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To Inspire Conscious Parenting and Empowered Kids Kids
C2: The CODE Detectives C2: Family Meetings Games & Brain Teasers
We are three people with a passion for empowering kids; a single mother who decided to do something different than her parents did, her daughter who knows what it is to be an empowered kid and grow into an empowered adult, and a man who found and cared for an abandoned baby on the streets of India when he was a teenager, and still dreams of helping kids. That’s why we’re here every month, to share our passion and offer inspiration. We know that parenting is more than just feeding and protecting. Conscious parenting is about commitment, inspiration, and empowerment. We are here to support you in the parenting process and to support your kids in realizing their full potential.
Who We Are
• • • •
Every child is born with an innate curiosity and love of learning. Every child is unique and his/her individuality is valuable to the family and to the world. Every child is born with unbounded potential. All children can have high self-esteem, be self-motivated, and respectful of themselves and others if given the appropriate tools and experiences. • How we treat our toddlers and children today has a direct influence on their selfopinion and the choices they will make as teenagers and young adults of the future. • Parents have the single most important influence on children’s lives. • The future is unlimited when our thoughts, feelings, and actions are in alignment with our intentions.
Accordingly, As Parents, It Is Our Responsibility To:
• • • • • Support our children’s unique talents and abilities. Foster our children’s innate curiosity and love of learning. Empower our children to make meaningful decisions every day. Remind our children that their futures are full of possibilities. Acknowledge that parenting is as much a learning process for us as for our children.
2 North Star Family Matters | August 2008
At a Glance: “ P ” for Parents “ K ” for Kids
Table of Contents
By Sue Woodward
c2: the code
By Wendy Garrido By Wendy Garrido By Anne Presuel
14 c2: Family meetingS 18 eFt & parenting 22 empowering QueStionS
By Sue Woodward
26 c2: conSciouS meSSage Filter
By Wendy Garrido
31 claSSiFiedS Kids 8
c2: the code
By Wendy Garrido By Wendy Garrido
14 c2: Family meetingS 28 gameS 30 coloring page 31 anSwerS to July’S gameS
North Star Family Matters | August 2008 3
K P K
From Us to You
From Us to You
Dear Parents & Kids,
August is here, school is just around the corner. What were your favorite parts of the summer? Are you looking forward to the start of the new school year? If not, tell us why not? We’d love to hear what’s going on with you. Did you have any major family issues this past summer? How can we help? Did your communication improve as a family this summer? Did you find the connection you desired this summer? Write us and let us know at email@example.com. Last month, we had the pleasure of meeting Till Schilling, founder of TappyBear™, and his daughter, Anna. This was our first in-person encounter after countless phone calls and e-mails during the course of our partnership of nearly two years! It’s rewarding and inspiring to connect with people like Till, who are as dedicated to supporting the emotional and spiritual health of kids and families as we are. Till and Anna got an inside-view of how the NSFM team applies the philosophies we present in the magazine in our personal and business interactions. We are creating a new paradigm for business that is based on emotional health as the basis of our business life, as well as personal lives. In the process, we evolve our interactions into more loving, dynamic, empathetic relationships as children or adults. In order to support you in transforming your interactions (and due to several inquiries), with this special edition, we have returned to a focus on C2: Connective Communication™. This is a family’s guide to healthy and compassionate connection, a special edition that you can keep as a reference guide or order extra copies for your friends and family. This issue provides both parents and kids with more insight and real-life experience for making C2: Connective Communication part of our everyday lives, as well as some new Enagage-Aloud™ interactions. This issue is a keeper that we will be publishing as an e-book. As you read through this issue, please send us your thoughts, feelings, ideas and suggestions so your input and stories can become part of the book. Enjoy these days of summer and the special time this season gives us as families.
The Team at North Star Family Matters P.S.-- Don’t forget to look for our four “Follow the North Star” stars hidden in this month’s issue. They look like this: . (But that one doesn’t count!)
North Star Family Matters | August 2008
K P K
From Us to You
Editor-In-Chief Creative Director Wendy Garrido Managing Editor Sue Woodward Operations Manager Prem Carnot National Outreach Director Kimberly Bray-Morse Proofreading Don Garrido Jamie Bailey Contributing Writers Steve Viglione Patti Teel Rev. Anne Presuel Dr. Marilyn Powers Katherine Nuyens Tanessa Dillard Noll Kathy Marmion Toni Lapp Kurt Hines Shelley Hawkins-Clark Larry Davis Empowered Kid Consultants Sasha, 15; Quinn, 6; Mary Margaret, 8; Kevin, 9; Josh, 12; Isabelle, 11; Gavin, 9; Fisher, 13; Divya, 7; Brianna, 10; Beverly, 6; Anna, 13, Alison, 14 Conscious Parenting Consultants Wendy Y., Pamela, Laurie, Kim, Jon, Don, Diana, Cindy North Star Family Matters 698 E. Promontory Rd. Shelton, WA 98584 (888) 360-0303 Midwest Office: 7627 S. Dune Hwy. Empire, MI 49630 (888) 228-4492 www.NorthStarFamilyMatters.com
North Star Family Matters (ISSN # 19378483) is published monthly by: The Solution Place™ LLC, 698 E Promontory Rd, Shelton, WA 98584. One-year subscriptions are $30 in the U.S, add $15 for Canada, add $30 for int’l. Cover price is $4.95 and back issues are $5.95. Copyright 2008. All rights reserved. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to: NSFM, P.O. Box 2241, Lee’s Summit, MO 64063-7421
North Star Family Matters | August 2008
C2 : Connective Communication
By Sue Woodward
An Engage Aloud For Parents & Kids
Every time you see the sign, be sure to give your child all the time s/he needs to think about the question and discover his/her own, unique answers.
Introduction to the Special Edition
ealthy communication is the most important aspect of empowered relationships between humans, especially within families. Yet much of our communication results in misunderstandings, anger, hurt, tears, sadness, and frustration. In spite of our best intentions to communicate clear and precise messages about how we feel and why we feel that way, we often end up making the situation worse than when we started! In many relationships people resort to stopping communication in order avoid the conflict, but that’s
really no better than poor communication. Both leave us feeling closed down, disconnected, and emotionally distanced. Our current style of communication encourages us to think in terms of absolutes and judgements. We think we understand how to relate to our kids, we think we listen to others, we think we can convince others that what we believe is “right,” we think we know how to educate our kids, we even think we know what’s right for others! And then, when they don’t say or do what we think they should, we blame them for our reactions. We are a culture that operates from a platform of right versus wrong, left versus right, black versus white, etc. Our communication is a self-defeating attempt at understanding each other, since it results in separation, stress, confusion and pain! Our attempts to get our needs met by the use of verbal, emotional, or physical coercion is violent. Nonviolence is a commitment to trusting that everyone has unmet needs that account for their behaviors and actions,
North Star Family Matters | August 2008
and that everyone wants to be accepted and understood. It is our nature as HUMAN BEINGS. C2: Connective Communication™ is a dynamic tool for families to creatively explore new ways to discover, share, and address the emotions that arise each and every day of our lives. This is a new language for communication, a language that is based on empathy, compassion, and connection. It starts with understanding ourselves, and moves us to understand others as we take responsibility for our own needs and feelings. Families, schools, and the world will transform their interactions as they learn to incorporate another language that is based on understanding and compassion, with the goal of discovering and addressing the unmet needs behind our words and actions. Our exclusive, new Enagage-Aloud™ activities give families a hands-on way to connect with each other in new ways, moving healthy, compassionate communication into our daily lives, no matter how others respond. Kids and adults experience the process of untangling reactive emotions and discovering the needs of someone we care about and love. Instead of getting blamed and accused, we are understood and embraced. Commit the time and energy to create a new practice of Connective Communication in your life and transform your family and relationships. But above all, explore and have fun making sense out of this new mode of communicating.
Answer the following questions on a scale of one to ten. How good do you think you are at making peanut butter and jelly sandwiches? How well do you think you can communicate your thoughts and ideas? How easy do you think it would be to tell someone how to make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich?
C2 : Connective Communication
Blindfold Plate Bread Knife Peanut butter Jelly
What is Communication?
