When we are centered and seeing clearly we are neutral, in our response, to our child’s behavior. When we are having a strong reaction, either positive or negative we have swung to one pole or another.

Think about sitting in a swing and getting ready to push off. You push yourself back, letting go, and up in the air you go. As you swing up high one way, you quickly swing to the other side. You don’t swing forward and then stop the swing in the center, only swinging to one side. This would be experiencing only one side of the ride.

With our child’s behavior we often do just this. We swing to one side and stay there. If we see our child’s behavior as negative, we will only see the challenge aspect of their behavior. If we see it as positive, we’ll only see the support side. Fixating on one side or the other is only one side of the story.

Practice: Today when you notice a behavior you judge as inappropriate or negative see if you can also swing to the other side and see the appropriate nature from the perspective of your child.