NVC for the next generation

Where’s my phone?”  My 5-year old son has it, again!!  Urgh!  I’m angry, and still I try to be nice, as I put my hand out to take it.  “Please, give me my phone.”  He looks up, guiltily, then begins screaming.  I start to yell over his screams.  I finally grab the phone in exasperation.  He cries.  Our connection is lost.

Do you have disconnections with your kids, too? We reach moments of exasperation, when our skills and patience have been exhausted, and end up acting in ways that we don’t want – yelling, fighting, shutting down.  How can we address challenges more effectively?

Fortunately, Nonviolent Communication (NVC) can inspire fresh ideas and hope when we are drained of resources.  We can resolve conflict without anyone ending up feeling hurt, angry or resentful.  We can get back in touch with the love, affection, connection, and support we all want.

NVC shows us how to increase self-awareness, understanding and connection with ourselves and with others, which fosters healthy relationships.  It enables us to:

• Recover from emotional reactivity

• Understand the underlying cause of emotions and behaviors

• Express our own experience without blame or criticism

• Connect with others with empathy

• Collaborate with others to find mutually satisfying next steps and solutions

Let’s replay the above conflict using the self-awareness, empathy and honesty of NVC: I feel my frustration.  I remember the disaster between us the last time this happened.  I take a few deep breaths and consider: “What is important to me here?  Why do I want the phone?  I’m juggling a lot.  I want some ease around staying connected.  I also want respect and ease for both of us.  Okay, what is motivating him?  Maybe he is tired, hungry, wanting some fun?  I feel my frustration decreasing and I am committed to working this out, so we both get our needs met.  Now I’m ready to connect with him.”

I guess, “Are you feeling scared that you’re in trouble?”  “Yes,” he says cautiously.  I help him find words to express what is going on for him.  When I sense he feels understood, I share what is important to me.  I then ask for support in finding a solution that works for both of us.  It takes some time, but we’ve both shifted from feelings of disconnection, to working cooperatively to get both our needs met. No fighting or residual resentment are involved.

NVC for the Next Generation, is funded by the Network for NVC, a 501c3 non-profit.  It serves a wide range of people, with the goal of contributing to a more peaceful world.  Contact nvcforthenextgeneration@gmail.com for more information or to join any of our programs including: various Practice Groups, Parenting Classes, Kids’ Programs, NVC in the Schools and Community Centers, and Peer Mediation.

To learn more got to http://hawaiinvc.org or click here to find out about the free Wednesday NVC Parenting class in Haiku.

Image Credit: Happy-Bandits

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Jim and Jori Manske are internationally renowned trainers, mediators, facilitators and mentors. They have been married and working closely together for over 36 years with an intention to create cooperative systems that serve the well-being of all concerned. Jori Manske, BA in Social Work from the University of New York, Buffalo, served as Interim Director of The Center for Nonviolent Communication (CNVC) from January 2006 until May 2007, and on the CNVC Board of Directors. Jim Manske, BA in Journalism from the University of Georgia, Minor in Psychology, has contributed directly to many emerging NVC communities worldwide, earning him respect within the CNVC community. In June 2008, both Jori and Jim completed their year and a half term as inaugural leaders of the Global Community Circle (GCC) for The Center for Nonviolent Communication (CNVC), supporting the growth and well-being of communities in the worldwide CNVC network. Together Jori and Jim created Peaceworks, their mediation and NVC inspired business, and helped to found The Network for Nonviolent Communication, the 501(c)3 nonprofit that funds NVC NextGen. They co-authored The Pathways to Liberation, a developmental tool that increases quality of life and transforms relationships. They each have certifications in Mediation and Public Meeting Facilitation, as well as certifications in Nonviolent Communication (CNVC Certified Trainers, since 2003) and Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP). They serve their community through training, mentoring, mediation, and have supported organizations including federal, state, city, tribal and private agencies. Jori and Jim have facilitated programs in many local, national and international schools a well as organizations that serve families and children. They have been hired to train in mediation and communication skills in the US, Central America, Asia and Europe, including Mediation Services of the Pacific, Inc., Hawaii. Currently living in Haiku, Maui, Jim and Jori are contributing to Hawaii NVC and the Network for Nonviolent Communication, a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization. They currently offer weekly practice groups in Maui which include a free NVC parenting course where parents learn the skills to connect with their child and one another. They instruct “Mediation Dojo” which is a practice group where lessons cover the essential elements needed in order to begin to use the NVC process during conflict situations. They also facilitate “Maui Open Hearted Drop-In Group”, which is a course teaching individuals the skills to increase competence and confidence in awareness, empathic listening, and compassionate expression. Jori and Jim both remain eager to discover new ways of supporting leadership and compassion.

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