For our purpose, we will define communication as: The sharing of information through interactions for the purpose of understanding one another. Let’s take a closer look at this definition. “Sharing” tells us that communication happens between two or more entities, a sender and one or more receivers, which can be people, kids, dogs, countries, or whatever else you can imagine. “Information” is the message that is being relayed or sent. It might be true or false, a thought or an emotion, a dream or a fear—anything at all. “Interactions” are the social circumstances in which communication occurs. For example, a casual phone conversation, a formal discussion, a letter, or the sniff of a dog meeting someone new. “For the purpose of understanding one another” explains why communication takes place—in order to express our perspective and to have the other person acknowledge and understand it. So the goal of all our communication is to understand one another. It sounds like such a simple goal and yet it turns out to be so complicated.
We suggest you do this outside since it’s fun and easy to make a mess of this. For the first time around, the parent is blindfolded and now becomes a visitor from the planet Ackwa, and makes it clear that s/he knows nothing about planet Earth except the language. Each other person in the family takes a turn giving one of the steps in making a peanut butter sandwich. The visitor from Ackwa will only do exactly and literally what is requested. When someone says, “Pick up the knife,” the blindfolded visitor might pick it up with the wrong end. If they say “Take a piece of bread out of the bag,” the visitor might take a small chunk of bread out of the bag instead a whole slice. Then, it’s time for the kids to be blindfolded and try it all again. How successfully did you communicate how to make Was it easier or harder than you exthe sandwich? Isn’t it funny that such a simple thing seems pected? to leave so much room for error? When else have you had trouble communicating something that seemed so simple? There is so much we take for granted when we engage in communication in even the most simple interactions. When someone isn’t understanding our communication it’s because they haven’t understood, or “received” the information we are trying to send. Now that you’ve experienced how communication can be trickier than we think, we invite you to explore the rest of the articles in this special edition to create more fruitful and fulfilling communication in your life. C2: Connective Communication™ is a dynamic tool for families to creatively discover, share, and address the emotions that arise each and every day of our lives.
The CODE is NSFM’s interpretation and representation of the ideas for comppasionate communication based on the material of Marshall Rosenberg, Ph.D., as presented in Noviolent Communication: A Language of Life, www.CNVC.org
North Star Family Matters | August 2008
“I feel . be sure to give your child all the time s/he needs to think about the question and discover his/her own. We can blame and criticize the person. “Gosh. Even if you disagree with the person’s perception of the situation.. we are buying into the idea that we are responsible for the other person’s emotions and reactions.” This is how we acknowledge and take responsibility for our own emotions/reactions. If Kim feels hurt by his anger and frustration. When we do this. ∞ im’s father says. We can focus our consciousness on our own feelings and needs. The second two are based on connecting to the BEING part of us. When we do this. K 8 3. 1.. If Kim gets angry and responds with her own judge- ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ North Star Family Matters | August 2008 .. Which way do you usually react to things that people Do you react differently to different people? say? Which way do you think is Why do you think that is? Why? Which way would you easiest to respond? How might Kim relike to respond in the future? spond to her dad in each of these ways? 1. unique answers. their feelings are about their perception of what happened.. she might think. we are buying into the idea that someone or something outside of ourselves is responsible for our own emotions and reactions. because you need . “Are you feeling .. We can focus our consciousness on the other person’s feeling and needs by asking. this is the time to put your arguments aside and realize that their feelings aren’t about what actually happened.P K C2 : The CODE C2: The CODE By Wendy Garrido An Engage-Aloud TM Activity For Parents & Kids Every time you encounter a sign.. then Dad wouldn’t be so mad at me. right now?” This supports the other person in discovering. We can take it personally and hear the blame and criticism. “Kim. acknowledging. 4. and taking responsibility for their own emotions. I thought I told you to take the trash out this morning? Don’t you ever listen to me? Why do I always have to remind you?” There are four ways to receive a negative message. I guess I should have taken the trash out even though it was Vik’s turn.. The first two come from our HUMAN reactions.” 2. 2. when I hear you say..
” 4. we can investigate and uncover the true motives behind the angry or hurtful words people may say. as we are too P K C2 : The CODE North Star Family Matters | August 2008 9 . and generalizations. The 3rd step is to help the person Discover what they need to feel better right now. Dad. nobody always does anything. as an easy way to introduce the foundations of NVC into families with young children. If she tunes in to his feelings and needs. Ph. not about us. blame. Something else must be going on other than just not having the trash taken out. Many of us have learned to identify our feelings but often the expression of those feelings gets clouded by blame and judgement.” blaming. How come you never yell at Vik?” 3. you have the power to decode the scrambled communications we often find in life.. and Empathy. Compassion. the CODE teaches you to listen. moving away from “thinking. to use the CODE in order to understand the true message. you must be feeling pretty frustrated. she might say. “You’re always blaming me. and uncover the feelings and needs that lead people to act in unloving ways. We stop disconnecting and discover how to truly connect with others. Instead of wondering why someone treats you poorly.ment and reaction. Instead. The CODE’s four-step process of investigation helps you reach out to others with compassion. angry. to absolute feelings of sad. anxiety. and Empathy. How has your day been? What’s frustrating you?” Healthy communication like the last two responses brings us together. The CODE is based upon NSFM’s interpretation and representation of Nonviolent Communication (NVC) by Marshall Rosenberg. for you to exaggerate by saying I “always” do something. Love. love. But it’s not always obvious how someone is feeling because the true message they want to convey is garbled up between judgements. We take anger. It is a tool that guides you to the PLACE we all want—that PLACE of Peace. you realize that as a CODE detective. We’re not able to connect to our own needs and instead put our ex- pectations on others to “make us feel better. helping us understand the reasons people say or do what they do. With this knowledge. afraid. The CODE empowers children and adults with the message that we are never responsible for anyone else’s emotions.“Gosh. 10 never explore. and behavior is about them. no matter what is said and in spite of our differences.” We lose our personal power and expect the reactions and actions of others to bring us to that PLACE of Peace. she might say. discover. reactions. It can be understood and used by anyone. etc. and criticism. something most of us pg. Appreciation.D. It wasn’t even my turn. which is truly an internal experience. or any negative emotion and discover the unmet needs behind those feelings. and understanding. fear. Appreciation. The 2nd step is to help the person Observe their feelings. Love. sadness. When I hear you say “always” I feel frustrated and a little sad because I want to be appreciated for the things that I do remember. Compassion. If she tunes in to her own feelings and needs she might say. “Dad. The 1st step is to Connect objectively and listen without judgement or evaluation as you state the issue. become aware that you are not responsible for how others act and react. knowing that their emotions. Once you begin to understand it. support. anxious. not dependent on what happens outside of us. To understand one another we need to learn a new way to communicate. We do that by being compassionate and openminded.
