In the Spotlight: Parenting & Anger
NVC shares two key premises with attachment parenting: Human actions are motivated by attempts to meet needs, and trusting relationships are built through attentiveness to those needs. Both premises contrast with prevailing childrearing practices and with the assumptions about human beings that underlie these practices. Instead of focusing on authority and discipline, attachment parenting and NVC provide theoretical and practical grounds for nurturing compassionate, powerful, and creative children who will have resources to contribute to a peaceful society.
Marshall Rosenberg, founder and education director of the Center for Nonviolent Communication, asks parents two questions to point out the severe limitations of using power-over tactics such as reward and punishment: “What do you want the child to do?” and “What do you want the child’s reasons to be for doing so?” Do we really want our child to do something out of fear? Guilt? Shame? Obligation? Desire for reward? While helping us meet our needs without coercion, NVC also helps us resist giving in to our children’s every wish by teaching us to express our feelings, needs, and requests clearly, and to expect our needs to be considered. When we consistently express our commitment to attending to everyone’s needs–not just theirs, not just our own–we model a way of life to our children and create power with them: the power of choosing to contribute to making life more wonderful for everyone.
Listen now to part 1 of Parenting and Anger: Walking the Ultimate Path to Peace, with John Kinyon and Stephanie Bachmann Mattei All may listen to and enjoy the first session of this course just below.