The Daily Groove


The One-Body Principle

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." 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 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.

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

so what if you are negative

Ok, this makes sense. But what to do if you do act negative, and scream loudly at your child, when you lose all patience. When you are patient, beyond patient and say things like mommy is getting frustrated, and say for another 2 hours the patience and the behavior continues, and mommy snaps. How would you remedy that? If my leg was seriously twitching for 2 hours, I would probably want to scream too! Or, when you say a gazillion times stay out of that corner because it's unsafe and your child continues to go into that corner whenever you are trying desperately to have a second to yourself, and you scream, "STAY OUT OF THAT CORNER"

I guess I have two questions:
1. how do you remedy a negative outburst.
2. how do you get your child to respect that mommies need some time to themselves, and that a three year old *should* be able to play by herself for 10 minutes.

Use the Power of Attraction

how do you remedy a negative outburst.

I recommend you study and apply the Law of Attraction, which says that you attract whatever you focus on; what you pay attention to tends to increase or expand in your experience. So the way to remedy a negative is to gradually shift your focus to the positive thing you desire. As long as you're resisting what you don't want, you're giving your attention to it, and thereby making it a bigger part of your experience.

You're also making it a bigger part of your child's experience, which is why she is so attracted to that treacherous corner. Better to remove the unsafe aspect or make the place inaccessible so you can stop focusing on it and turn your home into a "yes space."

With your outbursts, look for a way — ANY way — to interrupt the negative thought cycle. Often some sort of distraction or diversion is the simplest way out, e.g., "I need to step outside and get some fresh air." Be like a coach who calls a time-out so the team can re-strategize and refocus. In a pinch, you can create a pattern interrupt by placing your hand on your heart and taking a few deep, slow breaths. Then you can begin deliberately shifting your thoughts towards what you want, and talk yourself into believing it's possible.

how do you get your child to respect that mommies need some time to themselves...

Well, from the perspective of the one-body principle, that's like saying "How do I get my leg to respect my need for time away from it." :) In other words, the "need" for time away is predicated on the belief that you are separate beings. Such separateness is true on one level, but at the level of your child's current stage of development she needs to consistently experience that you are profoundly connected BEFORE she will feel safe experiencing separateness.

Since that can take years, a proactive approach is to gradually expand your "attachment constellation" to include other people with whom your child feels that profound connection. Those alternative connections, when active, will give you a break without taking anything away from your child.

...and that a three year old *should* be able to play by herself for 10 minutes.

"Should" is a cultural construct that contradicts children's instinctive sense of truth. A child cannot make sense of the concept of "should" unless she is first persuaded that she is unworthy and then convinced that worthiness is earned by doing what one "should" do.

To the 3-yr-old, what she "should" be able to do is what she is doing or what she desires to do.

My response here may seem lacking in compassion, but I can assure you that you will feel much more empowered if you shift your perspective and connect with well-being unconditionally instead of believing that your well-being depends on your child changing.

The good news is that (a) it's very common for 3-yr-olds to want 24/7 contact, esp. when they've been attachment parented, and (b) you probably have a very sensitive child, and that sensitivity (when honored) will blossom into a very unique and valuable form of intelligence as she grows older.

One of the best practices in your situation is to make a habit of looking beyond the stress to the blessing. For example, "Even though I feel frustrated now, I know that one day I'll look back on this time and feel blessed to have had this spirit-filled child who constantly reminded me that we are all born knowing our inherent worthiness and committed to living joyfully!"

Thanks for responding.

Thanks for responding. I can tell your heart was really in your solutions. I never tell my daughter she *should* play by herself or anything like that which is why I worded it in the way I did. I DO know that the time I put in now will pay off with an amazing child - as she already is. It's the intensity of this amazement and the intensity of the need to be so attached to me. I am also extremely sensitive, so I answer EVERY need, just by sensing (knowing) it. I will try the hand to the heart, that resonates with me.
It breaks my heart knowing that she IS ultra sensitive and I squash her precious spirit by screaming like a madwoman. I just have to find a place of much needed rest so that I can be better for her and myself. I am just extremes right now, no middle ground, just polar opposites. One can love and love and nurture and nurture, but without time (love and nurturance) for the self - I scream! I think I need some back up from my husand, but she just wants me - and it has been like this from birth. I have never been away from her for more than an hour, and I can count those times on one hand.
this is good advice:

"Since that can take years, a proactive approach is to gradually expand your "attachment constellation" to include other people with whom your child feels that profound connection. Those alternative connections, when active, will give you a break without taking anything away from your child."

THANKS AGAIN!

Re: The One-Body Principle

I really like this concept!

And being a sensitive person and a "yeller" (and mother of 2 curious, determined kids) I have to say I can totally identify with the previous commenter! But I'm moving towards a better way.