relationship is a dance and no relationship is as intense as that with your child. When you are clear and calm, the dance may still be intense but you will be the ‘lead’. If you are ‘all buttons’, they will snag and the choreographed beauty of the tango will descend into chaos.

I hear again and again from parents who have dealt with their ‘buttons’ that their child is immediately happier and calmer ‘as if by magic’.

Think back to your school days when you had a new supply teacher and how it was almost a duty (and definitely a sport) to do your utmost to try to make them loose their rag?

TangoCompare that new ‘flailing & failing’ cover teacher to the ‘tried & tested’ teacher who could walk into any classroom and with a slight raise of the eyebrow command calm attention!

In the supply teacher scenario, the emotions are flying chaotically around the room until it all ends in tears. With the experienced teacher there is learning and growth.


There are a 101 ways to make sure you are more like the ‘tried and tested’ school teacher, and you are probably already familiar with some, like yoga, meditation, psychotherapy, counselling or mindfulness.

The most instant and effective way I know is EFT Tapping. With very promising evidence and a robust research base, EFT Tapping is the answer to every ‘button pushed’ parent’s prayer, With a bit of practise, it becomes the easiest way to reclaim your position as the ‘lead dancer’ in the wonderfully dramatic and intensely beautiful tango with your child.

If you would like to learn more about it you can join one of my upcoming Anxiety Workshops for Parents, or sign up below to be kept up-to-date on other good stuff.



How do you deal with being triggered by your child? Do you tango with your buttons? Or waltz with your projections?  And were you as awful as I was to your cover teachers? I would love to hear how the buttons get pushed in your family. Comment below or send me an email.



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