Tag Archives: Parents

‘Epic Empty Nest-er Transitions’


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

School for first timers!

Preparing for fall workshops in the community I was invited to a meeting to discuss what the school Counselors would like me to present in my Parenting and Teacher  getting Intouch Workshops.  In this meeting  I learned many possibilities for supporting parents who are getting their little one’s off to school for the first time.

Sitting now at this end of the parenting years (17 and 19 years old) and looking back  I remembered how lost my children and I where entering the first time.  We didn’t know we were lost!

I would like to say the first time was kindergarten yet we discovered each year and each teacher is a first time experience.  Sorry parents.  There are the milestones of being in elementary, moving to middle school and then up to high school.  Each time is a new experience.

Lets go back to kindergarten.  Even after a few years of pre-school immersion and early child focused classes,  school was a huge adjustment and learning curve for all of us.  Besides being able to cut, color, draw, paint and create little projects children that are attending kindergarten are now  expected to be able to:

  • have letter recognition,
  • write letters,
  • know the beginning sounds, 
  • have reading readiness (awareness of words going from left to right)
  • be attentive and follow directions
  • have polite social skills

  for description of each point – go to link

Wow!  My mother was a stay at home mom and these learning goals she  left to the teacher.  This was before kindergarten and pre-school!  Wanting to be better prepared myself I did have my children in a part-time pre-school and filled their time with other learning activities like early childhood music  and many socialization opportunities.  We also had a full schedule of our own activities and play learning.  Yet, when it came to school, we lacked the preparedness level expected of them.  I discovered that I had focused upon a different set of skills and apparently so did the pre-schools!

The first ugly thing to rear its head that became a huge distraction for us was behavior.  Yes parents in kindergarten.  A wake up call.  As a fresh new mom with beautiful and innocent children this was a nightmare and the last thing I expected.  We ran into bully kids, bully parents, bully teachers, bully secretaries, bully school principals.  No discrimination here!  Yet they all had one thing in common.  Each one was trying the best way they knew how to get their needs met.

I want to support kids in the best way I know how and that is through supporting parents, teachers and schools in finding new ways of integrating behavior awareness, that with practice, makes life easier and more fulfilling.  Therefore after the requests of the above mentioned meeting and to support my current classes I have begun this series of supportive tips.

My goal focus  is to present material to parents that would include the educators needs yet still include the parents perspective.   As I was hearing the needs expressed from the members of the school administration I was able to discriminate my parenting  needs without judgement either way.   Unique, yes and it will allow a rounded outlook that includes more equality.  

Parents stay in touch and find concrete solutions for supporting your children through tips and fall workshops.

For a healthy society ~ on Bullying for teaching the teachers

Which came first the chicken or the egg?  Really? Does it matter?  Who cares about identifying who should be responsible for teaching children about bullying and the outcomes when each one of us is a bully!  Yes, you have read this correctly.  If  we cannot identify our own needs and give ourselves empathy, what happens when talking to another person?  Can you then hear and identify their needs and  respond back to them in a way to connect to what is important to them?  If not, in fact it is bullying them!  Why, well think about it, if you hear someone and begin trying to fix it based upon your opinions, do you think they feel witnessed and valued or do they feel invisible and lonely?  If you start to hear them, identify with their story and jump in to tell yours to let them know you know exactly how they feel, do you think they feel seen or heard or has the conversation become about you?   Therefore, if it is about you and what you know and your experience,  you cannot identify their needs and acknowledge them as having any value.  Why?, they do not have the same needs as you in that moment.  Frankly,  it is not about you when you are listening to someone else which brings up the question of, “How do you think they are going to respond?”

I would like to generalize and say that I believe we all do this  and it is these little incidents that we are not aware of that become big issues for others who then take it out on others that grows and grows.   Therefore in my opinion it is a societal issue and one that needs societal solutions that begin with acknowledgement and training.   Unlearning through learning new skills that begin with individuals in ALL communities, networks and families.  It’s not a parental issue in my opinion as parents need the support of educators.  Educators needs the support of administrators and administrators need the support of government and government need support of who? YOU!

Season for Peace and Nonviolence – Teens Daily Value Practice for week of April 2nd

64 Ways in 64 Days – 15th Gandhi, King, Chavez Season for Peace and Nonviolence

Week ten, Days 64 and 65:  Strength grows when we release ill-will, anger, and hate and replace it with an overflowing love for all ….

  • Days 64 and 65 – CELEBRATION (April 3 and 4)

Today is a day to celebrate all the work that you have done. Be proud of yourself for being willing to be the change you wish to see in the world. “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”

Created for www.agnt.org and Season for Nonviolence – 2007 by Greater Dallas Task Force – www.64-days.org

Season for Peace and Nonviolence – Teens Daily Value Practice for Week of March 26th

64 Ways in 64 Days – 15th Gandhi, King, Chavez Season for Peace and Nonviolence

Week nine, Days 57 to 63:  By practicing being peaceful, we become better citizens of the world.

  • Day 57 – SERVICE (March 27)

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. said,” Everybody can be great, because any body can serve. You only need a heart full of grace and a soul generated by love.”  Choose one thing you can do to help serve the world. How would you enjoy serving? Make a commitment today to give back to the world in your own unique way. Every little thing makes a difference. Serving others makes you feel good about yourself.

  • Day 58 – CITIZENSHIP (March 28)

How can you be a better citizen of your community? You belong to many communities…your family, school, church, and your town. How can you improve your community today? Think about ways you can bring more peace to your environment.

