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Resetting Ourselves


After a frustration-filled day with her daughter, a mom decides that learning the Nurtured Heart approach is impossible. Her child’s behavior has been driving her crazy for hours, and the idea that she should come up with something positive to say to her makes her angry. When her daughter finally asks for a privilege, the mom says no, and the daughter walks away.


Immediately after that interchange, a tiny possibility occurs to the mom, and she says, “Thanks for not arguing when I said no.” It turns out this recognition of a molecule of “good behavior” changed the course of their day. This true (but abridged) story is from a unique book called Taking a Stand: The Art, Science, and Practice of Resetting, by three mothers who share authentic tales of their struggles to change their own behavior and the dramatic results in their family lives.


The sudden insight and pivot made by this worn-out, discouraged mother is called a reset in the Nurtured Heart Approach. Resets are magical do-overs, opportunities in the present moment to course-correct, and they often happen at the most difficult times. Another mother in the book recounts how after suddenly realizing she was screaming at her son, simply decided change what she was saying. Her effort made them both laugh. “I am yelling and I need to reset right now! Aren’t you glad I’m learning to do this?”


The term “reset” is a term most people at our school have heard. We ask children to stop and reset when their behavior needs to change. The Meher Schools has offered workshops on Nurtured Heart and the principle of asking a child to pause and take a reset rather than lecturing them or energizing them in other ways for their actions. Yet it’s the ability of adults to reset themselves and react in new ways that lies at the heart of Nurtured Heart transformation.


Meher Schools teachers know this and often talk about resetting themselves to provide a role model for students. A teacher realizing she’s using an irritated tone might state for everyone to hear, “My voice sounds cranky. I’m going to reset myself right now.” Teachers are transparent in saying “I need to step away and take some deep, calming breaths right now,” and they encourage children to reset in those ways too. They provide places for them to go when they need to calm.


The ability to reset oneself is one of the most powerful tools we have for maintaining strong connections, even during difficult situations. What a gift we all share to be part of a community where adults and children are learning how to use it.


If you want to learn more about resetting and the Nurtured Heart Approach, Susie would be happy to meet with you.