In the Spotlight: Parenting & Anger

NVC and ParentingNVC 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.

Oren Jay Sofer

Oren Jay Sofer

Oren Jay Sofer teaches workshops and retreats on meditation and communication nationally. A member of the Spirit Rock Teachers Council, he holds a degree in Comparative Religion from Columbia University, is a Somatic Experiencing for healing of trauma, and a certified trainer of Nonviolent Communication. Oren is also the author of Say What You Mean: A Mindful Approach to Nonviolent Communication.

Oren is also author of Say What You Mean: A Mindful Approach to Nonviolent Communication, the founder of Next Step Dharma, an online course focused on living the path of awakening in our daily lives, and co-founder of MindfulHealthcare.us providing training in mindfulness, communication, and resilience to the healthcare community. 

Website: Oren Jay Sofer

NVC Library Resources with Oren Jay Sofer

Working for racial justice is a shift in perspective—a shift in understanding and empathy that leads to a change in our actions: to listen instead of talk, to follow instead of lead, to yield rather than dominate. And to accept that I will continue to mess up. Part of working to undo racism is having the humility to know when our own understanding is limited. Read on for more this, and how it relates to meditation -- plus personal and collective liberation.
It’s essential to give ourselves time to grapple with the complex feelings surrounding the brutality of state-sanctioned racism and violence. But if all we do is reflect and attend to our emotions we fail to show up, where and when it counts. So let's not perpetuate the violence by standing idly. Instead, here's ten things you can do to move into concrete action to address the continued, untenable, and horrific violence of racism. A list of resources is included.
Trainer Tip: Here are some options for tense moments in conversations: try a "redo", understand and recognize your habits, pause to regroup, empathize with the person so they feel heard, check your mind frame before speaking, and name some appreciations about one another.
During a crisis we can draw upon inner and outer resources: gratitude, awareness of our senses and breath, plus compassion for self and others. We can also expand our understanding to curtail fear -- and limit the amount of time and energy we spend fighting and resisting the truth of what’s happening.
What's my intention? What needs am I trying to meet? What do I want the other person to know or understand? How can I say it in a way they are most likely to hear? These are four questions we can use in preparation for an important conversation. Read on for more on this, plus four accompanying practices.
The less blame and criticism, the easier it is for others to hear us. From this perspective, it’s in our best interest to come from curiosity and care. This way differences can bring us together and help us know one another. The more mutual understanding, the easier it is to work together and find creative solutions. Read on for more on this, with a story about how a black man inspired 200 members of the KKK to leave the organization.
If you’re interested in improving your relationships, advancing in your career, or enhancing your capacity for change in life in general, communication is a powerful lever. Presence, listening, bringing curiosity and care, focusing on what matters, and pausing with silence, are all key. Read on for five foundational and advanced core practices you can start using today to improve your communication.
Given all that we are facing today as a society and a species, amongst some of the things we need is a well nourished heart. To nourish our hearts we need to discern where to wisely put our attention. Here are three practices to reclaim your attention, and replenish your reserves, so that you have the inner resources to do the work that is calling you.  They are: train the mind, nourish the heart, and stay connected to purpose.
Is it dangerous for large numbers of people to be absorbing disturbing news alone? Given the intensity of our times, making choices based on conscious awareness and discernment in relation to current events is essential for our ability to stay engaged, and to also wisely meet our collective challenges with agency and power. Here are five tips for how to help stay sane in relation to the news cycle.
We're more likely to sacrifice trust, connection, and relationship quality when (1.) We use NVC to focus on being seen, understood, heard, or meeting our own needs in a way that eclipses our view and understanding of others needs; (2.) We don't clearly examine our intentions; and (3.) We use the NVC form so rigidly that it becomes difficult for others to connect with us authentically.
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