This ‘rave’ is all about resourcing you to start using non-violent communication (NVC) and your first response may be “what the heck is that?” Or even “what lefty snowflake fresh nonsense is this?!” NVC is a skill and way of relating that can be learned by anyone and will completely change (for the better) the quality of your relationships with everyone – including children and young people. Also known as ‘compassionate communication’, the purpose of NVC is to strengthen our ability to inspire compassion and to respond compassionately to others and to ourselves. It’s a little bit like learning assertive communication but with more kindness, reflection, and insight thrown in the mix. This 5 minute video summary from BigIdeasGrowingMinds explains and introduces the fundamentals really well.
So now that you know what it is, time to read ‘The Heart of Parenting: Nonviolent Communication in Action’ by Marion Badenoch Rose, Ph.D. It is an 8 page PDF and free to download through the link (you don’t even have to sign up or subscribe to anything). I know 8 pages may seem like a lot but it is 8 pages that has the power to improve your relationship with your children (and everyone else) for the rest of your life! The big idea is that when our child says or does something we don’t like, we have four options:
- 1. Blame ourselves—“I’m a bad parent, it’s my fault she’s like this”
- 2. Blame them —“You are so selfish”
- 3. Connect to our feelings and needs—“I feel disappointed, because I need recognition for the effort I’ve made”
- 4. Guess their feelings and needs—“Are you feeling reluctant because you are wanting to make your own choices?”
Option 1 and 2 tend to be the default for most of us. Unsurprisingly this leads to us feeling bad, our kids feeling bad, or both. These 8 pages are all about getting out of the cycle of blame (whether them or us) and communicating authentically and with compassion (with them and with ourselves).