When you think about how far society has come in the past couple of centuries it’s really encouraging. 400 years ago in the US the Salem Witch Trials were going on, an unfair, unjust, and outrageous series of events that led to large numbers of people being unfairly accused of being witches (they weren’t). The Crusades occurred not really all that long ago, the Black Plague hit huge parts of Europe (thank you penicillin), and the US decided it was a good idea to drop a nuclear weapon. The point here is that although there are still wars going on around the world and there are still societies that don’t treat every person equal, the world really has made strides in terms of providing equality and equal access to a high-quality life. There’s a long way to go, but the world is on the right path.
However, even in countries like the United States there is still a significant amount of violence. People get into fights with one another, there are shootings, and people get so upset when they’re driving that they try to drive other people off the road. Despite all of the progress that societies around the world have made, there’s still a lot that needs to be done. This is where nonviolent communication programs come in.
Nonviolent communication programs are programs that are focused on teaching people how to resolve issues that they’re having with another person without resorting to violence. These programs aim to give people the skills that they need to be able to resolve their disputes without having to resort to violence. They show people how they can ask questions to get to the heart of the issue, how they can talk to other people who they’re having disputes with, and how they can deescalate situations so that it doesn’t lead to a fist fight. Time and time again these programs have proven that they can be effective at reducing interpersonal violence for people of all different ages.
Nonviolent communication is particularly effective when it’s taught to young children. For better or for worse, most people model the behavior that they learn as children for the rest of their life. Thus, if programs can reach children at a young age and teach them about nonviolent communication, much of the violence that adults commit and perpetrate against one another can be reduced and, in many cases, even eliminated. The key is making sure that children are getting the skills they need to know how to communicate verbally with people who they’re having disputes with, rather than resorting to violence and letting their emotions take over.
There are lots of great nonviolent communication programs out there, like Nonviolent Communication for the Next Generation. At NVCnextgen, they focus on training and teaching children the ways of nonviolent communication. By targeting youth and empowering them to resolve disputes without violence, they’re working to make American society a more welcoming and less violent place for every child out there. Check out their website to learn more.