Hello! I'm on a mission to help parents avoid the pain of disconnection during the teen years. Through my own parenting journey I discovered how focusing on feelings and needs can bring us together in ways that sharing thoughts alone cannot. Inspired and encouraged by a teen I lived with and one whom I met, I wrote and illustrated a simple book for children and young families to introduce the basics of compassionate connecting. I believe the visual symbols can help us remember basic truths... Thoughts come and go, feelings come and go, and deep inside we all have the energy of our needs which connect to everything we feel and everything we do! This is as true for adults as it is for children.
It was the feeling of desperation and my need for support in my parenting that brought me together with Nonviolent Communication in 2013. Since that time I have acquired over 400 hours of NVC training.
I credit this practice with repairing my relationship with my teen daughter and improving my marriage. From the very first workshop I attended, I knew this learning would enhance my life. I offer a free weekly practice group through Capital NVC and dream that these sources of support will multiply in response to the world's need for empathic listening and understanding. My vision is that anyone longing for connection will know that these relational skills exist and that they will have access to learning them just as I did.
I create materials that parents and teachers can use to cultivate a compassionate relationships and I facilitate parenting classes with Heart-to-Heart, Inc.
Watch the read-aloud for kids Practice page and feelings & needs lists not included
"The first time I used the Nonviolent Communication model 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."
Heart to Heart: A manual for connecting with children's ability to
problem solve and transform conflict by Gina Simm:
Chris & Gina with Buddies and Cards
"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
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ABOUT THE BOOK
As Alex experiences a fear of being teased, she learns to listen to her body and her heart and discover the unmet need prompting her to feel as she does. This helps her to understand herself better without getting stuck in judgments about who and what triggered her to feel as she does.
The process Alex goes through is at the core of an approach called Nonviolent Communication which assumes that every human action is an attempt to meet a need. Connecting with this need helps people to know what they want and share what they want in a way that is more likely to get them what they need and want. Sadly, many people bypass these bodily messages and get stuck in thoughts which blame themselves or others for how they feel. This only makes things worse, and keeps them from connecting to themselves, to life, and to others.
With clever simplicity and relatable images, An Inside Story, has what is needed for parents to start a new and different kind of conversation with their children about how they are affected by what happens to them in their everyday lives – a conversation which is more likely to support the child in sharing what's going on with them, and support the parent who wants to be truly helpful.
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Cute two-sided empathy buddy designed for self-awareness and sharing Compassionate Communication with kids.. Each side has a pocket for holding need stars. Children can literally look for what they are needing inside the doll's heart pocket when they are feeling sad or mad. Use the buddy to help tell your own inside stories.
Each 6 x 4" buddy comes with a set of 10 laminated 'need' stars or can be used with Empathy Cards for Little Hands.
Made from 100% wool and variations are to be expected.
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.