Adolescence can be a tough time for everyone involved. Not only are hormones taking over the body, exam stress creeps in at school along with raised achievement expectations, parents want their sweet children back, and neighbours want parties to be quieter! This increase in external pressures heightens the need for empathy – a key element of Nonviolent Communication. NVC will help youth navigate their inner dialogue, giving them a way to express themselves and get their needs met more effectively, without needing to push people away; harming themselves or others while they do it.
Research has shown that empathy is the key to unlocking the cycle of family violence, criminal behaviour and addictive dependency among youth. Increasingly experts are realising the power of empathy (as opposed to sympathy) in helping keep youth on track, and out of the justice system. An article recently published in the Dominion Post said that if more people learned the skill of empathy, prisons would ultimately close.
Parents and caregivers can experience a mixture of frustration and despair as conflict in the home becomes a part of daily life. A tug of war can develop around the question of how to keep young people safe while supporting them to take healthy risks. NVC offers hope. It is a simple 4 step model that can be implemented immediately to support harmony. It is highly effective in transforming relationships and can help avoid unnecessary conflicts.
Nonviolent Communication has been effective worldwide in helping bridge the adolescent – adult gap. Whether living with youth or working with them, NVC offers a simple map that will support connection via the skill of empathy.
“Get behind the behaviour and you will see their beautiful needs” – Dr Marshall Rosenberg