Phases of the Moon, the newsletter of the Maine NVC Network
Volume Two, Issue Five: Using NVC with Children

Our newsletter appears once a month around the time of the new moon. Our purpose is to contribute to the NVC learning of people who have taken at least an NVC Level 1 workshop, and help us stay connected as we endeavor to deepen a culture of peace within ourselves, our families and the world. We believe a Level 1 offers so many new ways of thinking that additional support for learning and integration could be helpful.

We endeavor to make each edition informative, connecting, inspiring and fun. Please let us know how the newsletter might contribute to your NVC well-being.

This month’s theme is the first focused specifically on using NVC with children. We plan on returning to this theme, please send in any specific questions that you would like addressed in future editions.



Sharing NVC with Young people

by Peggy Smith, CNVC certified NVC trainer

When we yearn to share NVC with people we care about, younger people are often right up there on our list. Sometimes we wonder if younger people can relate to the concepts and vocabulary of NVC.

There are a variety of resources available for bringing NVC to family & educational settings. The Center for Nonviolent Communication has e-forums specifically for parents & grandparents, and also one for educators. These are ways to connect with others from around the world that share your particular interests in NVC.

Recently a member of the parents’ e-forum sent in a piece by forum creator and certified NVC trainer Inbal Kashtan, that I find very interesting as a resource. [Ed. note: The chart below was published in 2008 on, adapted by Clarelynn Nunamaker (email), from a post by Cybsus, 11 Feb., 2008, on the NVC Certification Candidates Yahoo group. It was re-posted to an NVC Yahoo parenting group in spring of 2011, attributed to Inbal Kashtan. Our grateful appreciation to all who helped create these translations.]

While I want to point out that NVC is NOT about the exact words we use, it is primarily about our internal desire to connect. When we put connection before correction and want to use the NVC approach to deepening connection, the following suggestions might come in handy.

Family Friendly Language
Accessible to children and useful for adults

The following are examples of ways to frame needs in ways that might be more accessible to some children.
Note that some children understand and enjoy the "need" words, and some adults prefer the language used below.
Choose by the quality of connection the language contributes to rather than an idea about someone’s age,
and by the language that works for you.
Translations of commonly expressed needs that tend to reinforce right/wrong thinking rather than supporting connection:
EQUALITY/FAIRNESS: Do you want everyone to matter?
Do you want to know that you matter?
RESPECT: Do you want to be cared about?
Do you want to know that your choice is taken seriously?
Do you want to know that you matter?
Would you like what you want to be included?
"Need" words:
AFFECTION: Do you want to be close? (A cuddle? Closeness?)
APPRECIATION: You want to know how we feel about what you did?
Would you like to know if what you did was a gift?
AUTHENTICITY: You want to say or do what's really in your heart?
You want to share what’s true for you?
AUTONOMY: You'd like to choose what to do? (How you feel? What you think? What happens with your body?)
CARE/COMPASSION: Is this really hard for you?
You want to know that we care?
CELEBRATION: Would you like to show how happy you feel?
Do you want us to join you in celebrating?
COMPETENCE / EFFECTIVENESS: Do you want to be able to do what you want?
Do you wish things would turn out more like you plan them?
Do you want to be able to make your plans work out?
CONSISTENCY/Honoring Agreements: You want to be able to count on things going a certain way every time?
Do you want people to do what they say they’ll do?
CONTRIBUTION: Would you like to be able to help? (Contribute?)
COOPERATION: Do you want everyone to work together as a team?
COMPANIONSHIP: Would you like some company?

CREATIVITY: Do you want to feel your power (maybe strength?)?
Do you want to explore what you are able to create (make?)
Do you want to express yourself this way (with music, art, etc.)?
Is it so much fun to create something from your own imagination?
FREEDOM: Do you want to decide by yourself what works for you?
HONESTY: You want to trust that people say what is true for them?
INCLUSION: Would you like to be a part of what's happening?
MATTERING: Do you want to know that you matter?
Would you like to know that we care about what you need?
MEANING: Would you like to do things that are important to you?
MOURNING: Do you want to show how sad you feel?
Are you so, so sad?
MUTUALITY: You want everyone to help one another?
ORDER: You want to find things easily?
You want to know what's going on around you?
PARTICIPATION: You want to have a say in what we do?
You want to be part of what’s going on?
You want to participate?
PEACE: Do you want quiet? (Calm? An easy time?)
PLAY: You want to have fun?
Do you want to have time without a schedule?
Do you want to do just what you feel like doing?
PREDICTABILITY: Would you like to know what to expect?
PURPOSE: You want to know what this is for?
SAFETY/SECURITY: Do you want to know that you're going to be ok?
Would you like to be safe?
STIMULATION: Are you looking for fun or something new to do?

Have some fun trying these on for yourself and within yourself.

