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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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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
“Gosh. right now?” This supports the other person in discovering. “Are you feeling . 4. ∞ im’s father says.. then Dad wouldn’t be so mad at me. acknowledging. 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. When we do this.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. Even if you disagree with the person’s perception of the situation... unique answers.. K 8 3.. We can focus our consciousness on the other person’s feeling and needs by asking.. If Kim feels hurt by his anger and frustration. we are buying into the idea that we are responsible for the other person’s emotions and reactions. The first two come from our HUMAN reactions. 1. When we do this. We can take it personally and hear the blame and criticism. If Kim gets angry and responds with her own judge- ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ North Star Family Matters | August 2008 . The second two are based on connecting to the BEING part of us.” 2. we are buying into the idea that someone or something outside of ourselves is responsible for our own emotions and reactions. 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. I guess I should have taken the trash out even though it was Vik’s turn. because you need . “I feel .. their feelings are about their perception of what happened. 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. when I hear you say. she might think.” This is how we acknowledge and take responsibility for our own emotions/reactions. “Kim. 2.. this is the time to put your arguments aside and realize that their feelings aren’t about what actually happened. We can focus our consciousness on our own feelings and needs.
you realize that as a CODE detective. Appreciation. How come you never yell at Vik?” 3. to absolute feelings of sad. Ph. But it’s not always obvious how someone is feeling because the true message they want to convey is garbled up between judgements. To understand one another we need to learn a new way to communicate.” blaming. which is truly an internal experience. discover. “Dad. etc. Love. We’re not able to connect to our own needs and instead put our ex- pectations on others to “make us feel better. and criticism. helping us understand the reasons people say or do what they do. sadness.D. The CODE’s four-step process of investigation helps you reach out to others with compassion. 10 never explore. Compassion. and behavior is about them. fear. as we are too P K C2 : The CODE North Star Family Matters | August 2008 9 . Instead. reactions. With this knowledge. It can be understood and used by anyone. she might say. If she tunes in to his feelings and needs. Once you begin to understand it.” We lose our personal power and expect the reactions and actions of others to bring us to that PLACE of Peace. and understanding. or any negative emotion and discover the unmet needs behind those feelings. Dad. “You’re always blaming me. If she tunes in to her own feelings and needs she might say. you must be feeling pretty frustrated. love. support.” 4. afraid. It wasn’t even my turn. become aware that you are not responsible for how others act and react. to use the CODE in order to understand the true message. something most of us pg. and Empathy.“Gosh. angry. and generalizations. We do that by being compassionate and openminded. and Empathy. How has your day been? What’s frustrating you?” Healthy communication like the last two responses brings us together. not dependent on what happens outside of us. knowing that their emotions. Love. Something else must be going on other than just not having the trash taken out. The 1st step is to Connect objectively and listen without judgement or evaluation as you state the issue. We stop disconnecting and discover how to truly connect with others. not about us. no matter what is said and in spite of our differences. blame. Many of us have learned to identify our feelings but often the expression of those feelings gets clouded by blame and judgement. as an easy way to introduce the foundations of NVC into families with young children. Appreciation. anxious. we can investigate and uncover the true motives behind the angry or hurtful words people may say. nobody always does anything. the CODE teaches you to listen. you have the power to decode the scrambled communications we often find in life. and uncover the feelings and needs that lead people to act in unloving ways. The CODE is based upon NSFM’s interpretation and representation of Nonviolent Communication (NVC) by Marshall Rosenberg.ment and reaction. for you to exaggerate by saying I “always” do something. Instead of wondering why someone treats you poorly. anxiety.. We take anger. The 3rd step is to help the person Discover what they need to feel better right now. It is a tool that guides you to the PLACE we all want—that PLACE of Peace. moving away from “thinking. Compassion. she might say. The 2nd step is to help the person Observe their feelings. 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. The CODE empowers children and adults with the message that we are never responsible for anyone else’s emotions.
Whenever you hear these clues. however. put on your detective hat. and understanding. This is simply an observation of what we heard from Jenny. We want to hear how someone else feels without hearing the blame or criticism. needs that they aren’t even aware of. Kids shouldn’t say things like that to their parents.. Putting our own judgements onto other people disconnects us from them. or tones that convey feelings of: Anger Fear Anxiety Blame Sadness Frustration Guilt. We may observe Brad saying or doing things that we like. it is a judgement. “I think onions taste gross. CODE CLUES CODE Detectives be on alert for these clues! The CLUES for a CODE ALERT are any words. We are judging/evaluating how often is “enough. Judgement/evaluation. parents. with anyone. Judgement/Evaluation The use of Generalizations (You always. Shayna ate too much at dinner last night. Families can use it at home. An objective observation might be “That’s the third time today that I’ve seen Brad hold the door open for someone. can you remember what Those clues are the same clues you are looking for? no matter whether they come from kids. the more natural it feels and the more effective we become at understanding others. The CODE works anywhere. etc. reactions. The more we use the CODE. Judgement/evaluation. It depends. and start your investigation to uncover the truth! Now. we are making a judgement/evaluation. those around us are more likely to be able to hear our needs and more willing to find ways to help us meet them.” 3. And. even if they tell you that you are! Underneath all negative emotions are the hidden needs of others. Removing the judgements from your observations means you take yourself out of the picture and simply convey what you see or hear. Jerry doesn’t like the car.) Quiz Put on your detective hat and identify whether the following statements are objective observations. This is an objective observation.You never. An objective observation would be “Karina brushes her hair once or twice a week. as a CODE detective. finally. 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. 9 busy arguing about what we want someone else to do. yelling. actions. it’s a judgement. 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.” 7. 2.P K pg. moving C2 : The CODE ∞ 10 North Star Family Matters | August 2008 . bosses—anybody! The CODE’s four-step process of investigation helps you reach out to others with compassion. as we are empowered to take responsibility for our own actions. 2. when we roll those observations up into a description of who or how he is. This is a judgement/evaluation. or any other negative emotions.. and actions! Kids can use it at school.” which is not an objective fact. facial expression. He constantly. or whether they are judgements/evaluations. love. 4. 6. An observation might be “Shayna said she wished she hadn’t had that second piece of pie.” 6. no matter what is said and in spite of our differences. again. the 4th step is to Encourage asking for what they need without any expectation of getting it. Judgement/evaluation. 5. Answers 1. Brad is a nice kid. is making an evaluation/judgement about the taste of onions. The 2nd step is to Observe feelings. Karina doesn’t brush her hair often enough. Parents can use it at work. Jenny. Joaquim played soccer yesterday for four hours. however. thoughts. Even if we believe we’re right. The 1st step is to Connect objectively and listen without judgement or evaluation as you state the issue. We want to express how we feel without blame or criticism. 3. pull out your emotional magnifying glass. Objective observation. teachers. 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. Anytime we make a “should” statement.” 5. friends. Needs that CODE detectives can help them discover. not an objective observation. when we let go of our judgements and connect to the feelings and needs behind them. Jenny told me. think “CODE ALERT! There is a miscommunication in progress!” because you know you are never the reason for someone else’s anger or unhappiness. 4. 1. 7. Like “enough. tears. Remember.” “too” (whether it’s too much or too little) indicates an evaluation or judgement.
Chad tells his seven- teen-year-old son.” The 3rd step is to Discover the needs or values underneath the feelings. those around us are much more likely to be willing and able to understand what we want to communicate. Ryan may not necessarily be more safe. 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.” Instead of “I feel like you’re never on time. we translate what they say with empathy. What’s important to Chad (his underlying need) is to feel relaxed.” When we do this. Ryan.” Remember from step 1 that we’ve got our feelings mixed up with our judgements. knowing that his son is safe. we are forced to connect to how we actually feel. or trust) met. When we can express our feelings and needs clearly without blaming someone. even if they end with an agreement that Ryan will be home by ten. In the English language. 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. Chad isn’t feeling relaxed as he argues with Ryan. One way to be sure we are talking about emotions is to avoid using “like” or “that” after “I feel.” Instead of “It was rude of you to say that to me. we might say “I feel like you think I’m just your puppet who should do whatever you say. responsibility. “When you agreed to pick me up at seven and then didn’t get here until 7:45. you could say. Ironically. as we try to pg. that he has to be home by ten o’clock. Chad is so stuck on his ten o’clock deadline that he’s lost sight of his needs.” “I feel disappointed. they are more likely to be able to empathize with us. First of all. Our language makes it easy to confuse feelings with judgements.” Or. Then try and help the person figure out the emotion behind that judgement. 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. You might say “When you said ‘I wish you would just leave me alone. and secondly. I felt angry. partially to meet the curfew. We might end up with “I feel frustrated.away from judgements and thoughts. He might drive recklessly on his way home. if they get into an argument because Ryan wants to stay out until 11:30. partially because of his pent-up feelings of frustration about not having his own needs (for independence. 12 restate the feeling and the P K C2 : The CODE North Star Family Matters | August 2008 11 .’ I felt sad. “I feel like…” or “I feel that…” and then go on to finish the sentence with a judgement.” or “I feel sad. never even getting to our actual emotion! For example. For example. When you’re helping someone uncover the need.” When we are able to let go of the judgements and convey our feelings. we often say.
It seemed like it was her fault that her mom was mad. it is your job to make sure that you don’t accept responsibility for their feelings. “Carey. but fight with her nearly every day over things that could easily be replaced. She knew that was just another clue that she was on the right track by using the CODE. so you feel frustrated because you don’t feel well?” (Keep going until you get a yes. “Mom. The CODE empowers us with the emotional foundation and language skills to understand and support those we love. Jamison if she would be willing to take the time to ask us who was talking before she gets mad at us.P K need we hear underneath it. we want the person to do it because they want to do it. the 4th step is to Encourage asking for what they need without any attachment to getting it. she asked. When we become more aware of the messages we and others are sending. “So.” Step 3. 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. Carey. 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. Step 1. My back has been bothering me. I guess it makes me kind of sad because I’m actually trying to pay attention but I get in trouble. yet these interactions build walls between us. work was fine. but I just wish she knew that I actually cared about what she’s saying. and all too often something happens that makes us regret that loss of connection. are you feeling angry?” “No. “I can’t stand it when my teacher tells me to stop talking when I wasn’t even the one talking. Encourage asking. and having a tough time understanding her math. we have a much better C2 : The CODE 12 North Star Family Matters | August 2008 .) “Yes. they just don’t have the right to take those feelings out on others. I’m just frustrated. It is based on our past experiences and how connected we are to the BEING part of us. “Mom. we begin the process of uncovering the feelings and needs behind emotional and verbal attacks. When her mom got home from work. Sorry I was so short with you. If they are able to respect the person’s choice without resorting to anger. blame. 11 work and you want me to jump in and help you. I have too many things to do. I’m sorry I was so crabby.” “Do you feel angry because it’s important to you that people be treated fairly?” “I’m not really angry. When we make a true request. Would you mind making some soup and sandwiches for dinner.” “Oh. The difference between a request and a demand is less obvious than you might think. Instead you can empower others by helping them uncover their needs. A person has the right to feel however they feel. Observe feelings: “Mom. Finally. so do you feel angry because you’ve had a rough day at work?” “No. Here we want to figure out what the specific request is that could help meet our needs. How we feel in the moment is how we feel--it’s important to acknowledge those feelings. Step 2.” When we use the CODE. no problem. Then she remembered that she was never responsible for someone else’s reactions. Sometimes we assume that people should know what we want them to do.” Keep putting the feeling and the need together until you get a yes. So Carey found her PLACE and put on her detective hat. I’m not angry. we are learning to stop acting on those feelings and instead transform our feelings into a request to help meet our needs. not just because you want them to. Why can’t you ever do anything by yourself?” At first Carey felt hurt and sad. however illogical or inappropriate they may seem. I get home from pg. “Thanks for understanding. You may truly love your sister. Discover needs. would you help me with my math?” Her mom said in an annoyed and angry voice. It doesn’t really bother me that she gets confused about who was talking. I could also let her know how hard I try. so you’re sad because you’d like some appreciation for the fact that you’re trying to pay attention?” “Yes.” we’re making a request. 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.” “Thanks. With the CODE. Sometimes we think that if we ask in a nice way or say “please.” Example: Carey was working on her homework. but remember what happened with the peanut butter and jelly sandwich? It’s always helpful to be specific. So what might you ask for from your teacher? “I guess I could ask Mrs. by discovering their feelings and needs.” “Oh. then it was truly a request rather than a demand. Connect objectively. loving ways. What we feel and what we need is personal and unique for each one of us. These everyday fights keep many of us from truly connecting with those we love.. so they can find ways to meet those needs and shift their emotions. I think I’d like to go take a quick nap. and then I’ll help you with your homework?” “Sure. Typically the people we interact with are much more important to us than the things we argue about. but that’s not necessarily the case. etc. But even if they do take their feelings out on you. that’s it. allowing us to interact with others in compassionate.
We are there to help them find their PLACE. we connect with healthy. each trying to create our PLACE in the world. we are HUMAN BEINGS with the same needs. Create a vision for Connective Communication in your family. coercion. and the lives of those around us.chance of getting our own needs met. and reacting with understanding and compassion is the path to peace in the world. We are each doing the best we can given our unique life experience. finding their PLACE in each moment of life. knowing that whoever we are. After all. We learn to give from our heart with trust. Empowered kids and adults know that they are never responsible for someone else’s reactions. And. in spite of what they say or do. they take full responsibility for their own feelings and actions. 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. In doing so. and we transform our relationships. guilt. you’ll find you have a much better chance of creating your PLACE. Instead. CODE detectives move closer to their PLACE instead of accepting fear. conscious choices that empower our lives. blame. we discover a new way of interacting in our lives. no matter what happens around them. one person at a time. Instead. and changing the world. threat or punishment. the CODE works even if the other person doesn’t have a clue what it is! Uncovering the clues to how someone feels. shame. The CODE helps us discover the power that connects us all. We work together to empower ourselves as the detective as well as the other person! Because behind every action there is an unmet need. extending it to every person as you reach out with an open heart. P K C2 :The CODE I North Star Family Matters | August 2008 13 .
or the connection between members of the family is undermined. There is nothing more powerful than giving a person the right to call a family meeting when they have an issue or concern. but finding a solution that meets everyone’s needs is worthwhile. They see that compromise is a necessary part of life. the productivity of the meeting. they learn that they are important because their feelings. As part of the consensus-based process that family meetings are. reoccurring behaviors. parents. strategies. They also learn to respect others’ thoughts and feelings because they see that their thoughts and feelings are considered. Each one of these is essential to contributing to the equal empowerment. Family meetings teach kids to take responsibility for their own feelings and reactions. productive ways. 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. Anyone can call a meeting for any reason. 14 North Star Family Matters | August 2008 . needs and words are heard. They discover that making decisions can sometimes be challenging. while creatively addressing what needs to happen differently. and how to achieve that goal as a family while meeting everyone’s needs. 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. even if time-consuming. Kids learn to figure out each other. Family Meeting Guidelines It’s essential that all of these guidelines be incorporated into a family meeting.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. They exercise their emotional intelligence during family meetings. as well as how to resolve conflict in healthy. Involving children in family meetings helps kids fig- F ure out how to solve issues for themselves and others. More importantly. 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.
If one person has a tendency to speak for a long time and it bothers others. Avoid using words such as can’t. Let each person finish talking. but it’s much more useful to let others know what we do want to have happen in the future. we open the door for new possibilities. It’s often easy for us to point out what we don’t like. If there is a time factor. no. But if we truly seek healthy families and empowered kids. focusing on what we can do instead of what we can’t. the productivity of the meeting. 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. 1. 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. no. Anyone can call a meeting for any reason. won’t. “Does anyone have any suggestions or concerns about what they would like to see changed in the future?” 5. Focus on what we want to see done differently in the future. or the connection between members of the family is undermined. Even if you disagree with someone’s ideas or perspective. taking turns. The child or adult that feels most balanced or uninvolved in the issue volunteers to be the leader. won’t. When we challenge ourselves to find alternative ways to speak. 6. 4. child or adult. Without a single one of these. or if the conversation seems unproductive. 5. know that they are entitled to their opinion just as you are entitled to yours. ideas. Interrupting others sends the message that the person or their ideas is unimportant. Give everyone equal respect and equal say in the process and decisions. 3. The amount of time we can spend rehashing the past is unlimited. Let each person finish talking. Communicate until everyone feels that their concerns and needs have been addressed. Even if one person is younger or has less “life experience” than another person. don’t. don’t. The leader opens the meeting by stating the agreed-upon guidelines. 2. The leader asks. 2. can call a meeting. 3. and opinions are held as equally important and valuable. Avoid using words such as can’t. 7. and not. P K C2 : Family Meetings anyone. for any reason. Respect each person’s input. 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. you might have a family meeting on that topic to brainstorm ways to address their concerns by setting time limits. you might express how important it is that the conversation continue and agree upon a time to resume discussions. shouldn’t. it’s essential that we continue to engage in dialogue until every person in the family feels their concerns have been addressed. Family Meeting Agenda 1. 16 North Star Family Matters | August 2008 15 . Respect each person’s input. the equal empowerment. their thoughts. or ignore the input of someone who disagrees with the majority. each person gets their turn. whether it’s in regard to a daily annoyance or a life-altering announcement. In a family meeting. and not. Addressing conflict is sometimes challenging and it often feels easier to just ignore the problem. Give everyone equal respect and equal say in the process and decisions. Someone requests a family meeting and shares how high of a priority it is for them. Focus on what we want to see done differently in the future. 4.
Dad: It’s important to me that we keep the house neat and lately it seems shoes are left all over the house. Can we stay focused on what we want to see different in the future instead of blaming or criticizing? Dad: [muttering to himself] Well. he feels like he is always cleaning up after them. Peter: Dad. does that work for you? I promise to do my best to remember to put my shoes away. Sounds fair. If I forget I’ll do it as soon as anyone reminds me because I want to keep ALL of my Pokeman cards. You don’t have to give away a Pokeman card as long as you remember to do what you promise. because I’d like to keep them on a bit longer. I have a problem. you’re focusing on the past. I’ll be right there. do you feel we’ve addressed your concern? 16 North Star Family Matters | August 2008 . Dad and Aiden want a meeting. how about you quickly get to a good stopping point? Dad seems pretty frustrated. Dad and Aiden wanted a meeting. Peter: [with a slight sigh] Okay. Aiden. age 10 Dad Mom Narrator. so we’ve all agreed to put our shoes in the closet as soon as we get home. except for me. Okay. Jessie: Okay. Narrator: They all sit down in the living room. is it okay if we listen to Dad first since he called the meeting and then you? Aiden: Sure. Peter: Jessie. A Family Meeting Play Characters and Ages. but if I forget. Aiden: Me too! Jessie: Okay everybody. I like to keep my shoes on for a while when I get home. age 5 Peter. Jessie: Dad. Aiden: Who wants to lead the meeting? Jessie: I will! Okay. Jessie: Well. Dad. 7. I’m ready! Peter: Can we meet later? I’m busy working on a project right now. While nobody else in the family has even paid attention to where their shoes are. I know how important your Pokeman cards are to you. but if I forget and don’t do it when someone reminds me. I’m the one who set up these darn rules in the first place…okay…Jessie. it sounds like your Pokeman cards are really important to you and Dad’s request is important to him. Repeat call for suggestions or concerns. you’ll remind me. 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. 15 C2 : Family Meetings 6. Dad. I guess that’s usually why they end up in the dining room. 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. age 8 Aiden. Jessie: Okay. I’ll count on you doing your best. It sounds like you are really frustrated and I’m sorry. When all involved agree that their concerns have been resolved. I guess I didn’t realize that it was so important to you. Aiden: Hey Jessie. Mom: Sure. 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. Jessie: Dad. because I take them off as we’re eating dinner. what if you agree that if you don’t put your shoes away the first time someone asks. Dad: Well. Peter: Sure. Dad. I can make it a priority. I’ll give Aiden a Pokeman card of his choice. Peter: Does anybody have any ideas that could work for Dad and Jessie? Jessie: Hey. 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. I’ll put them away later when I take them off. Jessie: I’d like to find a different solution. Now that I know that it’s this important. and I promise to do it right when you ask because I definitely want to keep all of my Pokeman cards. so how about we try it and see how it works. 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. I’m back from my jog and I’d like to call a family meeting.P K pg. the second someone reminds me I will stop what I am doing and go put them away. How’s that? Dad: (frustrated) Jessie. one agrees on a resolution for the future. Jessie. the leader adjourns the meeting. Jessie: Peter. I would like some assurance that you will clean up your shoes the first time someone asks. ageless Dad: Hi everybody.
I guess that’s alright. Thanks. not just Aiden? When any of us is feeling things are going too far. Dad: That’s all for me too. Dad: That sounds good. I would appreciate it if each of us would turn off the television when one of us comes home or into a room. I can say. I have one thing. Peter: Yes. Aiden? Aiden: Maybe. and then we talk?” Dad: I think that’s okay as long as it doesn’t happen often. “Is it okay if I finish this. does anyone have any comments or suggestions? Peter: Well. hurt and angry. 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. Jessie: So. Jessie: Okay. Jessie: That sounds good. is that right? Aiden: Yes. Aiden. Peter: Okay. 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. that means to really listen and take me seriously. questions. then what would I do? Jessie: How about if once in a while. Mom: Sounds good. 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. Aiden wants people to stop teasing him. too. So. and to think for themselves out in the world. Aiden: But what if…like last night when you got home. Peter: I’m heading back to my roller coaster. 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. or concerns gets them familiar with standing up to peer pressure. Jessie: Okay. but if it’s important we can ask for a delay. would anybody else like to bring up a comment or concern? Mom: Well. Each of us is more important than what’s on the TV. or wait for an ad. we can say it and the others will stop. so the family meeting is over! Narrator: Jessie pounces on Aiden and starts a wrestling match that Peter and Mom soon join. 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. Jessie: Okay. Narrator: Everyone agrees. I North Star Family Matters | August 2008 17 . “I mean it” and she knows that it’s important to me. Mom? Mom: I think we can turn it off long enough to make a connection with the person. 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. we addressed Dad and Aiden’s concerns. Jessie: Aiden. That’s all for me. Empowering our children to stand up to family pressure. Then we can ask if they mind if we finish watching our program.Dad: Yes. Aiden: How about when I say. And yes. we say. but what word? Jessie: Aiden. I feel better. if we’re in the middle of a show or movie or something that’s important to us. find out how their day was and how they are. 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. “I mean it” even though we might be teasing or playing around. we all agree to turn off the TV when one of us gets home or comes in the room. to question injustice. if someone comes home while I’m watching TV. injustices. Then whenever you start to feel sad or mad you can say it. “I mean it?” If I say. Aiden: I’m done! Jessie: Me too. It sounds like you feel really hurt when we tease you about being a vegetarian because you want your choices to be respected. 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.
phobias. anger. The pain had been there for quite some time. Find out more at www.” 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. which is why we dedicate an article in every issue about EFT.” 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. yet still. anxiety. Judy shared that she had fallen down the stairs twenty years earlier on Christmas Day. In one class I gave.P Emotional Toolbox EFT & Parenting By Anne Presuel Emotional Freedom Techniques. I asked her if she remembered what had occurred to hurt her shoulder. EFT. fear. because she had been cranky and yelled a lot. I asked the class how many of them wished they could do parts of their lives over as well. even after surgery and physical therapy. We believe it is one of the simplest and most powerful tools a parent can give a child. a woman named Judy shared that she had pain in her right shoulder. It helped Judy realize that she wasn’t alone in her feelings.NorthStarFamilyMatters. 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. 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.com. we nearly always find emotional issues that are underlying physical ailments. She got tears in her eyes as she said “Yes. Her daughter said she didn’t even remember that Christmas. much less think 18 North Star Family Matters | August 2008 . This experience revealed an underlying feeling of guilt related to her shoulder injury. 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. With EFT. and most of them raised their hands. It is highly effective in addressing stress. She thought her injury had ruined Christmas for her two young daughters. Judy’s tears flowed freely as she relived other painful parenting memories. is a great tool to help anyone deal with the negative emotions and events of our everyday lives. trauma. The effect is an immediate sense of relief as the “charge” from the negative emotions is released. she felt strongly that she should have been “perfect. and sadness. I have been an EFT practitioner for several years and have worked with individuals and taught classes.
We made some progress on this belief. I asked Judy to share how she felt about that Christmas. Interestingly. saw. Even though I knew logically that I had been a very good parent in other ways. North Star Family Matters | August 2008 19 . After class. While this may not seem like much. Judy. but I haven’t really needed one until last night. “It comes and goes. “I don’t really feel that much about it. even to the point of carrying the physical pain. we’d been working together for about twenty minutes and I knew that the intensity of her emotions had been reduced enough to stop. Tapping helped significantly and finally. but I went to sleep almost as soon as I turned out my light and slept through the night. “Well. it is significant.” she said. Under eye 6. I usually take one about three times a week to help me sleep. “And perhaps some of the guilt from that Christmas. Tuesday I didn’t take anything. “It’s been better since last week. “I wanted you to know that I slept on Tuesday night after our class. which colored what she heard. but it was wonderful to wake up on Wednesday and realize what had happened. but soon ran out of time. Judy and I worked together a little longer on her belief that she should have been a “perfect” parent. was so worried about an event that her daughter didn’t even remember. we are relating to them through the skewed lens of our guilt. Say 3 times: “Even though I. All I was present to in those moments were my feelings of guilt and shame. CollAr bone 9. “I don’t know why.EFT Basics Step 1: Use the finger Step 2: Tap on points P 2.. I took a sleeping pill last night. 20 trust ourselves to be im- with me or emotional exhaustion. and felt such compassion for so many who struggle with their own feelings of parental guilt. I felt peace. as well? Not bad for a little bit of tapping. but it was gone soon after last week’s class. felt. so I told her I’d work with her after the class was over. • Feel Sad • Hate Reading Start Here • Am mad at _____ • Feel __________ . although she acknowledged that many parents wish they had done things differently.” “How’s your sleeping?” I asked her. until about fifteen minutes before my alarm went off. Under noSe 7. 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. I appreciated Judy helping me acknowledge my own guilt. it didn’t matter. inner brow 4. but I really don’t feel anything about it. your pain is gone in your shoulder. rib CAge 10.” she said. I am tapping away!” The next week at class. These lenses color our perception of how others see us and we cannot pg. and you’re sleeping better?” I asked. I suggested that she continue tapping on her own and we’d see how she felt in a few days. 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. Top of HeAd 3. I don’t know if it was all the work you did 5. She saw the world through that lens.” “So. huh?” “Really!” she said. thought. the pain is gone. otherwise.. numbered 2-10 about 5-7 times each. Three days later. KArATe-CHop I am an awesome kid!” that her mother had ruined it for her! By this time. smiling. CHin 8. It is so essential that we heal our guilt so that we can have a healthier relationship with our children.. starting at the top of the head and working down to the point under the arm..I deeply and completely love and accept myself because 1. This is called the Karate-Chop point.” Then I asked her how her shoulder felt. for example. Side of eye Emotional Toolbox tips of one hand to tap the fleshy part on the side of the other hand. but it was the first time all week. I had my own experience with parental guilt soon after. I received an email from Judy. and said.
and only then. 3. a Usui Reiki Master. so your relationship with your children will shift as well. Then. write them a letter inviting forgiveness in an honest. Tap about one of the situations from your list on a regular basis. Beside each title.ASecondSight. Begin going through the incident as if it were a movie. MD. and go gently. ask them in your heart. Be kind to yourself. stop the movie in your mind’s eye and keep tapping until you are no longer charged. you must forgive yourself. weekly. you will receive it. you will receive an answer. ask for help and guidance while you’re tapping. Try it! I About the Author: Rev. 19 C2 : Connective Communication partial. rather. a certified hypnotherapist. or monthly. if you prefer. If you feel compelled to apologize or explain your perspective to someone who was involved. Anne Presuel is an ordained interfaith minister. Then. Trust yourself. www. 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. 5. You know the difference between these types of apologies. and has been a passionate EFT practitioner since it healed her from a life-altering trauma in 2002. Give each situation a title or name. you are trying to create a peacefulness where it didn’t exist before. move forward in the movie. You are not trying to beat yourself up here. 2. She lives in Pembroke Pines. rate the overall feeling and intensity of the feeling on a scale of 1-10. do it. Her daughter now attends college in Baltimore. 6. because you’ve probably offered and received both of them at some point in your life. whether it’s about some- thing you did do or something you didn’t do. If you cannot ask them for forgiveness personally. To find true peace. 4. Whether or not you are conscious of it. but rather with your experiences with your own parents. Begin tapping on the most intense ones. Florida with her husband. how do we remove the lens of guilt? 1. The challenge is that we are often unaware that we even have these filters.P K pg. heart-felt way. So. and you will begin to discover that as you transform yourself. work on forgiving yourself. Make a list of every specific situation you remember happening with your children that you are not at peace with. When you get emotionally charged in the process.com 20 North Star Family Matters | August 2008 . If you believe in something greater than you. 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. Or. maybe nightly.
P K C2 : Connective Communication 21 North Star Family Matters | August 2008 .
It might be an overnight at a new friend’s house. We never know which experiences are the “good” ones and which might be “bad” ones.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. Without formally setting aside time to share. trusting that then we will have the tools we need to support our kids if something traumatic occurs. we often forget to tell our family about significant events in our life (not to mention countless smaller ones). 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. When we can actively listen to and empathize with our children about everyday topics. as kids move into their teen years. This is an important habit to establish early on. 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. which 22 North Star Family Matters | August 2008 . Lack of every-day communication in families closes the door for the discussions that are particularly important later on. Downloading starts from the time a child can communicate and kicks in anytime they are away from you. so we learn to open the door to all of them. Good communication serves as a blueprint for a child’s successful future interactions with the rest of the world. Maybe it is after a day at school. physically and spiritually—as well as where we want to head tomorrow. Empowering Questions reconnect us as we tune in to where each of us is today—emotionally. The rapport we Downloading Days Downloading Days establishes the habit of sharing and listening to what’s going on in each other’s lives. Empowering Questions help us stay up-to-date with our family members and maintain open doors of communication. they will be more comfortable confiding in us on “bigger” issues. or just a few hours spent at grandma’s house. 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. There are two aspects of Empowering Questions: Downloading Days and Illuminating Questions.
“Yes. Downloading Days empowers us in the role of Downloader as we share our experiences and feelings. they suddenly remember something while another person is Downloading their Day. Make it fun and make it happen. Example: “Dad. including the other kids or siblings.S. Ask that they at least tell you with some detail what they did throughout the day.” “Is Jimmy your friend?” “Sometimes he is. this new kid wasn’t very nice to me. Take turns Downloading and becoming Active Listeners for each person in the family. Appreciate it and realize this is why we Download Days. Start at the beginning of the time spent apart and use it to jog the memories. underlying issues. I understand. When anyone comes into the house the TV gets turned off. when someone has finished their turn as Downloader.” 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. 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. or whoever lives with you. The goal is to keep those doors open through the good and tough times of life. While each person is Downloading their Days.” “Why don’t you tell us what he did and maybe we can help. Practice with your child. as well as in the role of Active Listener as we pay attention and open our hearts to what others experience. don’t take no for an answer! Begin each session by asking who wants to download first. As an Active Listener. and then what…” “First I had reading. unrelated comment. Dedicate ten minutes per person per day. “I don’t really know what to do about this kid. what did Jimmy really do to you?” “Well. 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. the wash postponed.” “How did that make you feel?” If you encounter resistance at the beginning.” “So.. “That sounds like it was frustrating for you. and that was fine…” Use the schedule of classes. Jimmy told me I was stupid. “Jamie. Reflecting back gives others an opportunity to see themselves in a different light and to discover their own areas for selfgrowth and discovery.means as soon as your child can communicate or as soon as you get home today. personal or business.” After one person finishes downloading. You may decide to make a rule that the Active Listener should ask the Downloader for a “P. Then the Downloader has the right to agree or not.” “So. time or events as a means of tracking the day and finding the emotions. A deep level of trust is required for children to disclose the meaningful answers that make Illuminating Questions so effective. “Then I went to music and that was fun.” “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. including parents! Encourage the kids to ask you questions and help address your concerns. pay full attention to what is being said and listen for the feelings behind the words.” “How do you feel about Jimmy now?” “I feel sorry for him. Downloading Days opens the door to communication. spouse. and then what?” “What happened then?” “How did that make you feel?” Withhold your judgements and opinions. These are times when we may need to gently reach for deeper. 24 tions that open the door just North Star Family Matters | August 2008 23 . why would someone say that to you?” “I got a better grade on my test and I think he felt bad. Ask permission from the Downloader when an Active Listener wants to interrupt with something relevant or an urgent. the next person goes until everyone’s had their turn. significant other. the homework paused. the newspaper put down until you catch up on the time spent apart. Illuminating Questions allow us to do that in a safe. I really like playing the trumpet… Then my next class was gym. Usually one person will volunteer. if you aren’t stupid. realize that this is natural if you have not previously developed this kind of rapport with your children. Once in a while.” giving him or her the right to interrupt for something important. If not. Try This: Ask your family to agree to try Downloading Days for two weeks and set up the criteria. Teaching our kids how to be active listeners helps them be successful in every future relationship. I guess he called me what he must have been feeling about himself at the time. “So Carla picked you up after school. ask someone specifically. Oh.” Bring up any problems or issues that might need support or input. how about telling us how your day went.” “Do you think you’re stupid?” “No. Ask general quespg. the others are Active Listeners.” Restate your understanding of what the Downloader is saying. “It sounds like you want some help with how to deal with Pete?” Ask short questions for clarification. nonthreatening manner. I dropped you off at school.
C2 : Empowering Questions On a Scale of 1-10. 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. alcohol and drug abuse. What do you need to happen today to feel better?” “Mom. and help them take action by asking for what they need. based on their own process of sorting through internal experiences and perceptions.23 enough for you to get your foot in. we encourage them to state their observations about the situation without blame. express how the situation makes them feel. what happened?” “Well. I like my classes and am doing well. “Of course not.” “Why. you feel lousy because your clothes don’t fit and you feel fat?” “Yes. that’s why! “So. I hate it. “How do you feel about playing the flute?” “Terrible.” With that. so teach your kids to take the extra steps until they succeed. Empowering kids is about helping them build their selfesteem from the inside-out.. school is going great.” She played a couple of simple songs from her music book and radiated from the inside-out. I don’t know how to read music and all the other kids 24 North Star Family Matters | August 2008 . 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. sadness. We want to keep the flow of conversation open for discussion rather than changing the subject or denying the concern with a response like. They allow us to uncover deep-seated concerns that our loved one may find easier to keep buried. On a scale of 1-10 how do you feel about yourself?” I saw tears come to her eyes. 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. maybe if you understand how to read music that might be a good first step. depression. with the intention of bringing to light the type of feelings that are behind future eating disorders. etc. The teacher won’t show me.” “So. I could move into the next phase. We want to create a safe place for our children to express their fears.P pg. do. on a scale of 1-10.” “I am. None of us want to fail. but how?” We looked online and learned together the basics of reading notes. Don’t be silly. 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. I started asking Illuminating Questions. But this isn’t about me. ”Karen. 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. “Mom. Go after feelings with gentle questions. When we can openly discuss things with our children we can better gauge the level of concern that the discussion warrants. decide what they need to feel better about the situation. I’m miserable. I don’t know. I guess.” “You sound really sad about this.” “What do you need to happen today to feel better?” “Today? Well. “Listen to this. I think you are beautiful. this is about you. Karen?” “Why? Isn’t it obvious? None of my clothes fit.” The goal is to help bring the feelings out into the open as we encourage self-discovery through communication. When a child seems to be struggling. etc. This keeps us from overreacting to something that our child considers minute or from passing over something that is of significant concern. “Mom. Three months ago we started doing the Daily Downloading so I started asking her some Illuminating Questions this time. She picked up on it quickly—faster than I did! The next day she came home from school and said. limitations. or out of balance. low self-esteem. but I just waited. the goal is to discover and discuss the fears and insecurities that lie beneath her question. Illuminating Questions are what we use when our daughter looks in the mirror and says. We encourage them to expand their sense of self in the world. how good do you feel about school?” She answered as I expected. Easier does not equate with healthier! Sometimes we might learn more than we wish to hear. 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. I’m the biggest girl in my class and I feel fat. “Great. 10 being great.” “You liked it last week.” “Okay. she informed me that she wanted to quit playing the flute. Do you think I look fat?” “Karen. “I feel pretty lousy. do I look fat?” Regardless of how we think she looks. I knew it bothered her but the last thing I wanted to do was make her feel judged or more self-conscious.
” So we asked him how he felt about himself while growing up. happily chatting empowered-kid philosophy with a psychologist I’d just met. and now Caleb could only “feel” by the pain of a piercing or the thought of some other extreme behavior. Imagine our surprise when he said. but so did Caleb. I wouldn’t have the need to do this now. each appendage pierced and linked together with a chain. the issues that affect our loved ones come up when they are ready to deal with them. 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. Using Illuminating Questions helps evaluate feelings without guessing or putting words in someone else’s mouth. sculpted face offset by hot-pink chunks of hair standing straight up. It works with anyone. or unhealthy eating habits. When we asked Caleb an Illuminating Question. anger or sadness. twenty year old we both knew standing several feet away from us. I said. decorated with tattoos scattered over his body. When we are concerned about something in our children’s lives.” He went on to explain how locked-in he felt as a child. performance at school. anywhere. exotic. By truly connecting with those we love. We figured that Caleb dressed in this manner in order to declare his independence and express himself. As conscious parents we can recognize how easy it is to get stuck in our own ruts of non-communication. “If I had been able to create my own reality and identity along the way. reaction. What a wonderful gift for the family! P C2 : Empowering Questions I North Star Family Matters | August 2008 25 . The results are dynamic and meaningful because they are experiential insights from the person we love. “Let’s go ask Caleb if we are on track. depression. whether that person is an adult or a child. rather than when we think they should. Illuminating Questions offers a framework within which to address those concerns without criticism. Example: One night I was at a party. He had a beautiful.walking and talking. 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. we can help each other move through our negative feelings to a more balanced place. opening the door to her fears. we both focused on Caleb. When we provide a safe environment for expression. we invited him to take a new perspective on his life. sweet. whether it’s their behavior in the family. Caleb was a gentle. He never learned to connect with who he was internally. Not only did we have a better understanding of why Caleb made the choices he did. all dramatically set off by his black wardrobe. As we talked about the importance of expressing ourselves and having our needs met.
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. he fourth and last part of our C2 series is especially for parents. or blame—anything to justify your anger and frustration. “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. As with most aspects of parenting. from his love of learning. “I’m too busy. Overall. we tend to model the language and communication skills we learned from our own childhood experiences. Whereas most of our impressions about how the world works and our place in it have already been formed. Ph. reasons. In that space is our power to choose our response. M. we must acknowledge the impact our messages. As conscious parents. and interactions have on our children’s development. Throughout their lives. that may be the message he receives.. but the message stuck with you for life? Maybe the messages were nonverbal but came through loud and clear anyway. The Conscious Message Filter helps us filter out the harmful or limiting messages underlying our communications. even momentarily. The messages parents. your negative emotions and limited beliefs slip through. “Mommy. responses. In our response lie our growth and our freedom. we are the most influential aspects in how our children will perceive their relationship with the world.D. You have one of those days when everything seems to go wrong. your intended message is not to shut our child down. and information they assimilate. Suddenly your mind spouts off excuses. or our emotional reactions.D. Without awareness. In the above example. Unlike the other C2 tools. were the messages limiting or empowering? Did they make you think. loving request. or to deter him. based on the messages. negative emotional reactions. will T By Wendy Garrido you read me a book?” You say. and caregivers relay to children influence how children interpret the world and the meaning they give to their experiences in it. requiring you to take the initiative. go find something else to do. the Conscious Message Filter is a process contained entirely within your own mind. 26 North Star Family Matters | August 2008 .” It’s such a simple. Just then your six-year-old son runs over to you and says. be introspective and change your habits. but your response is tainted by your momentary.” —Viktor Frankl. teachers. We may not have much control over the events in our lives. tainting your communications with disempowering messages. Yet. tell him he is not important enough in your life to respond to in a loving manner.P C2 : Conscious Message Filter C : Conscious Message Filter 2 “Between stimulus and response there is a space. children construct meaning from their world. It’s up to us to transform the messages we send our kids by examining our own communications. facts.
honesty. guilt. How about we read in a half hour. P C2 : Conscious Message Filter I North Star Family Matters | August 2008 27 . loving request. their rationale and most importantly. and capable. etc. Look for the warning signs: 1.” This message empowers your child with information. First. Mommy is really frustrated and angry right now. If you can’t resolve your negative reactions. Our negative emotions are the red flags to warn us to pay attention. 3. You feel a tightness or tension in your heart. disempowering. while also reassuring him that he is not responsible for your emotions. Unconscious responses lead to unintended messages. compassionate. it’s set for a half hour and when it goes off we will read. sadness. frustration. 2.but we can control our responses. 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. enjoyable ones. “Mommy. their source. stomach. will you read me a book?” Still such a simple. and guilt) and the messages we send our children. Transform stressful. Instead. or elsewhere on your body. blinded from seeing the choices by our negative emotional reactions. no matter what the circumstances. Make an effort to become consciously aware of that space between stimulus and response. acknowledge that. blame. Each day the world moves forward in ways we never dreamed possible and each day your family can do the same. When we bring awareness into our communication. The Conscious Message Filter helps us identify our negative emotions. make sure you take responsibility for them by sharing your struggles with your child. You are blaming people or circumstances for your own negative emotional reactions. then our job. peace. Set your intention for joy. compassion. and frustrating communications into fun. This process helps us discover our unmet needs and choose to respond out of compassion and love. finding that space between stimulus and response. fear. Do your best to apply the CODE in your interactions. Take responsibility for what you say and how you say it. which releases them from blame or guilt. is to choose a response or action that empowers a child. Let’s look at the previous example again. for together we can change the world. Often we react out of instinct or habit. anger. You are experiencing negative emotions and thoughts such as anger. knowing that by bringing awareness into that space between stimulus and response. sadness. Take this timer. If the outcome we desire is a child who is happy. we can consciously choose how to respond based on our commitment to empowering our children. positive. Step out of your unconscious communication patterns and create a new vision of empowering your relationships through connective communication.J. and communication. anxiety. we ensure that we deliver the messages we truly want our children to hear. If you’re struggling with it. self-confident. but now you pass your response through the Conscious Message Filter. It helps us take responsibility for our negative reactions (fear. increase your awareness of your own reaction. The vision of raising an empowered child is the motivation to use the Conscious Message Filter. and not at you. It also sets a good example for how they can take responsibility for their own anger and frustration. you discover choices. the implications for our children. “C. identifying the negative emotional messages that you want to filter out before communicating with your child.
column. red when you use it.com 28 North Star Family Matters | August 2008 . How many times can you subtract 5 eggs from a carton holding 18 eggs? Rebus A rebus describes a phrase by using position. Below are four examples. ur ur ur ur hi way ur pass Solution.sudoku. highlighting. Out lunch lunch chawhOwhOrge 10. the first four signify a great man. 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. What is black when you buy it. and the nine 3 x 3 squares. A strange attraction compels me to hold your things most dear. Can you guess what phrases they represent? 8. the first three signify a woman. yet I know it not. and then is pushed away. There is a word in the English language in which the first two letters signify a man.K K P K Games Sidebar Text Fun & Games Brain Teasers. tips. What is the word? 3. and computer program at www. When can you add 2 to 11 and get 1 as the correct answer? 5. and feel no warmth in my holding. How could this be possible? 6. and the whole word represents a great woman. What am I ? 2. One of them is the father of the other’s son. size. and gray when you throw it away? 4. or color applied to words in a meaningful way. Fill in the blanks below with the numbers 1-9 so that each number is used exactly once in each row.
it took a full hour and a half. North Star Family Matters | August 2008 29 . Which three pairs of rows are exact mirror images of each other? JoojiruTM 15. A child is born in Boston. The numbers used are multiples of three from 3-27. But the child is NOT a United States citizen. How is this possible? 14. Massachusetts to parents who were both born in Boston. place a number in each box so that each number is used only once in each row. but with traffic being extra heavy. The station is normally an hour away. Counting by 3’s. A taxi driver was called to take a group of passengers to the train station. Do you know or can you find out where this picture was taken? Think Outside K The Box Games 12. On the return trip the traffic was still as heavy but it took only 90 minutes. Why? What’s Different? 15. How many animals of each gender did Moses take on the ark? 13. Massachusetts.Where In The World? 11. and in the nine 3 x 3 boxes. column.
K Coloring Page 30 North Star Family Matters | August 2008 .
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* A full version of Connective Communication is available through our website. Family Meetings The CODE Empowering Questions Conscious Message Filter . sad.CNVC. mainly from us. www.Once a week. Ask “Is there anything anyone would like to see done differently in the future?” 3. or as needed.). Appreciation. ask general questions that open the door just enough to give room for their responses. blame. E. my first class was___. facts. Connect Objectively Listen and clarify the issue objectively (no blame or judgement). 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. Listen. Take time to filter out the harmful or limiting messages that attach themselves to negative reactions (anger. support. etc. D. O. Clues for a CODE ALERT Use it anytime you hear or feel: Anger • Fear • Anxiety • Blame • Judgement • Guilt • Yelling • Sadness • Generalizations • Frustration • Hurt. and information they assimilate. This helps kids and adults remember the emotionally charged events mixed throughout their day. as you discover a PLACE of Peace. Ph. tension. Start when your kids can walk and talk! 1. and Empathy. any member of the family can call a family meeting for any reason. We agree to: • Respect each person’s input • Let each person finish talking • Avoid using limiting or judgemental words such as can’t. and then…” including both what you did and how you felt. Acknowledge Your Overwhelm If you can’t resolve your negative reactions. no. love. open-minded ways. The child or adult feeling most balanced volunteers to lead and opens by stating the agreements. won’t. shouldn’t. don’t.org. take responsibility for them by sharing your struggle with your child and reassuring her that she is not responsible for your negative reactions. Concern.com. “I feel _____” (angry. www. C. as presented in Nonviolent Communication: A Language of Life. 2.NorthStarFamilyMatters. etc). Everyone agrees to work together to find a way to meet that person’s needs.D. “I went to school. Make it fun and make it happen. Observe Feelings Identify the emotions under the issue. Discover Needs Ask what needs to happen right now to improve their life. Encourage Asking Help form a request that meets their needs and ask for it. 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. * The CODE is NSFM’s interpretation and representation of the ideas for compassionate communication based on the material of Marshall Rosenberg. Illuminating Questions When you suspect a deeper issue. and uncover feelings and needs in compassionate. Downloading Days Every day take 10 minutes per day per person when someone comes home and go through their routine.
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