The Power of Proximity Control

Proximity control is a big fancy term to talk about the distance between two beings (generally a big being and a small being) can control or change what is happening.  It is a rather powerful secret weapon!  

Often, just having your body near is a reminder to small beings about how to be their best selves.  Your presence may be all they need.  Have you ever noticed that when you are in the room, even if you are not directly paying attention, small beings are less likely to be disruptive or fight or break rules?  

I had a great reminder of proximity control yesterday.  I was in a classroom, helping one small being in the class.  All the children were sitting on the floor (nice cozy carpeted floor) and a big being was talking.  I had located myself across the room and was watching my small being, hoping he could thrive without my direct support in that moment.  For some time he did, then he started to move his body and look around the room.  I walked closer, ready to give him a reminder to focus on the teaching.  As my proximity to him decreased, he saw me.  Without any more signal than my body getting closer to his, he sat still, folded his hands in his lap and looked back at the being who was speaking.  I was thrilled that he changed his behavior simply by seeing me...it was as if he knew how to have great behavior and needed a small reminder, not a big prompt.

How can this be applied in the everyday world of big and small beings? Maybe it means that you have your small being play in the kitchen while you are cooking dinner.  Maybe it means you walk into a room when you hear two small beings fighting but don't directly intervene.  Maybe it means placing a small being in a seat closest to the big beings desk in a classroom will make the difference you have been looking for.  Try it! See if you bringing your body closer to your small being when he or she is having a challenging day will change the situation for the positive.