bosses—anybody! The CODE’s four-step process of investigation helps you reach out to others with compassion. Judgement/evaluation. Brad is a nice kid. 5. or any other negative emotions. Jenny told me. We want to hear how someone else feels without hearing the blame or criticism.. as we are empowered to take responsibility for our own actions. Jerry doesn’t like the car. pull out your emotional magnifying glass. think “CODE ALERT! There is a miscommunication in progress!” because you know you are never the reason for someone else’s anger or unhappiness. can you remember what Those clues are the same clues you are looking for? no matter whether they come from kids. This is a judgement/evaluation. 4. The 1st step is to Connect objectively and listen without judgement or evaluation as you state the issue. put on your detective hat. Objective observation. love. 9 busy arguing about what we want someone else to do. How do we know that Jerry doesn’t like the car? Did he say “I don’t like the car” or are we guessing based on what we observed? If we’re guessing. CODE CLUES CODE Detectives be on alert for these clues! The CLUES for a CODE ALERT are any words.P K pg. He constantly. Jenny. yelling. or tones that convey feelings of: Anger Fear Anxiety Blame Sadness Frustration Guilt. The more we use the CODE. 7. Remember. the 4th step is to Encourage asking for what they need without any expectation of getting it. 2. with anyone. friends. Judgement/evaluation. Like “enough. 1. it’s a judgement. We may observe Brad saying or doing things that we like. it is a judgement. We are judging/evaluating how often is “enough.You never. parents. and actions! Kids can use it at school. Kids shouldn’t say things like that to their parents. Even if we believe we’re right. Parents can use it at work. actions. An objective observation would be “Karina brushes her hair once or twice a week. Judgement/evaluation. An objective observation might be “That’s the third time today that I’ve seen Brad hold the door open for someone. Judgement/Evaluation The use of Generalizations (You always. the more natural it feels and the more effective we become at understanding others. 6. tears. thoughts. This is simply an observation of what we heard from Jenny. “I think onions taste gross.” 6.. not an objective observation. It depends. reactions.” which is not an objective fact. 2. even if the other person knows nothing about it! The reason it always works is because it depends on the only things we truly have power over—our own choices. no matter what is said and in spite of our differences. finally. even if they tell you that you are! Underneath all negative emotions are the hidden needs of others. We want to express how we feel without blame or criticism. however. Needs that CODE detectives can help them discover. Putting our own judgements onto other people disconnects us from them. moving C2 : The CODE ∞ 10 North Star Family Matters | August 2008 .) Quiz Put on your detective hat and identify whether the following statements are objective observations.” 7. The 2nd step is to Observe feelings. 4. And. needs that they aren’t even aware of.” 5. This is an objective observation. Removing the judgements from your observations means you take yourself out of the picture and simply convey what you see or hear.” “too” (whether it’s too much or too little) indicates an evaluation or judgement. Whenever you hear these clues. however. we are making a judgement/evaluation.” 3. as a CODE detective. The CODE works anywhere. when we roll those observations up into a description of who or how he is. facial expression. we all want to get to the same PLACE and the clues alert you to the fact that the PLACE we all want to get is about to be stolen! So. Shayna ate too much at dinner last night. is making an evaluation/judgement about the taste of onions. An observation might be “Shayna said she wished she hadn’t had that second piece of pie. those around us are more likely to be able to hear our needs and more willing to find ways to help us meet them. teachers. again. Families can use it at home. and understanding. Karina doesn’t brush her hair often enough. Answers 1. and start your investigation to uncover the truth! Now. etc. Joaquim played soccer yesterday for four hours. or whether they are judgements/evaluations. Anytime we make a “should” statement. 3. when we let go of our judgements and connect to the feelings and needs behind them.
Our language makes it easy to confuse feelings with judgements. we might say “I feel like you think I’m just your puppet who should do whatever you say. One way to be sure we are talking about emotions is to avoid using “like” or “that” after “I feel. those around us are much more likely to be willing and able to understand what we want to communicate. So when you hear someone else say “I feel like…” or “I feel that…” remember that it’s a clue and it’s a good time to be using the CODE. or trust) met. partially because of his pent-up feelings of frustration about not having his own needs (for independence.” The 3rd step is to Discover the needs or values underneath the feelings. Chad tells his seven- teen-year-old son.’ I felt sad. When you’re helping someone uncover the need. Ryan. Chad is so stuck on his ten o’clock deadline that he’s lost sight of his needs.” Instead of “I feel like you’re never on time. 12 restate the feeling and the P K C2 : The CODE North Star Family Matters | August 2008 11 .” or “I feel sad. For example. Chad isn’t feeling relaxed as he argues with Ryan.” “I feel disappointed. they are more likely to be able to empathize with us. I felt angry.” Remember from step 1 that we’ve got our feelings mixed up with our judgements.” Instead of “It was rude of you to say that to me. we are forced to connect to how we actually feel. even if they end with an agreement that Ryan will be home by ten. knowing that his son is safe. partially to meet the curfew.” When we do this.away from judgements and thoughts. When we can express our feelings and needs clearly without blaming someone. Then try and help the person figure out the emotion behind that judgement. First of all.” When we are able to let go of the judgements and convey our feelings. Ryan may not necessarily be more safe. “When you agreed to pick me up at seven and then didn’t get here until 7:45. What’s important to Chad (his underlying need) is to feel relaxed. In the English language. we translate what they say with empathy. as we try to pg.” Or. “I feel like…” or “I feel that…” and then go on to finish the sentence with a judgement. we often say. if they get into an argument because Ryan wants to stay out until 11:30. responsibility. We might end up with “I feel frustrated. He might drive recklessly on his way home. you could say. We are often so focused on the person saying or doing what we want them to in a given situation that we lose sight of the broader need we are trying to meet. never even getting to our actual emotion! For example. Ironically. You might say “When you said ‘I wish you would just leave me alone. All HUMAN BEINGS share the same needs such as: • Self-Worth • Acceptance • Appreciation • Connection • Consideration • Safety to express emotions • Empathy • Exercise • Protection • Rest • Expression • Fun • Harmony • Inspiration • Peace • Honesty • Love • Reassurance • Respect • Support • Trust • Understanding. and secondly. that he has to be home by ten o’clock.
When we become more aware of the messages we and others are sending. you’d like to take a rest and hopefully you’ll feel better when you get up? Is there anything else that would help you feel better?” Step 4. we begin the process of uncovering the feelings and needs behind emotional and verbal attacks. the 4th step is to Encourage asking for what they need without any attachment to getting it. You may truly love your sister.” When we use the CODE.” “Oh. I guess it makes me kind of sad because I’m actually trying to pay attention but I get in trouble. Finally. “Mom. I’m sorry I was so crabby. Sometimes we think that if we ask in a nice way or say “please.” Example: Carey was working on her homework. When her mom got home from work. so you’re sad because you’d like some appreciation for the fact that you’re trying to pay attention?” “Yes.” “Thanks. I think I’d like to go take a quick nap. that’s it. yet these interactions build walls between us. Sometimes we assume that people should know what we want them to do. so you feel frustrated because you don’t feel well?” (Keep going until you get a yes. and having a tough time understanding her math. With the CODE. My back has been bothering me. so they can find ways to meet those needs and shift their emotions. she asked. When we make a true request. Why can’t you ever do anything by yourself?” At first Carey felt hurt and sad. The difference between a request and a demand is less obvious than you might think. we are learning to stop acting on those feelings and instead transform our feelings into a request to help meet our needs. and then I’ll help you with your homework?” “Sure.) “Yes. etc. loving ways. however illogical or inappropriate they may seem. Carey. Step 1. “Carey. allowing us to interact with others in compassionate. A person has the right to feel however they feel. but fight with her nearly every day over things that could easily be replaced. we have a much better C2 : The CODE 12 North Star Family Matters | August 2008 . “Mom. It is based on our past experiences and how connected we are to the BEING part of us. How we feel in the moment is how we feel--it’s important to acknowledge those feelings. I have too many things to do. it is your job to make sure that you don’t accept responsibility for their feelings. Typically the people we interact with are much more important to us than the things we argue about.” “Oh. are you feeling angry?” “No. “Thanks for understanding.” we’re making a request. Jamison if she would be willing to take the time to ask us who was talking before she gets mad at us. I get home from pg. These everyday fights keep many of us from truly connecting with those we love. blame. Observe feelings: “Mom. but I just wish she knew that I actually cared about what she’s saying. It seemed like it was her fault that her mom was mad.P K need we hear underneath it. The CODE empowers us with the emotional foundation and language skills to understand and support those we love.” “Do you feel angry because it’s important to you that people be treated fairly?” “I’m not really angry. no problem. then it was truly a request rather than a demand. would you help me with my math?” Her mom said in an annoyed and angry voice. Connect objectively. Discover needs. not just because you want them to. The way you can tell the difference between a request and a demand is by how the person who’s asking reacts if the person doesn’t fulfill the request. “So. they just don’t have the right to take those feelings out on others. I’m just frustrated. but remember what happened with the peanut butter and jelly sandwich? It’s always helpful to be specific. What we feel and what we need is personal and unique for each one of us. She knew that was just another clue that she was on the right track by using the CODE. Instead you can empower others by helping them uncover their needs. work was fine. “I can’t stand it when my teacher tells me to stop talking when I wasn’t even the one talking.. So Carey found her PLACE and put on her detective hat. It seems like we go through this every week!” Carey noticed the blame her mom was sending her way and remembered that she was not responsible for her mom’s frustration. I’m not angry. and all too often something happens that makes us regret that loss of connection. I could also let her know how hard I try. Then she remembered that she was never responsible for someone else’s reactions. so do you feel angry because you’ve had a rough day at work?” “No. Would you mind making some soup and sandwiches for dinner. but that’s not necessarily the case.” Step 3. If they are able to respect the person’s choice without resorting to anger. But even if they do take their feelings out on you. Sorry I was so short with you. So what might you ask for from your teacher? “I guess I could ask Mrs. Step 2. by discovering their feelings and needs. we want the person to do it because they want to do it.” Keep putting the feeling and the need together until you get a yes. It doesn’t really bother me that she gets confused about who was talking. Encourage asking. Here we want to figure out what the specific request is that could help meet our needs. 11 work and you want me to jump in and help you.
