Hello and welcome to a bit about me!
I discovered through Nonviolent Communication in 2013 when my last child was 13 years old.
I'm not violent so what did that have to do with me?! Well, when I got over the name, I learned that the seeds of violence are embedded in our language. Demands, diagnosis, denying responsibility, judgmental silence and thinking that things should be different from how they were, 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 'dodged a bullet' by finding this wealth of wisdom and a community of support in being human. I was inspired and encouraged by the teen I lived with and one whom I met so we wrote and illustrated a simple book for everyone to learn a basic concept of compassionate connecting... We feel because we need. Our symbols make visual sense and can help us remember basic truths... Thoughts come and go, feelings come and go, and deep inside we all have 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 a feeling of desperation and a need for support in my parenting that brought me to Nonviolent Communication. What has kept me in the community practicing and sharing is my confidence in how it can help anyone easily understand themselves and others. I credit this practice with repairing my relationship with my teen daughter and improving my marriage. From the very first workshop I attended, this learning has enhanced my life. Ten years later, and I still practice giving and receiving empathy in a small 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 work and that they have access to learning them just as I did.
The book is available for FREE on TeachersPayTeachers. The practice page and feelings and needs list follows 'The End' page. You can use them to jump start your journey into connected conversations with the children in your life.
"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!
ABOUT THE BOOK
As Alex experiences a fear of being teased about her glasses, she looks inwards to discover the true source of this concern: Her desire for love, acceptance, and authentic connection with others.
Join Alex on a journey of self-understanding, as she realizes that her fears are only a reflection of what she wants and needs on the inside. As Alex begins to understand her inside story, watch as your child greatly advances their understanding of their own emotions and needs. Experience a healthier, closer relationship with your child as their nascent self-understanding empowers them to communicate clearly and effectively with others.
See what parents are saying about An Inside Story:
“An Inside Story shows the connection between how we think and what we feel. A must read for all children and adults. It's the book that I wish I had read and understood as a child!”
“Using very simple language and images, this book helps children ... and adults too ... understand how thoughts, emotions and physical sensations are driven by needs that we all share. More importantly, the book provides guidance on what to do to move forward despite the scariness and ickiness we might sometimes experience. I can't wait to share this book with my young grandsons, and will be sure to use the practice page and discussion questions to help them really connect with the book's lessons.”
--KZ, Grandmother Of Two
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.