  • Day 59 – INTERVENTION (March 29)

Alcohol and drug abuse cause violence and are a consequence of violence.  We all know someone whose life is affected by some sort of addiction. What can you do to help one of these people in your life? Encourage them to love themselves enough to reach out for help. Support them through this difficult time, and help them find the help they need.

  • Day 60 – WITNESSING (March 30)

Those who practice nonviolence look at injustice and think, “It is possible for this situation to be different.”  When you see injustice, what can you do to bring about a peaceful change? How can you stand up for peace in your life?

  • Day 61 – PEACE (March 31)

Thich Nhat Hanh wrote,” Practice watering seeds of joy and peace and not just seeds of anger and violence, and the elements of war in all of us will be transformed.” If you focus on peace, joy, and love in your life, you will experience more of that. But if your mind is filled with negativity, it is hard to experience the good in life.

  • Day 62 – COMMITMENT (April 1)

Take a moment to think of your commitment to nnonviolence. Are you willing to commit to a nonviolent lifestyle? What are you willing to change about yourself? Get with a partner and talk about this.

  • Day 63 – RELEASE (April 2)

Today, look back on how far we have come during this 64 daily practices of nonviolence. Make a list of what you need to release in order to be a nonviolent person. Is it your temper, your impatience, your judgmental attitude? Know that you always have a choice, and you can let go of things that do not serve you anymore. You can take your list and burn it, if you’d like. Release what is no longer serving you, and make new commitments to yourself to be more peaceful and loving. Know that you truly make a difference in the world.

Created for www.agnt.org and Season for Nonviolence – 2007 by Greater Dallas Task Force – www.64-days.org

Season for Peace and Nonviolence – Teens Daily Value Practice for Week of March 19th

64 Ways in 64 Days – 15th Gandhi, King, Chavez Season for Peace and Nonviolence

Week eight, Days  50 to 56:  Nonviolence challenges us to stand for Truth and take action that honors every human being.

  • Day 50 – CHOICE (March 20)

You have the option to choose a path of violence or nonviolence. We are always at choice in our lives. Today, choose nonviolence.

  • Day 51 – ADVOCACY (March 21)

“Every action for peace requires someone to exhibit the courage to challenge violence and inspire love,” said Buddhist teacher, Thich Nhat Hanh. How can you advocate for a better world today?

  • Day 52 – EQUALITY (March 22)

“Unity among every living thing.” Today, try to view everyone through loving, non-judgmental eyes. See them as though they are your own brothers and sisters.

  • Day 53 – ACTION (March 23)

“Be the change you wish to see in the world,” said Gandhi. Today, you have the choice between positive and negative action. Choose the most positive actions for the universe.

  • Day 54 – GIVING (March 24)

Giving and receiving go hand in hand. The more you give, the more you receive. Practice giving with no thought of return. Notice how people who never give to others, never receive from others. When you shut down your ability to give, you also shut down your ability to receive. Practice this and notice how your life changes for the better.  Give of your time, your energy, your material possessions, or just give love and support.

  • Day 55 – RESPONSIBILITY (March 25)

Take responsibility for your actions today. The quality of our world depends on you. What can you do today to better the world or even just your own environment? Think of ways you can be more responsible for helping your community, family, or your friends.

  • Day 56 – SELF-SUFFICIENCY (March 26)

Think about what you want to do for a living. What do you want your life to look like? What do you want to have? How do you want to feel? What steps do you need to take to get to your goals? How can you become self-sufficient?

Created for www.agnt.org and Season for Nonviolence – 2007 by Greater Dallas Task Force – www.64-days.org

Season for Peace and Nonviolence – Teens Daily Value Practice for week of March 12th

64 Ways in 64 Days – 15th Gandhi, King, Chavez Season for Peace and Nonviolence

Week seven – Days 43 to 49:  We can see and understand another person whether or not we agree with them.

  • Day 43 – UNIQUENESS (March 13)

How are you unique? What makes you different from your family? Your friends? Today, focus on your own beautiful uniqueness. Don’t judge yourself for your differences. Celebrate them.

  • Day 44 – COOPERATION (March 14)

When we work together we are stronger than when we work alone. What are some things you can do with others around you to make the world more peaceful?

  • Day 45—MASTERY (March 15)

To practice nonviolence, you must learn to master your anger. If you find yourself angry, use positive thoughts and count backwards, from 10 through one, to calm yourself. If you do this when you become angry, you will achieve mastery over your emotions.

  • Day 46 – COMPASSION (March 16)

Mother Theresa said, “Find someone who thinks he is alone, and let him know that he is not.” Today, offer your support to someone who needs it. Remember that everyone you meet goes through difficult things in their life. We all need love and support. Be that compassionate person today, and when you need compassion, people will be there to support you too. We must give compassion and love in order to receive it.

  • Day 47 – DISARMAMENT (March 17)

“…Nothing to kill or die for…Imagine all the people living life in peace…”- John Lennon. Talk to a random person today about what life would be like without weapons or war.

  • Day 48 – ECOLOGY (March 18)

Today, value the earth by recycling and using recycled products. Don’t just think for today. Think about what your world will be like for your grandchildren’s grandchildren and beyond that. It is our responsibility to heal this planet. We all deserve to have clean air, clean water, and a healthy food supply. Today, make a vow to stop contributing to the destruction of the planet. Do all you can and encourage others as well. If we want the world to change for the better, we must change it

  • Day 49 – HONOR (March 19)

 Honour the  people in your life who have loved and supported you through your hardest times, and those who will come to follow.

Created for www.agnt.org and Season for Nonviolence – 2007 by Greater Dallas Task Force – www.64-days.org