the people we argue with most are usually the ones we love the most! As the fast pace of the world moves us to pay more attention to the NOW. and we transform our relationships. we are HUMAN BEINGS with the same needs. P K C2 :The CODE I North Star Family Matters | August 2008 13 . coercion. they take full responsibility for their own feelings and actions. we connect with healthy. we discover a new way of interacting in our lives. you’ll find you have a much better chance of creating your PLACE. After all. And. no matter what happens around them. Empowered kids and adults know that they are never responsible for someone else’s reactions. Instead. blame. guilt. knowing that whoever we are. one person at a time. and changing the world. the CODE works even if the other person doesn’t have a clue what it is! Uncovering the clues to how someone feels. We are there to help them find their PLACE. threat or punishment. In doing so. shame.chance of getting our own needs met. and reacting with understanding and compassion is the path to peace in the world. conscious choices that empower our lives. finding their PLACE in each moment of life. The CODE helps us discover the power that connects us all. in spite of what they say or do. Create a vision for Connective Communication in your family. We are each doing the best we can given our unique life experience. Instead. each trying to create our PLACE in the world. We work together to empower ourselves as the detective as well as the other person! Because behind every action there is an unmet need. and the lives of those around us. CODE detectives move closer to their PLACE instead of accepting fear. extending it to every person as you reach out with an open heart. We learn to give from our heart with trust.
Anyone can call a meeting for any reason. There is nothing more powerful than giving a person the right to call a family meeting when they have an issue or concern. while creatively addressing what needs to happen differently. They see that compromise is a necessary part of life. The everyday emotional stress that accumulates over time dissipates when we address concerns on a regular basis rather than letting them build up into emotional chaos held within or released on others. They discover that making decisions can sometimes be challenging. Family Meeting Guidelines It’s essential that all of these guidelines be incorporated into a family meeting. even if time-consuming. needs and words are heard. as well as how to resolve conflict in healthy. More importantly. and how to achieve that goal as a family while meeting everyone’s needs. strategies. Family meetings teach kids to take responsibility for their own feelings and reactions. They also learn to respect others’ thoughts and feelings because they see that their thoughts and feelings are considered. They exercise their emotional intelligence during family meetings.K P K C2 : Family Meetings C : Family Meetings 2 By Wendy Garrido amily Meetings are a safe format for parents and kids to express feelings and resolve conflicts. and begin to understand that each person plays an important role in the resolution of issues as we support each other in finding ways to address our concerns. They are equal partners in making important decisions and become responsible for those decisions. as well as teaching them not to take responsibility for the feelings and reactions of others. Kids learn to figure out each other. reoccurring behaviors. productive ways. they learn that they are important because their feelings. but finding a solution that meets everyone’s needs is worthwhile. 14 North Star Family Matters | August 2008 . parents. the productivity of the meeting. or the connection between members of the family is undermined. As part of the consensus-based process that family meetings are. Involving children in family meetings helps kids fig- F ure out how to solve issues for themselves and others. Each one of these is essential to contributing to the equal empowerment.
Give everyone equal respect and equal say in the process and decisions. 4. 16 North Star Family Matters | August 2008 15 . don’t. Someone requests a family meeting and shares how high of a priority it is for them. taking turns. or the connection between members of the family is undermined. their thoughts. Let each person finish talking. the productivity of the meeting. 2. no. you might have a family meeting on that topic to brainstorm ways to address their concerns by setting time limits. 7. Focus on what we want to see done differently in the future. Even if you disagree with someone’s ideas or perspective. or ignore the input of someone who disagrees with the majority. 3. child or adult. or if the conversation seems unproductive. Sometimes these words are so ingrained in our way of speaking that it’s fun and helpful to make up a word or sound (such as saying “Beep!”) when we hear someone saying one of these words. Interrupting others sends the message that the person or their ideas is unimportant. etc. Communicate until everyone feels that their concerns and needs have been addressed.Family Meeting Guidelines It’s essential that all of these guidelines be incorporated into a family meeting. If there is a time factor. for any reason. no. we open the door for new possibilities. each person gets their turn. Even if one person is younger or has less “life experience” than another person. Avoid using words such as can’t. The child or adult that feels most balanced or uninvolved in the issue volunteers to be the leader. Respect each person’s input. 3. 1. Addressing conflict is sometimes challenging and it often feels easier to just ignore the problem. In a family meeting. shouldn’t. Then everyone works together using all the tools of C2: Connective Communication to find a way to meet each person’s needs by offering options and ideas until everypg. and not. Anyone can call a meeting for any reason. it’s essential that we continue to engage in dialogue until every person in the family feels their concerns have been addressed. Give everyone equal respect and equal say in the process and decisions. don’t. focusing on what we can do instead of what we can’t. know that they are entitled to their opinion just as you are entitled to yours. won’t. 2. the equal empowerment. P K C2 : Family Meetings anyone. whether it’s in regard to a daily annoyance or a life-altering announcement. 5. Avoid using words such as can’t. “Does anyone have any suggestions or concerns about what they would like to see changed in the future?” 5. Respect each person’s input. Communicate until everyone feels that their concerns and needs have been addressed. 6. When we challenge ourselves to find alternative ways to speak. The leader opens the meeting by stating the agreed-upon guidelines. But if we truly seek healthy families and empowered kids. ideas. Without a single one of these. won’t. 4. and not. The amount of time we can spend rehashing the past is unlimited. Let each person finish talking. Family Meeting Agenda 1. Focus on what we want to see done differently in the future. and opinions are held as equally important and valuable. shouldn’t. can call a meeting. The leader asks. If one person has a tendency to speak for a long time and it bothers others. but it’s much more useful to let others know what we do want to have happen in the future. It’s often easy for us to point out what we don’t like. you might express how important it is that the conversation continue and agree upon a time to resume discussions.
When all involved agree that their concerns have been resolved. Dad: Well. Jessie: Dad. I like to keep my shoes on for a while when I get home. Mom: Sure. Peter: Sure. Aiden: Who wants to lead the meeting? Jessie: I will! Okay. I have a problem. so how about we try it and see how it works. he feels like he is always cleaning up after them. You don’t have to give away a Pokeman card as long as you remember to do what you promise. A Family Meeting Play Characters and Ages. Can we stay focused on what we want to see different in the future instead of blaming or criticizing? Dad: [muttering to himself] Well. I’m back from my jog and I’d like to call a family meeting. Peter: Does anybody have any ideas that could work for Dad and Jessie? Jessie: Hey. Peter: Jessie. Peter: Dad. I know how important your Pokeman cards are to you. It sounds like you are really frustrated and I’m sorry. Okay. Sounds fair. While nobody else in the family has even paid attention to where their shoes are. Jessie. Aiden: Hey Jessie.P K pg. the leader adjourns the meeting. I’ll be right there. does that work for you? I promise to do my best to remember to put my shoes away. Dad and Aiden wanted a meeting. 15 C2 : Family Meetings 6. Repeat call for suggestions or concerns. Jessie: I’d like to find a different solution. If I forget I’ll do it as soon as anyone reminds me because I want to keep ALL of my Pokeman cards. I would like some assurance that you will clean up your shoes the first time someone asks. you’re focusing on the past. I’ll put them away later when I take them off. I’ll give Aiden a Pokeman card of his choice. Dad: It’s important to me that we keep the house neat and lately it seems shoes are left all over the house. I asked you seven times last week to put away your shoes and you still only put away one pair and left your roller blades out. because I’d like to keep them on a bit longer. how about you quickly get to a good stopping point? Dad seems pretty frustrated. it sounds like your Pokeman cards are really important to you and Dad’s request is important to him. Peter: [with a slight sigh] Okay. Narrator: They all sit down in the living room. you’ll remind me. but if I forget. Aiden. ageless Dad: Hi everybody. Dad. How’s that? Dad: (frustrated) Jessie. Jessie: Okay. and I promise to do it right when you ask because I definitely want to keep all of my Pokeman cards. you’ll give me one of your Pokeman cards? Whichever I want? Narrator: Jessie’s a little worried about the thought of giving away any of her Pokeman cards. but if I forget and don’t do it when someone reminds me. Dad. do you feel we’ve addressed your concern? 16 North Star Family Matters | August 2008 . 7. the second someone reminds me I will stop what I am doing and go put them away. Aiden: Me too! Jessie: Okay everybody. Jessie: Well. age 8 Aiden. Now that I know that it’s this important. Jessie: Okay. would it be okay with you if I kept my shoes on when I got home and I will try to remember to put them away when I take them off? In case I forget. did you have a comment or suggestion you’d like to make? Narrator: Dad has been frustrated lately because the other family members have left their shoes all over the house. I guess I didn’t realize that it was so important to you. because I take them off as we’re eating dinner. Jessie: Peter. I can make it a priority. what if you agree that if you don’t put your shoes away the first time someone asks. one agrees on a resolution for the future. Dad and Aiden want a meeting. I’m the one who set up these darn rules in the first place…okay…Jessie. So would you guys be willing to put your shoes and roller blades away as soon as they come in the house? Jessie: Does everyone agree with this? Do we agree to put our shoes away as soon as we get home? Aiden: Yes. is it okay if we listen to Dad first since he called the meeting and then you? Aiden: Sure. except for me. so we’ve all agreed to put our shoes in the closet as soon as we get home. age 10 Dad Mom Narrator. I’m ready! Peter: Can we meet later? I’m busy working on a project right now. I’ll count on you doing your best. I guess that’s usually why they end up in the dining room. Dad. Jessie: Dad. age 5 Peter.
