Are You Using a Nonviolent Communication with your Toddler?


nonviolent communication

If you are asked whether you use a nonviolent communication with your toddler, you will surely answer yes.


Until last week, I have never heard about the term ‘nonviolent communication’.

One of my sisters who have a toddler a bit older than mine mentioned the name of Marshall Rosenberg to me for the first time last week. She told me to check it out on Youtube. And, she said it was about education without rewards and punishment.

I was intrigued, of course. So, I’ve checked it out and what I have heard really get me hooked.

At first, when you read or hear the term “nonviolent communication”, you might think of it as using an unpleasant tone of voice such as shouting at somebody. Or, you might simply think about raising your voice when your child does something that you did not like.
Non-violent communication is more than that…

What is a nonviolent communication?

In the 60’s, Marshall Rosenberg, an American psychologist had developed the nonviolent communication (NVC), also called compassionate communication.

According to Mr Rosenberg, we have been trained to give evaluation. We are used to think in term of who’s right or wrong. All these judgments lead to ‘punishment’ and guilt. This is based on a ‘violent communication’.

The nonviolent communication is based on four fundamentals:
Observation: Observing is different from evaluating. The focus should be only observing without judgment.

Feelings: The way I feel, my emotions should be distinct from my thoughts. I feel that my son son behaves in certain way with me but not the same with his dad. This is what I think but not the way I feel in regards to my observation.

Needs: What you value or need are different from a particular methodology for meeting needs

Requests: Requests are different from demands. I am offering my child to do something. But, I have to be prepared to accept a negative answer if he wishes to. The idea here is to find a way that works for both of us.

These four components work together in order to increase the chance of a better communication between people or a parent and a child.


If you want to know more about this concept, here is a video of Marshall Rosenberg explaining the Basics of a nonviolent communication.

As Mr Rosenberg said, we all know about it but we get off target very often.


Using a nonviolent communication with your toddler

So, how do I apply the concept of a nonviolent communication with my son who does not speak yet.

Let’s see how this works…How can I use this principles in my parenting skills?

For instance, my son has done something I am not happy with. What should I do? I might point my finger at his face to tell him to stop doing what he’s doing.
But, finger pointing defini tely sounds like I am threatening him for doing something wrong and this is what we want to avoid.

Another scenario could be that I am telling him that what he’s doing is wrong. Again, this is an attitude that I have to dismiss because it involves the game of blaming.

What I should be doing is to be attentive to my son’s needs. I should be able to find a way to communicate with him and find a common ground of satisfaction.

Does it really work like this all the time?

Using a nonviolent communication is not as easy as we think. We have been so used to a violent communication that it will take some time to undergo what is deep in our brain.

Also, you might argue that after a long and stressful day, it is very difficult to stay calm and patient, but this is our challenge. If we want to avoid conflict with our children, we will need to make some changes in our way of parenting.

We want to speak gently to our children in a way they feel loved and cared.
You know the power of words!
You know they can impact us in a way we might feel empower or not.
Therefore, we should use wisely words when we speak to our little one.

In conclusion, using the nonviolent communication method with your toddler or older child help us as parents to be compassionate without being judgmental and critical. This way of communicating helps us to connect with ourselves first. And then it enables to connect emphatically with others. Therefore, this type of communication allows a loving and peaceful environment.

And you, what do you think about the nonviolent communication? Is it realistic?
Let me know your thought!




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