Nonviolent communication for parents
I recently came across the concept of nonviolent communication (NVC) which was developed by Marshall Rosenberg and which I belive is highly relevant for parents and parenting skills. It’s a truly inspiring way to look at how communication happens on our planet at the moment, where we’re missing opportunities left right and center, and how this leads to all sorts of conflicts we are currently experiencing (all the way from having an argument with your partner to civil war or state wide conflicts). The principles of nonviolent communication are actually quite simple – in a nutshell it comes down to clearly expressing an underlying need or feeling which is usually not communicated, being empathetic about someone’s needs/feelings and asking specifically for something that would improve the situation.
There’s obviously a bit more to it and applying the principles can feel somewhat unusual at the beginning but I’d encourage all parents to read up on it (check out cnvc.org) – especially read up on using NVC for parents/parenting. Using these principles can make all the difference between raising a bright, inspired and confident kid … to having to call super nanny because the situation in your house has escalated to the point where you no longer know how to manage your child.
As with many parenting techniques it all starts with changing your own behaviour first so you can model it for your children (or pass on to your children). NVC is truly transformational and if you apply the principles of NVC across the board (not only with your children), it is likely that you will have more productive and meaningful communications with everyone you interact with. I’ve started doing that and the benefits are immediately visible.