or wait for an ad. I will turn it off. Jessie: Does that sound okay with everybody? Peter: That sounds fine but how about “I mean it” works for everyone. I can say. we all agree to turn off the TV when one of us gets home or comes in the room. “Is it okay if I finish this. Mom: Sounds good. Peter: Yes. how long do we have to turn it off? What if there’s something good on? And are you going to do the same when you are watching 60 Minutes. injustices. is that right? Aiden: Yes. Thanks. we say. “I mean it” even though we might be teasing or playing around. I have one thing. I would appreciate it if each of us would turn off the television when one of us comes home or into a room. Jessie: That sounds good. It sounds like you feel really hurt when we tease you about being a vegetarian because you want your choices to be respected. Dad: That’s all for me too. Then we can ask if they mind if we finish watching our program. Aiden? Aiden: Maybe. Aiden: But what if…like last night when you got home. Aiden. questions. and to think for themselves out in the world. Jessie: So. Jessie: Aiden. Aiden: I’m done! Jessie: Me too. why don’t you think of the word or phrase. Does anyone have any comments or suggestions? Peter: I think that’s fair but sometimes you like being teased when we are playing around. hurt and angry. find out how their day was and how they are. that means to really listen and take me seriously. but what word? Jessie: Aiden. if someone comes home while I’m watching TV. Peter: Okay. we can say it and the others will stop. does anyone have any comments or suggestions? Peter: Well. Jessie: Okay. I guess that’s alright. I was watching my favorite movie on TV and it’s only on once in a while and you got home right after the advertisements and it was just getting to the good part. Then whenever you start to feel sad or mad you can say it. then what would I do? Jessie: How about if once in a while. not just Aiden? When any of us is feeling things are going too far. Aiden wants people to stop teasing him. Empowering our children to stand up to family pressure. would anybody else like to bring up a comment or concern? Mom: Well. what was the comment or concern you wanted to bring up? Aiden: (tears in his eyes) I want people to stop teasing me about not wanting to eat meat. So if I tell Jessie to put her shoes away from under the dining room P K C2 : Family Meetings table and she says she’s busy. but only use it when you’re serious. It’s often easier to resort to authoritarian methods of parenting but choosing families meetings instead is one of the most important things parents can do for the long-term well being of their children. so the family meeting is over! Narrator: Jessie pounces on Aiden and starts a wrestling match that Peter and Mom soon join.Dad: Yes. I North Star Family Matters | August 2008 17 . Peter: I’m heading back to my roller coaster. You even tease us about eating meat so how are we supposed to know when you have had enough? Mom: What if you had a special word you used when it stopped being fun and started hurting your feelings? Would that work. “I mean it” and she knows that it’s important to me. That’s all for me. to question injustice. Jessie: Okay. Dad: That sounds good. Mom? Mom: I think we can turn it off long enough to make a connection with the person. if we’re in the middle of a show or movie or something that’s important to us. Each of us is more important than what’s on the TV. too. Narrator: Everyone agrees. And yes. or concerns gets them familiar with standing up to peer pressure. So. we addressed Dad and Aiden’s concerns. and then we talk?” Dad: I think that’s okay as long as it doesn’t happen often. but if it’s important we can ask for a delay. “I mean it?” If I say. Aiden: How about when I say. Jessie: Okay. I feel better.
and sadness. even after surgery and physical therapy. In one class I gave. she felt strongly that she should have been “perfect.com. because she had been cranky and yelled a lot. phobias.P Emotional Toolbox EFT & Parenting By Anne Presuel Emotional Freedom Techniques. It is highly effective in addressing stress. anxiety. We believe it is one of the simplest and most powerful tools a parent can give a child. Judy shared that she had fallen down the stairs twenty years earlier on Christmas Day. The effect is an immediate sense of relief as the “charge” from the negative emotions is released. fear. I have been an EFT practitioner for several years and have worked with individuals and taught classes.” I asked her if she was willing to come to the front of the class to work with me on this issue and she courageously agreed. I asked the class how many of them wished they could do parts of their lives over as well. yet still. She thought her injury had ruined Christmas for her two young daughters. With EFT. which is why we dedicate an article in every issue about EFT. I tapped with her in front of the class as we talked about how sad she still felt that her daughters were grown and she couldn’t go back and change things. trauma. is a great tool to help anyone deal with the negative emotions and events of our everyday lives. This experience revealed an underlying feeling of guilt related to her shoulder injury. The pain had been there for quite some time. The technique consists of tapping gently on acupressure points while “tuning in” to a feeling or emotion while saying phrases that affirm how you actually feel compared with how you want to feel.NorthStarFamilyMatters. anger. It helped Judy realize that she wasn’t alone in her feelings. Judy’s tears flowed freely as she relived other painful parenting memories. a woman named Judy shared that she had pain in her right shoulder. much less think 18 North Star Family Matters | August 2008 . She got tears in her eyes as she said “Yes.” Her older daughter happened to be in the class that night and at one point I asked her if she felt her mother had ruined her Christmas. and most of them raised their hands. It is as useful in helping a child get over the pain of being called a name as it is in helping an adult gain emotional freedom from childhood abuse. Find out more at www. EFT. we nearly always find emotional issues that are underlying physical ailments. Her daughter said she didn’t even remember that Christmas. I asked her if she remembered what had occurred to hurt her shoulder.
smiling.” she said. She saw the world through that lens. I felt peace. I took a sleeping pill last night. 20 trust ourselves to be im- with me or emotional exhaustion. and said. Interestingly.. huh?” “Really!” she said. I asked Judy to share how she felt about that Christmas. “I don’t know why. “It comes and goes. felt. I received an email from Judy. Under noSe 7.I deeply and completely love and accept myself because 1. I don’t know if it was all the work you did 5. After class. It is so essential that we heal our guilt so that we can have a healthier relationship with our children. I had my own experience with parental guilt soon after. This is called the Karate-Chop point. I am tapping away!” The next week at class. Tuesday I didn’t take anything. but it was wonderful to wake up on Wednesday and realize what had happened.. thought.. but I went to sleep almost as soon as I turned out my light and slept through the night. “It’s been better since last week. it is significant. your pain is gone in your shoulder. Under Arm I realized how strongly I felt that had let my own daughter down as I was going through my own “dark night of the soul” period. saw. All I was present to in those moments were my feelings of guilt and shame. “And perhaps some of the guilt from that Christmas. We made some progress on this belief. but I really don’t feel anything about it. Tapping helped significantly and finally. CollAr bone 9. CHin 8. • Feel Sad • Hate Reading Start Here • Am mad at _____ • Feel __________ . even to the point of carrying the physical pain. inner brow 4. Under eye 6. Top of HeAd 3. and you’re sleeping better?” I asked. we are relating to them through the skewed lens of our guilt. These lenses color our perception of how others see us and we cannot pg. “Well. “I wanted you to know that I slept on Tuesday night after our class. as well? Not bad for a little bit of tapping. Judy.EFT Basics Step 1: Use the finger Step 2: Tap on points P 2. Say 3 times: “Even though I.” Then I asked her how her shoulder felt. Judy and I worked together a little longer on her belief that she should have been a “perfect” parent. Three days later. but it was the first time all week. North Star Family Matters | August 2008 19 .” “How’s your sleeping?” I asked her. otherwise. so I told her I’d work with her after the class was over. numbered 2-10 about 5-7 times each. it didn’t matter. but soon ran out of time. for example. Side of eye Emotional Toolbox tips of one hand to tap the fleshy part on the side of the other hand.. although she acknowledged that many parents wish they had done things differently. I suggested that she continue tapping on her own and we’d see how she felt in a few days. which colored what she heard. Even though I knew logically that I had been a very good parent in other ways. the pain is gone. starting at the top of the head and working down to the point under the arm. we’d been working together for about twenty minutes and I knew that the intensity of her emotions had been reduced enough to stop. rib CAge 10.” “So. It may not sound like much but I do have chronic insomnia and haven’t slept an entire night through in twenty years without the aid of sleeping medication. until about fifteen minutes before my alarm went off. but I haven’t really needed one until last night. “I don’t really feel that much about it. and felt such compassion for so many who struggle with their own feelings of parental guilt.” she said. but it was gone soon after last week’s class. While this may not seem like much. I appreciated Judy helping me acknowledge my own guilt. KArATe-CHop I am an awesome kid!” that her mother had ruined it for her! By this time. was so worried about an event that her daughter didn’t even remember. I usually take one about three times a week to help me sleep.
