Hello, I'm Chris. I shifted my parenting style and you can too. I discovered Nonviolent Communication in 2013 when my last child was 13 years old. Because I was not violent, I got stuck on the name and didn't think NVC had value for me. When I admitted I needed help, I learned that seeds of violence are embedded in our language: labels, demands, and silent judgments got me further and further away from knowing who my child was and from being the parent I wanted to be. I learned that focusing on needs brings us together in ways that sharing thoughts and feelings alone cannot. I am forever grateful that we found a language of life which builds empathy for self and others and which connects us to a community of support in being human. Just like any language, it happens on the inside with new knowledge and with practice.
Inspired by teens, we wrote a simple book for everyone to learn a basic concept of compassionate connecting... We feel because we need. When we absorb the felt reality of this, we are able to take responsibility for our feelings and end the blame game. The symbols in the book make visual sense of what goes on inside and help us remember basic truths... Thoughts come and go, feelings come and go, and deep inside we experience the energy of our emotional needs which connect to everything we feel and everything we do. This is as true for adults as it is for children!
It was desperation and a need for support in parenting that first brought me to Nonviolent Communication. What has kept me in the community practicing and sharing is my confidence in how it can help young people easily understand themselves and others. Seeing through this new lens repaired my relationship with my teen daughter and improved my marriage. Ten years later, and I still practice empathy in a small group through Capital NVC. If the timing doesn't work for you, I am happy to support you or parents in your organization begin in starting your own group. I dream that these gatherings of support will multiply in response to the world's need for empathy for everyone. I want anyone who is longing for connection to know that these relational skills exist and that they have access to learning them just as I did. Our little book is an invitation to explore the world of NVC.
A digital copy of the book is available as a free download along with other materials that support using this language at home and school including including a practice page, reflection questions and a junior sized feelings and needs list. You can use them all to jump start your journey into connected conversations with the children in your life. There is also a paper doll of the inside story character to post or play with as you engage children in needs awareness. Jump over HERE to see all this and more!!
"The first time I used the nonviolent consciousness during a high stress situation with my daughter, I realized the potential this has to transform relationships and create peace. It worked for me and my child and I want to share it with every parent! I wrote An Inside Story because I was frustrated that the simple concepts of NVC - which brought immediate relief to my relationship with my 13 year old daughter - were not widely known or taught. I spent years as a volunteer practicing this way of communicating in a middle school for girls. Showing compassion for what was happening in their hearts allowed the students to feel heard and seen and they could shift back to their roles in the classroom more quickly. I am confident that children learn and embrace these teachings more easily than adults who have been educated away from the simplicity of needs and have been confused into believing that blaming and fighting are just human nature." - Chris
Chris & Gina Simm with Buddies and Empathy Cards for Little Hands
"An Inside Story uses simple, accessible language and adorable art to call attention to the importance of what goes on inside us that we often hide. In an age of polarization it serves as a reminder of our human commonality despite our many differences."
Co-founder, Bay Area Nonviolent Communication
What People are Saying!
This handcrafted Inside Story Doll has both a smile side and a frown side. It comes with 10 'need' stars tucked inside the pocket. Kids get more comfortable when they find the source of their feelings...what they most longing for in the moment. An Inside Story Doll is a perfect companion to learn about needs and express emotions. Coming soon.
What is Nonviolent Communication?
Nonviolent Communication highlights three modes of communication: honest self-expression, empathic listening, and empathic self-connection.
Learn more about Nonviolent Communication from Capital NVC.