The One-Body Principle

by Scott Noelle

Suppose your right leg began twitching for no apparent reason. If it persisted, you’d do something about it. You might massage your leg or take some vitamins that support nerve functions.

But you wouldn’t yell at your leg or threaten to hurt it! Nor would you ignore it and think, “It’s the leg’s problem, not mine.” And you certainly wouldn’t separate it from you to put it in “time out.” Such responses wouldn’t make sense because your leg is a part of YOU.

Likewise, when your child’s behavior seems unreasonable, you can overcome the temptation to disconnect and react negatively by responding to your child as if s/he were a part of your body.

Like the parts of your body, your child functions well when you pay attention to his or her signals and, instead of resisting those signals, you do your best to honor and respond to them. There’s no blame; you just deal with it.

Improve Your Groove

Today, imagine you and your child are like one body and notice how that perspective affects your interactions.

Originally published on 2007-01-19
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