Then. Her daughter now attends college in Baltimore. and only then. move forward in the movie. If you feel compelled to apologize or explain your perspective to someone who was involved.com 20 North Star Family Matters | August 2008 . If you believe in something greater than you. Or. If you cannot ask them for forgiveness personally. and has been a passionate EFT practitioner since it healed her from a life-altering trauma in 2002. weekly. how do we remove the lens of guilt? 1. Begin tapping on the most intense ones. you are trying to create a peacefulness where it didn’t exist before. write them a letter inviting forgiveness in an honest. if you prefer. 5. Then. 6. The challenge is that we are often unaware that we even have these filters. Begin going through the incident as if it were a movie. a certified hypnotherapist. 19 C2 : Connective Communication partial. Trust yourself. rather. Whether or not you are conscious of it.ASecondSight. Beside each title. MD. heart-felt way. so your relationship with your children will shift as well. and you will begin to discover that as you transform yourself. ask for help and guidance while you’re tapping. work on forgiving yourself. stop the movie in your mind’s eye and keep tapping until you are no longer charged. 4. Try it! I About the Author: Rev. Florida with her husband. you will receive it. 2. You know the difference between these types of apologies. you must forgive yourself. This may be one of the hardest to do because your difficulty in doing so is most likely not related to your experiences with your children. you will receive an answer. Part of our process of becoming emotionally-healthy adults is to become aware of what we are thinking (our filter) and how we are feeling about or reacting to those thoughts. ask them in your heart. maybe nightly. Tap about one of the situations from your list on a regular basis. Give each situation a title or name. You are not trying to beat yourself up here. www. She lives in Pembroke Pines. When you get emotionally charged in the process. To find true peace.P K pg. Anne Presuel is an ordained interfaith minister. and go gently. a Usui Reiki Master. or monthly. Be kind to yourself. Make a list of every specific situation you remember happening with your children that you are not at peace with. So. whether it’s about some- thing you did do or something you didn’t do. rate the overall feeling and intensity of the feeling on a scale of 1-10. do it. 3. but rather with your experiences with your own parents. because you’ve probably offered and received both of them at some point in your life.
P K C2 : Connective Communication 21 North Star Family Matters | August 2008 .
The rapport we Downloading Days Downloading Days establishes the habit of sharing and listening to what’s going on in each other’s lives. they will be more comfortable confiding in us on “bigger” issues. trusting that then we will have the tools we need to support our kids if something traumatic occurs. Good communication serves as a blueprint for a child’s successful future interactions with the rest of the world. Empowering Questions help us stay up-to-date with our family members and maintain open doors of communication. it’s essential to begin establishing good communication habits on a daily basis in order to keep up with what’s going on in each of our lives. They anchor us in love and create a safe environment for future discussions. It might be an overnight at a new friend’s house. physically and spiritually—as well as where we want to head tomorrow. Without formally setting aside time to share. Maybe it is after a day at school. or just a few hours spent at grandma’s house. as kids move into their teen years.P C2 : Empowering Questions By Sue Woodward C2: Empowering Questions develop in Downloading Days allows us to ask Illuminating Questions and gain an understanding of the hidden truths that may be negatively affecting our loved ones. Lack of every-day communication in families closes the door for the discussions that are particularly important later on. There are two aspects of Empowering Questions: Downloading Days and Illuminating Questions. This is an important habit to establish early on. H ave you ever walked into the house and the other family members hardly even noticed that you were home? Do your parents know what actually happened during your day at school? Do you wonder whether your kids are acting responsibly? In today’s busy world. which 22 North Star Family Matters | August 2008 . When we can actively listen to and empathize with our children about everyday topics. Downloading starts from the time a child can communicate and kicks in anytime they are away from you. Empowering Questions reconnect us as we tune in to where each of us is today—emotionally. We never know which experiences are the “good” ones and which might be “bad” ones. we often forget to tell our family about significant events in our life (not to mention countless smaller ones). Downloading Days sets the course for our children to make sense out of their experiences as they learn to internally process and discover who they are in relation to the world. so we learn to open the door to all of them.
nonthreatening manner. Appreciate it and realize this is why we Download Days.” After one person finishes downloading. unrelated comment. Illuminating Questions allow us to do that in a safe. I understand. spouse. Try This: Ask your family to agree to try Downloading Days for two weeks and set up the criteria. the homework paused. the others are Active Listeners. Example: “Dad.” “And what do you want to do about it?” “I know! Tomorrow I will tell him to stop calling me names because I want to be his friend.. what did Jimmy really do to you?” “Well. “Jamie. Ask permission from the Downloader when an Active Listener wants to interrupt with something relevant or an urgent. You might be surprised by the end of the two weeks to hear some of their thoughts and feelings about life come out along the way. ask someone specifically. underlying issues. Once in a while.” Restate your understanding of what the Downloader is saying. Reflecting back gives others an opportunity to see themselves in a different light and to discover their own areas for selfgrowth and discovery. “Then I went to music and that was fun. significant other. time or events as a means of tracking the day and finding the emotions. If not. Ask general quespg.” “So. and that was fine…” Use the schedule of classes. why would someone say that to you?” “I got a better grade on my test and I think he felt bad. including parents! Encourage the kids to ask you questions and help address your concerns. this new kid wasn’t very nice to me. the newspaper put down until you catch up on the time spent apart. pay full attention to what is being said and listen for the feelings behind the words. or whoever lives with you. “I don’t really know what to do about this kid. Practice with your child. I really like playing the trumpet… Then my next class was gym. they suddenly remember something while another person is Downloading their Day.” “Is Jimmy your friend?” “Sometimes he is.” “Do you think you’re stupid?” “No. Usually one person will volunteer. As an Active Listener. Take turns Downloading and becoming Active Listeners for each person in the family. Downloading Days opens the door to communication. When anyone comes into the house the TV gets turned off. That trust is established in Downloading Days—the mundane and repetitive daily communication that connects us to how we feel about the events that happen during the day. 24 tions that open the door just North Star Family Matters | August 2008 23 . The goal is to keep those doors open through the good and tough times of life.means as soon as your child can communicate or as soon as you get home today. Oh.” giving him or her the right to interrupt for something important. While each person is Downloading their Days. and then what?” “What happened then?” “How did that make you feel?” Withhold your judgements and opinions. how about telling us how your day went. and then what…” “First I had reading. You may decide to make a rule that the Active Listener should ask the Downloader for a “P. These are times when we may need to gently reach for deeper. including the other kids or siblings. Jimmy told me I was stupid. “It sounds like you want some help with how to deal with Pete?” Ask short questions for clarification. when someone has finished their turn as Downloader. “So Carla picked you up after school. personal or business. don’t take no for an answer! Begin each session by asking who wants to download first. Make it fun and make it happen.” “How do you feel about Jimmy now?” “I feel sorry for him. as well as in the role of Active Listener as we pay attention and open our hearts to what others experience. A deep level of trust is required for children to disclose the meaningful answers that make Illuminating Questions so effective. Downloading Days empowers us in the role of Downloader as we share our experiences and feelings. realize that this is natural if you have not previously developed this kind of rapport with your children.” P C2 : Empowering Questions Illuminating Questions Sometimes issues come up in Downloading that aren’t ready to be discussed in a group or are too sensitive for the Downloader to openly discuss.S. Dedicate ten minutes per person per day. “That sounds like it was frustrating for you.” Bring up any problems or issues that might need support or input. Ask that they at least tell you with some detail what they did throughout the day. I dropped you off at school. “Yes. I guess he called me what he must have been feeling about himself at the time. if you aren’t stupid. the next person goes until everyone’s had their turn. Start at the beginning of the time spent apart and use it to jog the memories. Teaching our kids how to be active listeners helps them be successful in every future relationship. Then the Downloader has the right to agree or not.” “Why don’t you tell us what he did and maybe we can help. the wash postponed.” “So.” “How did that make you feel?” If you encounter resistance at the beginning.
