I've been thinking about how important the WAY we talk about our feelings is, so we're not modeling being judgemental of others.
For example, when driving and someone cuts me off, instead of saying, "Oh, that jerk, I wish he wouldn't have done that!", or I start acting road rage-y about it, I just say to my kids, "Oh, that was unexpected."
When I say it that way, it becomes neutral. Now I'm not judging the other driver and their actions. I'm just acknowledging what I saw.
And you can translate that into the way you speak with your kids.
For example, let's say your child comes barrelling inside and hits right into you. Instead of yelling, "Ow!!!" you could say, "Wow! That surprised me." This diffuses the tension and allows the situation to be neutral.
So next time, for example, their brother hits them or someone takes something from them, or even a kid at school did something they didn't like...
Instead of getting into this world of judgment, saying,
"Oh, that was wrong."
"That was bad."
"This is good."
"This is right."
What if we just focused on things being really just unexpected and surprising?
And then from there, we can build a narrative around it that's more empowering.
So that's something you can start practicing and trying on for size to see how it goes. I acknowledge that this is a hard thing to do. But it's a little bit of 'fake-it-till-you-make-it'.
Let me know how it goes in the comments. :)