Loving the Unlovable

When we come into contact with the other person, our thoughts and actions should express our mind of compassion, even if that person says and does things that are not easy to accept.  We practice in this way until we see clearly that our love is not contingent upon the other person being lovable.–Thich Nhat Hanh

Loving the unlovable means seeing past the behavior to the divine light inside every person.  This is often easier said than done.  Many of our children with behavioral, emotional and social challenges are very good at pushing adults’ buttons and getting into trouble.  We can recognize that their behavior is not who they are, however we still have to have a relationship and work with behavior that can be difficult.  How do we do this?

Recently Dr. Ross Greene spoke at The CSC Speaker Series in Winchester, MA.  He is author of The Explosive Child and Lost in School.  Dr. Greene through his collaborative problem solving approach gives adults the techniques so we can have our thoughts and actions express our mind of compassion as Thich Nhat Hanh suggests.  Dr. Greene says, “This is the most important theme of Collaborative Problem Solving: the belief that if kids could do well they would do well. In other words, if the kid had the skills to exhibit adaptive behavior, he wouldn’t be exhibiting challenging behavior. That’s because doing well is always preferable to not doing well.”

Dr Greene is not concerned with diagnostic labels, only with helping kids gain the skills to do well in life.  In fact Dr. Greene believes that many of those labels would disappear with the proper level of interaction and teaching with adults. His collaborative problem solving approach (CPS) is similar to what I call “seeing the world through a child’s eyes.”  Through series of non-judgmental questions we learn the kid’s concerns and then we tell him and her our concerns and together come up with a solution.  This lets children know they are respected and demonstrates we believe they do know what to do with some encouragement.  I highly recommend visiting his web site and viewing the videos which demonstrate the CPS approach.  www.livesinthebalance.org.

Categories General Spiritual Musings | Tags: | Posted on April 22, 2010

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