I could move into the next phase. Three months ago we started doing the Daily Downloading so I started asking her some Illuminating Questions this time. the goal is to discover and discuss the fears and insecurities that lie beneath her question.. but to be a conscious parent is to choose to open the doors to good communication because it supports the future and establishes a life-long connection that empowers each person in the family.” With that. alcohol and drug abuse. but how?” We looked online and learned together the basics of reading notes. express how the situation makes them feel.” “Why. this is about you. “Mom. But this isn’t about me. and help them take action by asking for what they need. I started asking Illuminating Questions.” “Okay. limitations.” “You sound really sad about this. 10 being great. “I feel pretty lousy. “Mom. On a scale of 1-10 how do you feel about yourself?” I saw tears come to her eyes. sadness. you feel lousy because your clothes don’t fit and you feel fat?” “Yes. C2 : Empowering Questions On a Scale of 1-10. I remained calm and reminded her that we had agreed she would try to turn the situation around for two weeks before deciding to quit. I’m miserable. We want to keep the flow of conversation open for discussion rather than changing the subject or denying the concern with a response like. ”Karen. How Do You Feel About Yourself? Your Mind? Your Body? Your Spirit? Example: I wanted to address the extra weight my daughter had gained in the past year. This keeps us from overreacting to something that our child considers minute or from passing over something that is of significant concern. would you start walking with me after school?” It was only a baby step but I could feel the tension leave as we started How Do You Feel About School Today? Example: One day my daughter came home from school and we started our normal downloading of the day by asking “How was school?” She started at the beginning and as she moved to her music class. They allow us to uncover deep-seated concerns that our loved one may find easier to keep buried. I like my classes and am doing well. maybe if you understand how to read music that might be a good first step.” “You liked it last week. She picked up on it quickly—faster than I did! The next day she came home from school and said.” She played a couple of simple songs from her music book and radiated from the inside-out.P pg. When we can openly discuss things with our children we can better gauge the level of concern that the discussion warrants. I hate it. do I look fat?” Regardless of how we think she looks. etc. with the intention of bringing to light the type of feelings that are behind future eating disorders. I think you are beautiful. based on their own process of sorting through internal experiences and perceptions. do.23 enough for you to get your foot in. I guess. Don’t be silly. How do you feel about how you look today? How would you feel if you flunked your test? How do you feel about Casey not talking to you? These questions stimulate discussion in areas by asking a broad question and allowing our child to give a specific response. that’s why! “So. How does your daughter feel about her looks? How does Johnny feel about himself in school? Downloading Days opens the door and Illuminating Questions lead us right through into the sanctuary that is our children’s inner thoughts and feelings. decide what they need to feel better about the situation. I knew it bothered her but the last thing I wanted to do was make her feel judged or more self-conscious. I don’t know. school is going great. how good do you feel about school?” She answered as I expected. or out of balance. Do you think I look fat?” “Karen. “How do you feel about playing the flute?” “Terrible. “Listen to this. etc. None of us want to fail.” “What do you need to happen today to feel better?” “Today? Well. what happened?” “Well. “Of course not. We want to create a safe place for our children to express their fears. Karen?” “Why? Isn’t it obvious? None of my clothes fit. she informed me that she wanted to quit playing the flute. The teacher won’t show me. low self-esteem. Go after feelings with gentle questions.” “So. depression. We encourage them to expand their sense of self in the world.” “I am. Illuminating Questions are what we use when our daughter looks in the mirror and says. “Great. I don’t know how to read music and all the other kids 24 North Star Family Matters | August 2008 . When a child seems to be struggling. Empowering kids is about helping them build their selfesteem from the inside-out. on a scale of 1-10. What do you need to happen today to feel better?” “Mom. we encourage them to state their observations about the situation without blame. but I just waited. I’m the biggest girl in my class and I feel fat.” The goal is to help bring the feelings out into the open as we encourage self-discovery through communication. so teach your kids to take the extra steps until they succeed. Easier does not equate with healthier! Sometimes we might learn more than we wish to hear.
I said. twenty year old we both knew standing several feet away from us.” He went on to explain how locked-in he felt as a child. When we are concerned about something in our children’s lives. “If I had been able to create my own reality and identity along the way. we can help each other move through our negative feelings to a more balanced place. all dramatically set off by his black wardrobe. “Let’s go ask Caleb if we are on track. and now Caleb could only “feel” by the pain of a piercing or the thought of some other extreme behavior. I wouldn’t have the need to do this now. He had a beautiful. Use Illuminating Questions to create the habit of good communication within your family and create the parent-child rapport that’s necessary for Illuminating Questions to be effective when the need arises.” So we asked him how he felt about himself while growing up. happily chatting empowered-kid philosophy with a psychologist I’d just met. or unhealthy eating habits. reaction. Illuminating Questions offers a framework within which to address those concerns without criticism. sculpted face offset by hot-pink chunks of hair standing straight up. performance at school. It works with anyone. whether that person is an adult or a child. rather than when we think they should. we both focused on Caleb. Caleb was a gentle. exotic. we invited him to take a new perspective on his life. decorated with tattoos scattered over his body. He never learned to connect with who he was internally. anywhere. but so did Caleb. each appendage pierced and linked together with a chain. By truly connecting with those we love. When we provide a safe environment for expression. Helping our kids means letting them discover themselves through their own process of sorting through feelings and facts to make sense of the world as they see it. Imagine our surprise when he said. Using Illuminating Questions helps evaluate feelings without guessing or putting words in someone else’s mouth. The results are dynamic and meaningful because they are experiential insights from the person we love. As we talked about the importance of expressing ourselves and having our needs met. What a wonderful gift for the family! P C2 : Empowering Questions I North Star Family Matters | August 2008 25 . the issues that affect our loved ones come up when they are ready to deal with them.walking and talking. sweet. depression. As conscious parents we can recognize how easy it is to get stuck in our own ruts of non-communication. Example: One night I was at a party. opening the door to her fears. whether it’s their behavior in the family. When we asked Caleb an Illuminating Question. Not only did we have a better understanding of why Caleb made the choices he did. We figured that Caleb dressed in this manner in order to declare his independence and express himself. anger or sadness.
