The Daily Groove

Resistance Is Futile

You can't resist something without focusing your attention on it. And whatever you focus on expands in your experience. (Think about it...)

So the way to end the unwanted behavior of a child (without resorting to violence) is to stop trying to end it!

Instead, look for ways to think differently about the behavior, until you feel your resistance softening.

You might think, "I can understand how he feels," or "She's finding her way," or "It's not the end of the world," or even, "It's okay for me to resist this... but I feel better when I let it go."

The less you resist, the more creative you can be, and the more you can inspire a change rather than having to force one.

Comments (closed)

Car Seat Safety

Hi, Scott. You know I love your messages. I print them out and put them on my fridge!

I'm wondering if there are any exceptions to this guideline. My three-year-old boy keeps unbuckling while the car is moving. I don't know how to keep him safe without focusing on the problem! My husband is threatening to spank but I am opposed to that. I thought perhaps a very matter-of-fact pulling the car over and rebuckling without or word or any more attention than absolutely necessary.

I'm thinking of your story about the two-year-old not wanting to get into the carseat and I loved that example. However, there are three other children involved in my scenario...

Analisa, Mama to Meg 12/12/01, Patrick 12/24/03, Catherine 12/24/03, Ben 2/26/06

Re: Car Seat Safety

The exception to "resistance is futile" is when resistance is fun. :)

Spanking is an example of resistance that IS futile because it creates far more problems than it solves.

The matter-of-fact pulling the car over strategy is a good one that often works well — you aren't resisting his behavior, you're focusing on your commitment to safety. But if he continues to resist the carseat, then you'll need to look deeper or the resistance will escalate.

For example, you may discover that he has some mild sensory integration issues that make being in a carseat feel very irritating to him. But a 3yo can't express that... he only knows something isn't right... he needs an empathic adult to help him make sense of what he's feeling.

You Are *Good*

This would be the kid who needs tags cut out of his shirts (although I know you are only using SI as a possible example). ;)

Don't know if you noticed, but this is the twin brother to the girl who insisted I change her after she had an accident, rather than letting the babysitter do it.

Thank you again and always.

Analisa, Mama to Meg 12/12/01, Patrick 12/24/03, Catherine 12/24/03, Ben 2/26/06