I have facilitated presentations and workshops internationally that are designed to help give parents, educators and other caregivers the tools they need to raise creative and compassionate children. My programs are based on my studies in humane education, nonviolent communication, and mindfulness and are designed to explore the connections among social justice issues and empower people to make a difference in the world through their everyday choices.
I very strongly believes that in order to raise our children to be a force for peace, we need to raise our children nonviolently. This requires us to critically examine the things we say and do to make sure we are modeling the qualities we are looking to instill in them, such as respect and kindness. The skills that we learn from practicing loving discipline with our children day-to-day can give us the techniques we need to approach everyone around us with the same patience and positive regard that we are cultivating within our families.
I approach my parent education programs with the understanding that all families are different. Everyone has different constraints in terms of time, energy and money, and everyone has different priorities. Taking the time to learn about the issues is a great first step towards making a difference, even if you aren’t ready to make too many lifestyle changes yet. My goal is to help you learn more about issues that are important to you and ideas for ways to live your values.
NEW! Mindful Mothering
At almost every nonviolent parenting talk I have given, someone has asked the question: “I read all the books, I know how I want to be with my kids, I am committed to nonviolence, but then my daughter pushes my buttons and I just lose it, and then I feel awful afterwards. How can I stop this cycle?” In other words, how can I stop REACTING and start RESPONDING to my children? The answer is simple, but not easy: incorporate mindfulness into your life. Mindfulness is not necessarily about spending silent, motionless hours on a zafu (though that will certainly help!) but about introducing moments of quiet attention into your day. In this program, we will explore mindfulness strategies that only take a minute or two, but will help participants “practice the pause” in order to respond to others – children, spouses, friends, co-workers – deliberately and compassionately.
Loving Families, Sustainable Futures
This is a 1 – 1.25 hour program designed for larger groups such as moms’ clubs or church groups. It gives a basic overview of nonviolent parenting for parents and caretakers of young children, including a brief discussion of various social justice issues, an examination of the five elements of non-violent parenting, and some simple but effective ways to incorporate these ideas into your lifestyle starting NOW. Materials include some simple activities that can be done at home with young children, as well as a reading list for anyone interested in learning more about any of the topics discussed. A significant portion of the program is devoted to discussion, so that parents and caretakers can talk about any specific concerns and share their own strategies for incorporating humane parenting into their lives.
Non-Violent Parenting 101
This is a one-day interactive workshop designed for parents and caretakers. Highly experiential, this workshop will help attendees examine the issues of human rights, consumerism, environmentalism and animal protection and the way they are all tied intimately together. We will discuss what exactly it means to raise a non-violent child, and we will look closely at how each of the five elements of non-violent parenting helps us to accomplish that. After practicing some activities that parents and caretakers can use at home with their children, we will spend the afternoon looking at our own lifestyles, thinking about what we already do well and sharing those strengths with the other participants, identifying areas where we would like to improve, and developing personal strategies for achieving our goals. Lastly, we will discuss some of the obstacles we face as we try to incorporate these ideas into our own lives and some of the approaches that we can use to overcome them.
I can also custom design a program for your group. Topics for which I have facilitated programs in the past include positive parenting, nonviolent communication, animal welfare, and consumerism. If you have a specific topic in mind, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org