It’s no secret that my kids are the first generation kids who had one parent practicing a value based model of communication that began when they were beginning elementary school. A model of communication learned from Dr. Marshall Rosenberg, Author of Nonviolent Communication.
Practicing this model of communication at home has been a different experience than teaching it to others or being taught it. The difference has been embodying it as the cultural foundation of our lifestyle and relationships. Therefore our families learning has been through integrating our practice.
Travelling the path of transitioning from one consciousness to another was filled with immediate experiences and this mom did not know, or consider, the impact of any future outcomes. The focus was learning with each interaction as it happened. The beauty was the outcomes and the struggle was the extra brain effort to get there. From teaching experiences it seems the brain is a lazy muscle and loves being attached to what it knows that ultimately blocks learning anything new! Hence the effort.
This mom quickly realized that it did not stop the adventures of childhood that were not particularity agreeable, however, what was different was the interactions between parent and child. Spoken and unspoken communication between this mom and her children was deeper, connected and open, even in our conflicts. These children quickly learned to be honest and take responsibility for their actions versus *lie to justify them. They also became comfortable to hold mom accountable for any communication missteps. *lie – part of this system is to track and keep going back to the point so it is hard to keep up dishonesty as we learned!
However, trouble still exists/ed and as one child left home it was under misunderstandings and conflict. It was mom pushing bird out of the nest and a shock to baby bird. Luckily our value based connect was enough to transition the conflict of our differences into understanding and connection. Now this bird is coming home for a visit and will be bringing a mate for mom to meet. A mate who is interested in a pursuing education in ways of doing things this mom introduced to her families culture. Mom is curious and excited! Better yet she was able to discuss concerns and worry at the long periods of no contact during the 18 months away without bird taking it personally! Love this communication! What this child hears isn’t that they have done something wrong, rather they hear the concern and caring of this parent.
As baby bird one is returning to visit, number two is leaving the nest. This news came as a surprise! This child and mom had made an agreement that affected their future lifestyle. Then without discussion and mutual agreement another decision was made stimulating the disappointment of unmet needs. On a scale of 1 to 10, it was a 10 for this mom. The amazing thing is that there was/is honesty. There was enough caring to be in the process for as long as it took to find clarity, understanding and agreement. It has taken three months. What began as mom wanting to push baby gently to safely leave the nest, to baby jumping from the nest while recognizing that a relationships with mom was equally as important. Neither right or wrong, yet, we have felt our feelings and over time expressed what is alive for us. It gave us the opportunity to talk about the things we have withheld and now our relationship is transitioning into self-reliance. It is maturing in a healthy way whereby we are admitting our excitement and fears.
I shocked and surprised my first child and my second shocked and surprised me. What is different for us is that we have heard messages of meaning and how important we are to each other. In my first family the pattern was to withdraw, disconnect and isolate. I am loving being able to achieve a different expereience. It bring hope and joy.
Creating a new consciousness through learning to listen and speak differently does take effort in the beginning, yet, my experience is that it reduces the field of later conflict which is by far a bigger struggle.
It is this family experience that extended to our early childhood education expereince that led to the creation of educational programs called Culture of Values for parents, schools and classrooms. Find out more at Culture of Values or follow @learningvalues or on facebook
Renee Lindstrom, GCFP,
Feldenkrais® Practitioner since 2007, Value-Based Communication Relationship & Life Coach since 2004, Art of Placement since 2000, Founder of Greater Victoria Peace & Intercultural Celebrations since 2010 & Greater Victoria Labyrinths since 2012, #yyj Peace Week Calendar Founder – 2014 & 2015