Another resource for working the NVC model with younger people (and adults who have limited reading skills) is to use the feelings and needs cards developed by Hart & Kindle Hodson and available in the books, The No-Fault Classroom and Respectful Parents Respectful Kids. I have adapted these cards even further by whiting out all but one word on each card.

In general I find children receptive to the NVC approach. As you work with people of all ages I hope you will email me to share your mournings, regrets and celebrations.

The author wishes to express her deepest appreciation and gratitude to NVC certified trainer Inbal Kashtan for her dedication and presence for children and all who love them.

Peggy Smith is co-founder of the Maine NVC Network and founder/principal trainer with Open Communication
Contact Open Communication for a presentation on NVC for your organization or business.


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Further Resources:


Upcoming Trainings

Trainings listed here are in the Maine region. If you wish to list an event, please follow our guidelines for submission. Please note that both certified and non-certified trainers, (who are willing to follow certain requirements of the Center for Nonviolent Communication, may be leading the posted trainings. Listing here does not imply endorsement by the Maine NVC Network of the trainer or the event.

May 6-8, Brunswick, ME
Speaking True / Listening Deep:
Mindfulness in Conversation

Taught by Barbara Bash and Imre Berty
details and registration

May 14-15, Belfast, ME
Building Bridges of Communication:
an introduction to NVC

Taught by Peggy Smith / pdf icon details and registration

May 20 -22, Augusta, ME
Speaking Peace in a World of Conflict:
the basics of NVC

Taught by Peggy Smith / pdf icon details and registration

June 11–12, Newburyport, MA
Deep Listening & Compassionate Speech:
the basics of NVC

Taught by Peggy Smith / pdf icon details and registration

August 8–12, Hutchinson Center, Belfast, ME
PAX 495: Sustainable Communication

NVC 3 credit course in UMaine Peace Studies Dept.
Advanced Topics in Peace & Reconciliation
Combined NVC level 1 & 2 with full 3 credits

Do you know of students home in Maine for the summer who would enjoy getting 3 credits for a week long course in NVC? Do you know of educators, counselors, social workers or health care professionals looking for credits for recertification? Please let them know about this opportunity.

Taught by Peggy Smith / pdf icon details and registration


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~ Poetry Corner

Everything Possible
song by Fred Small

We have cleared off the table, the leftovers saved,
Washed the dishes and put them away
I have told you a story and tucked you in tight
At the end of your knockabout day
As the moon sets its sails to carry you to sleep
Over the midnight sea
I will sing you a song no one sang to me
May it keep you good company.

You can be anybody you want to be,
You can love whomever you will
You can travel any country where your heart leads
And know I will love you still
You can live by yourself,
you can gather friends around,
You can choose one special one
And the only measure of your words and your deeds
Will be the love you leave behind when you're done.

There are girls who grow up strong and bold
There are boys quiet and kind
Some race on ahead, some follow behind
Some go in their own way and time
Some women love women, some men love men
Some raise children, some never do
You can dream all the day never reaching the end
Of everything possible for you.
Don't be rattled by names, by taunts, by games
But seek out spirits true
If you give your friends the best part of yourself
They will give the same back to you.




Do you want to receive emails about upcoming NVC trainings and other NVC events in and near Maine?

Join the Maine NVC Network
Yahoo Group

The group is moderated and is only used for announcements of regional workshops and other Maine NVC Network events. Inclusion in list serve announcements does not imply endorsement by the Network.



sunset over the ocean

Network Gathering of Community / Forum

The Maine NVC Network gathered in Augusta on April 22 to continue the job of building and strengthening the Network. We left this meeting with a good measure of energy, enthusiasm and joy. You can read the minutes here.

We would like to ask you to join in the work ahead of us, volunteering in a way that meets your particular needs for community and participation. email

At this meeting we approved the structure implied in these two diagrams. The circle of the committees will give you an idea of what sorts of volunteers are needed and we encourage you to step forward. We are hoping soon to find someone to act as treasurer for the Network and for people who would like to look to fund raising to help underwrite the expenses of maintaining this project. To be in touch with the Network in a general way or with feelings or comments about these minutes, please write to this email and, to volunteer or inquire about volunteering, write to this email

Our next Gathering of the Community for the Network is scheduled for November 12 in Augusta. Please mark your calendar and plan to come. This is a Saturday and we hope that you can make it.


NVC Practice Group
Announcements & News

New NVC Study / Practice group forming
in Norway, ME

Will meet every other Sunday beginning April 3, 2011 FMI contact Leah: 877-833-1372

New NVC-based Mediation Service:
Peaceful Purpose Mediation Services
offers NVC style mediation.

FMI contact Leah Boyd, Mediator
877-833-1372 / email

Crossword Puzzle

This is a fully interactive online puzzle; we will have a new one each month which relates to the issue's theme.

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