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.

Miki Kashtan

Miki Kashtan

CNVC Certified Trainer, author and co-founder of Bay Area Nonviolent Communication (BayNVC) and the North America NVC Leadership Program, from Oakland, California, USA

Miki Kashtan is a co-founder of Bay Area Nonviolent Communication (BayNVC) and Lead Collaboration Consultant at the Center for Efficient Collaboration. Miki aims to support visionary leadership and shape a livable future using collaborative tools based on the principles of Nonviolent Communication. She shares these tools through meeting facilitation, mediation, consulting, coaching, and training for organizations and committed individuals. Her latest book, Reweaving Our Human Fabric: Working together to Create a Nonviolent Future (2015) explores the practices and systems needed for a collaborative society. She is also the author of Spinning Threads of Radical Aliveness: Transcending the Legacy of Separation in Our Individual Lives, and The Little Book of Courageous Living. Miki blogs at The Fearless Heart and her articles have appeared in the New York Times ("Want Teamwork? Encourage Free Speech"), Tikkun, Waging Nonviolence, Shareable, Peace and Conflict, and elsewhere. She holds a Ph.D. in Sociology from UC Berkeley.

“Miki, I really admire the way you are able to be so present in the moment and are able to respond so well to what you see and sense. Just watching you in action makes this course worthwhile to me." 
               —S.G., Litchfield, Connecticut, USA

”Miki's workshop was exceptional in giving an overview of the work, while calmly meeting the emotional challenges everyone brought to the table.”
              —Class participant

Website: BayNVC

NVC Library Resources with Miki Kashtan

Hear Miki work with a participant looking for environmental sustainability within an existing system. Miki offers guidance around creating bridges for applying NVC principles instead of techniques when engaging with groups or organizations.

How DO we live our lives? What is an effective response to what is happening in the world? Listen in as Miki dialogs with a participant asking, "What is mine to do?", and honors the dissonance we feel when we are working to change.

  • Learn how to engage effectively with others around a shared purpose
  • Weave nonviolence more deeply into your personal leadership style
  • Receive ongoing support in moving towards your highest goals
  • Increase your capacity to know and face reality as a source of greater choice
  • Be a part of transforming the old legacy of scarcity, powerlessness, and separation into a livable future
  • Learn how to transform NVC into a tool for systemic awareness and healing
  • Examine the influence of difference, and uncover pathways that strengthen its capacity
  • Learn to receive and offer feedback on impact in situations fraught with power differences
  • Explore specific ways in which NVC systemically supports the full flowering of humanity
  • Delve into the dynamics of cultural differences, and discover how NVC can systemically contribute to a liberation perspective
When someone expresses upset about our actions, and we focus on our intention being seen and understood (e.g. "I didn’t mean to hurt you”) it doesn't support the speaker in being heard more deeply with care. Here we'll explore this dynamic in a way that supports more clarity and the possibility of greater personal liberation. Read on for more.
What do we actually mean by “use of force” and what counts as such? Here's a template that will be unpacked in this article: "Use of force is consistent with nonviolence to the extent that we use the least amount of force possible, with the most love possible, aiming at (re)creating conditions for dialogue; that we make the choice using as much nonreactive discernment as possible, with as much support for the choice as possible, and while mourning not seeing another way to respond to a situation in which vital needs are at stake except to use force". Read on for more.
Here's a brief anecdote showing how one woman was able transform a situation, where a man was about to assault or rape her. She responded in a creative way that lead them both to see each others' humanity -- navigating them both to safety. As part of her ingenuity he ended up spending the night in her house, in another room.
Within the pandemic, limitations of our market economies are more visible. Extreme need is exposed when the economy is collapsing and so many people are without jobs. We can now see how it’s possible to direct resources where they are most needed, solely out of care and interconnection. This is a call to explore a more viable way of living, that centers relationship over transaction.
This pandemic is an immense opportunity, and a dire catastrophe in the making. It’s a crisis within many planetary crises — during which, our habits as individuals, and as a collective, are challenged because they don’t sustain us. Now we are pushed to respond freshly and join forces in ways that seemed impossible before.
When something happens that we don't like no amount of resentment nor magical thinking will make it disappear. Instead, we can mourn to dissolve our own resistance, resentment, and numbness of resignation. Mourning can allow us to feel pain with acceptance, and without needing to be okay with what happened. Acceptance can bring us to a place where even all the anguish in the world is fully, part of life.
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