We are all parents of the next generation, even if we do not have children of our own. Conciously interacting with and supporting the positive traits that all children have (intelligence, compassion, confidence, curiosity, enthusiasm, and internal motivation, to name a few) is a rewarding way to approach our relationships with children.
There are a variety of ways of thinking about children and our relationships with them. While we are in the process of assembling a useful guide to resources and thinking in this area, we suggest these resources as excellent places to start exploring empowering ideas:
The Center for Nonviolent Communication
The Center for Nonviolent Communication promotes mindful communication and has a specific project intended to support parents in their relationships with children.
Strengthening our relationships with young people by providing attention and support to their needs, feelings, thinking, and creativity is one of the most enjoyable ways we can invest in a better life for everyone.
We also offer several workshops designed to help adults reclaim the joy of interacting with children in a way that is also a positive experience for the children, facilitated by Ryan McAllister. You can contact him to arrange for a workshop for a group you are involved in. Payment is not required, and an optional donation helps NotJustSkin to continue to provide services. Here is a description of the most general workshop:
Relating Joyfully with Children
In this interactive workshop, we aim toward the goal of relating with children in ways that are joyful, present, mindful, respectful, and supportive of both our own and children’s needs.
Through discussion and exercises, we’ll work together on actively engaging in healthy, nonviolent relationships with young people, including: being a good ally for children (our own or others’), identifying needs, being in touch with our needs, playfulness using tools for support, recruiting resources, being a good ally for parents, and handling tantrums and other “uncomfortable” parenting experiences. We welcome all adults who would like to relate joyfully with children, including parents, grandparents, teachers, and other caregivers.