“NO!” The dreaded word has been spoken. You asked your child to do something reasonable, like put on sunscreen on a hot, sunny day. Wash his hands before a meal. Put his shoes on so you can get out of the house. Pick up the toys he left scattered in the living room. Brush his teeth before going to bed. Go to bed.
Yet your child—at a year, two, three, four or older—has a mind of his own. You love that mind of his, his growing independence and assertiveness, his desire to decide what he wants to do and when. But you wish he would be reasonable! You wish he would do, without so much fuss, what you want him to do.
Negotiating the gap between what we want and what our children want can strain our patience and skill level to their limit. Parenting books attest to this, as one after another focuses on how to get our children to do what we want them to do—whether through “effective discipline,” rewards, punishments, or dialogue.
Nonviolent Communication (NVC) offers a perspective and skills that take the dialogue approach further and deeper than any other process I’ve encountered. The premise underlying NVC is that all human actions are attempts to meet our human needs, and that understanding and empathizing with these needs creates trust, connection, and more broadly—peace. This premise is translated into a very concrete and practical set of tools for communication that increases our ability to recognize and empathize with our own and others’ feelings and needs. When used consistently (or even occasionally!), NVC can create deep connection, trust and cooperation among family members of all ages.
Cathy Bucher, mother of 2 boys ages 9 and 12 years, joins us on Family Matters Radio to talk about Hearing the YES behind the NO and why, as parents, we don’t have to take ‘no’ for an answer.
What difference does hearing “yes” make to resolving family difficulties? What does it mean to hear the yes behind the no? What can parents do when they hear their kids say that dreaded word ‘no”?
Aired live: Sunday, September 4th, 2011 0800-0900 Eastern Standard Time on CFRU 93.3 FM, Guelph, Ontario, Canada
Listen to Podcast (click to listen or right click to save to your computer)
Another article written by Inbal Kashtan:
An article about NVC and parenting by Grace Maina:
More about the Family Heart Camps we talked about: