Great Book

Written by Amie on November 30, 2008 – 1:53 am -

I want to mention this really great book that I just finished reading for the fourth time! It is called Respectful Parents, Respectful Kids. It is written by Sura Hart and Victoria Kindle Hodson. It utilizes the communication techniques from the book Non Violent Communication by Marshall Rosenberg. This book is one of the tools that I refer to again and again. So many people in our culture were never really taught how to express true feelings. So many of us use the word angry to describe so many feelings, when in reality we are really feeling something completely different. Often, the emotions that we call “feelings” are not truly feelings, they are thoughts. For example, I may say I feel insulted. This isn’t a feeling, it is a thought about what I believe someone is doing to me.

This book has some really great exercises to do with the whole family. I was amazed at how many times we were actually blaming one another for how we feel. I didn’t realize that was a pattern for us. This book has helped us practice taking responsibility for our feelings, and practicing naming our true feelings. We get to decide how to react to other people. I remember when my kids were younger, and I read NVC and what an impact it had on me. I realized that when my kids would say something hurtful to each other or to me, they were really hurting inside themselves. I learned to not take things personally when they would lash out at me. Instead I helped them to name their feelings and we would try to resolve what was going on. This is not as easy process! It feels so foreign to me sometimes, like learning a whole new language, which is really what it is.

I would highly recommmend this book, and also NVC. This has the potential to bring so much peace to our world. Every human being has certain needs, that is just a fact. We all share some common needs, and then we also have some that may be unique to us. When these needs aren’t met, we may lash out at others, or try to get these needs met in an unhealthy way.

Respectful Parents, Respectful Kids is helpful for families with children of all ages. It is also helpful for teachers, or anyone that has a relationship with children. I love the lists of true feelings, and the cards that can be cut out and used for identifying feelings and needs. It takes practice, but it is so worth it! It is such a wonderful tool that helps parents and kids feel more connected. It all goes back to those needs that everyone has-to feel heard, to feel safe, and to feel loved.

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