even momentarily. and caregivers relay to children influence how children interpret the world and the meaning they give to their experiences in it. M. We may not have much control over the events in our lives.D. requiring you to take the initiative. and information they assimilate. Just then your six-year-old son runs over to you and says. You have one of those days when everything seems to go wrong. Yet.D. your negative emotions and limited beliefs slip through. go find something else to do. we tend to model the language and communication skills we learned from our own childhood experiences. “I can do this!” or “I better not”? Do you remember how you felt? Do you know what you would say to your child in a similar situation? The Conscious Message Filter focuses on eliminating the negative emotions and limited beliefs we extend to others in our communication. we must acknowledge the impact our messages. or blame—anything to justify your anger and frustration. The messages parents. What did your parents tell you over and over again by how they said what they said? Was there a phrase you heard only once. Ph. we are the most influential aspects in how our children will perceive their relationship with the world. he fourth and last part of our C2 series is especially for parents. negative emotional reactions. or our emotional reactions.. It’s up to us to transform the messages we send our kids by examining our own communications.” It’s such a simple. but your response is tainted by your momentary. teachers. based on the messages. Throughout their lives.P C2 : Conscious Message Filter C : Conscious Message Filter 2 “Between stimulus and response there is a space. tell him he is not important enough in your life to respond to in a loving manner. reasons. Suddenly your mind spouts off excuses. loving request. responses. and interactions have on our children’s development. but the message stuck with you for life? Maybe the messages were nonverbal but came through loud and clear anyway. “Mommy. from his love of learning. Whereas most of our impressions about how the world works and our place in it have already been formed. or to deter him. be introspective and change your habits. The Conscious Message Filter helps us filter out the harmful or limiting messages underlying our communications. Without awareness. were the messages limiting or empowering? Did they make you think. In the above example. Overall. that may be the message he receives. children construct meaning from their world. tainting your communications with disempowering messages. As with most aspects of parenting. facts. the Conscious Message Filter is a process contained entirely within your own mind. will T By Wendy Garrido you read me a book?” You say. As conscious parents. 26 North Star Family Matters | August 2008 . your intended message is not to shut our child down. In our response lie our growth and our freedom. “I’m too busy. Unlike the other C2 tools. In that space is our power to choose our response.” —Viktor Frankl.
we can consciously choose how to respond based on our commitment to empowering our children. Each day the world moves forward in ways we never dreamed possible and each day your family can do the same. It helps us take responsibility for our negative reactions (fear. and not at you. and guilt) and the messages we send our children. self-confident. You feel a tightness or tension in your heart.J. Often we react out of instinct or habit. blinded from seeing the choices by our negative emotional reactions. anxiety. Take this timer. while also reassuring him that he is not responsible for your emotions. knowing that by bringing awareness into that space between stimulus and response. disempowering. and communication. will you read me a book?” Still such a simple. Unconscious responses lead to unintended messages. Once you have a negative feeling or limited belief use the Conscious Message Filter to pause the communication until you tune in to the message you want to deliver. blame. their rationale and most importantly. their source. we ensure that we deliver the messages we truly want our children to hear. Transform stressful. Make an effort to become consciously aware of that space between stimulus and response. 2. finding that space between stimulus and response. First. it’s set for a half hour and when it goes off we will read. sadness. stomach. Step out of your unconscious communication patterns and create a new vision of empowering your relationships through connective communication. compassionate. sadness. If the outcome we desire is a child who is happy. P C2 : Conscious Message Filter I North Star Family Matters | August 2008 27 . anger. Instead. no matter what the circumstances. for together we can change the world. compassion. It also sets a good example for how they can take responsibility for their own anger and frustration. How about we read in a half hour. increase your awareness of your own reaction. the implications for our children. guilt. Look for the warning signs: 1. Do your best to apply the CODE in your interactions. which releases them from blame or guilt. or elsewhere on your body. Set your intention for joy. If you can’t resolve your negative reactions. If you’re struggling with it. frustration. is to choose a response or action that empowers a child. and capable. When we bring awareness into our communication. fear. identifying the negative emotional messages that you want to filter out before communicating with your child. enjoyable ones.but we can control our responses. then our job. You are blaming people or circumstances for your own negative emotional reactions. honesty. make sure you take responsibility for them by sharing your struggles with your child. positive. 3. The Conscious Message Filter helps us identify our negative emotions. Our negative emotions are the red flags to warn us to pay attention. You are experiencing negative emotions and thoughts such as anger. you discover choices. and frustrating communications into fun. acknowledge that. “C. This process helps us discover our unmet needs and choose to respond out of compassion and love. Take responsibility for what you say and how you say it. but now you pass your response through the Conscious Message Filter. peace. Mommy is really frustrated and angry right now. “Mommy. The vision of raising an empowered child is the motivation to use the Conscious Message Filter. Let’s look at the previous example again.” This message empowers your child with information. loving request. etc.
size. Out lunch lunch chawhOwhOrge 10. How many times can you subtract 5 eggs from a carton holding 18 eggs? Rebus A rebus describes a phrase by using position. and gray when you throw it away? 4. A strange attraction compels me to hold your things most dear. highlighting. the first three signify a woman. or color applied to words in a meaningful way. What is the word? 3. and feel no warmth in my holding. Can you guess what phrases they represent? 8. How could this be possible? 6. ur ur ur ur hi way ur pass Solution. tips. Fill in the blanks below with the numbers 1-9 so that each number is used exactly once in each row. Below are four examples. yet I know it not. One of them is the father of the other’s son. What am I ? 2.com 28 North Star Family Matters | August 2008 .sudoku. and computer program at www. An electrician and a plumber were waiting in line for admission to the “International Home Show”. Jokes & Riddles 1. My brothers and I stick close together until one faces me. There is a word in the English language in which the first two letters signify a man. and the nine 3 x 3 squares. red when you use it. and then is pushed away. and the whole word represents a great woman. What is black when you buy it. the first four signify a great man.K K P K Games Sidebar Text Fun & Games Brain Teasers. When can you add 2 to 11 and get 1 as the correct answer? 5. column.
On the return trip the traffic was still as heavy but it took only 90 minutes. Why? What’s Different? 15. Massachusetts.Where In The World? 11. How many animals of each gender did Moses take on the ark? 13. it took a full hour and a half. Do you know or can you find out where this picture was taken? Think Outside K The Box Games 12. The numbers used are multiples of three from 3-27. column. The station is normally an hour away. A child is born in Boston. place a number in each box so that each number is used only once in each row. A taxi driver was called to take a group of passengers to the train station. North Star Family Matters | August 2008 29 . How is this possible? 14. Which three pairs of rows are exact mirror images of each other? JoojiruTM 15. But the child is NOT a United States citizen. and in the nine 3 x 3 boxes. Counting by 3’s. but with traffic being extra heavy. Massachusetts to parents who were both born in Boston.
K Coloring Page 30 North Star Family Matters | August 2008 .
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my first class was___. www. take responsibility for them by sharing your struggle with your child and reassuring her that she is not responsible for your negative reactions.Once a week. “I feel _____” (angry. and Empathy. Family Meetings The CODE Empowering Questions Conscious Message Filter . and uncover feelings and needs in compassionate. Appreciation. etc. Discover Needs Ask what needs to happen right now to improve their life. www. Take time to filter out the harmful or limiting messages that attach themselves to negative reactions (anger. love. Start when your kids can walk and talk! 1.CNVC. and information they assimilate. “I went to school. and not • Focus on what we do want instead of what we don’t want • Focus on the future rather than the past • Give everyone equal respect and equal say in the process and decisions • Commit to communicating until everyone feels that their concerns are resolved. Ask “Is there anything anyone would like to see done differently in the future?” 3. any member of the family can call a family meeting for any reason. 2. This helps kids and adults remember the emotionally charged events mixed throughout their day. Listen. as you discover a PLACE of Peace. tension. shouldn’t. * A full version of Connective Communication is available through our website. * The CODE is NSFM’s interpretation and representation of the ideas for compassionate communication based on the material of Marshall Rosenberg. We agree to: • Respect each person’s input • Let each person finish talking • Avoid using limiting or judgemental words such as can’t. Encourage Asking Help form a request that meets their needs and ask for it. Concern. Make it fun and make it happen. Connect Objectively Listen and clarify the issue objectively (no blame or judgement). The child or adult feeling most balanced volunteers to lead and opens by stating the agreements.com. E. open-minded ways. facts. don’t. blame. etc).D. C.NorthStarFamilyMatters. Everyone agrees to work together to find a way to meet that person’s needs. Downloading Days Every day take 10 minutes per day per person when someone comes home and go through their routine. as presented in Nonviolent Communication: A Language of Life. How do you feel about yourself? How do you feel about school? How do you feel about your friends? Increase Awareness Children construct meaning based on the messages. or as needed. Ph. support.). no. and then…” including both what you did and how you felt. Acknowledge Your Overwhelm If you can’t resolve your negative reactions.org. Clues for a CODE ALERT Use it anytime you hear or feel: Anger • Fear • Anxiety • Blame • Judgement • Guilt • Yelling • Sadness • Generalizations • Frustration • Hurt. sad. D. Illuminating Questions When you suspect a deeper issue. O. won’t. mainly from us. ask general questions that open the door just enough to give room for their responses. Observe Feelings Identify the emotions under the issue.
This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?