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May 15, 2013



Dear Donna, I find your response to Leighs question so beautiful and helpful. I can so relate to "And even more than that, it is what we are inside (which of course they are totally aware of) which is even more important." My experience on my parenting journey with my almost very sensitive 4 year old which also inspired my personal/psychological/spiritual journey within on a deeper level is proving for me this statement to be very true. I just have one question regarding your admiration and dislike of the Non Violent Communication work. I would appreciate if you can please expand a little on what aspects of it you like and which are the one you dislike or disagree with and why. Thank you kindly, Monika


Hi Monika,

NVC is based on working with adults (though there are a number of people who have adapted it to work with children). Used judiciously and sensitively, with the developmental needs of the child to the fore, it can be a wondrous tool. But if one constantly reflects to a child and does not come from a strong (empathetic, grounded) 'I', then the child can experience this as a vacuum.This is frightening for a child - some react with an outward gesture of rage or crying, others withdraw. Still others learn too early to step into the abyss that the adult has left empty.

What can work is if one says things like "I hear what you're saying" and really holds the space with a fully present adult, incarnated 'I'. Choices can be framed - but ultimately, they are the province of adults if the child is younger than 10 or so - and after that it is still, for many years, a process, with the adult never reneging responsibility but gracefully ( we can all try!!!) working together to truly empower the older child or teen to take more and more responsibility for him/herself. But it's a long road.

NVC can also be way too verbal for young children, putting them into "therapy mode". Young ones should never be made to be self conscious, self aware - this immediately removes them from the sense of Oneness with the world that is the birthright of the first 7 years of childhood. But again, NVC methods can be used silently, with intentionality, as one develops the ability to be warmly present for children.

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