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NAP Parenting (often referred to as Peaceful Parenting) is a style of parenting that adheres to the Non-Aggression Principle.

The NAP is an ethical stance which asserts that “aggression” is inherently illegitimate or immoral. Aggression is defined as the initiation of force against persons or property, the threat of such, or fraud upon persons or their property.

We aim to make the case for adopting this moral framework, and then focus on discussing its applications within the family.

We invite you to submit comments and criticisms to all of our posts in hopes that we can better each other and the lives of all children through honest conversation.

About

We are a small group of writers, educators, and parents who are dedicated to living and spreading the NAP in homes around the world.

This issue effects people of all races, genders, and socio-economic statuses. We’ve all been children, and everyone’s childhood greatly influences their adulthood. Imagine a generation raised without being yelled at, stolen from, and hit by the people they love and depend on. Fortunately, this is a movement that we can all effect today, because it starts in the home, among the families we’re already connected to.

We need your help. Please join us in the current frontier of the age-old fight for basic human rights for all people. We’re fighting for the group that can not fight for themselves, and whose lives we have the most control over. Join the conversation, we need your best arguments (for and against), and most passionate public efforts to create the groundswell of popular opinion that ends the acceptance of aggression towards children for good.

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“I” Statements

I learned about “I” statements as a teenager. I couldn’t believe that such a simple tweak in my communication could be so effective in so many situations. “I” statements almost always start with “I…”, such as “I feel…”, “I think…”, “I see…”, and “I wish…”. What’s so great about “I” statements? Well, the way I like to think about it, is you can never be wrong if you use an “I” statement!  It’s logically safe, but also assertive and honest. So instead of “You forgot to flush the toilet!” you would say, “I see the toilet hasn’t been flushed, and I really don’t like how that makes the bathroom smell. I wish you would remember to flush every time you use it.” If you just say “You forgot to flush!”, it’s a very pointed phrase. The listener gets hit, in a way, by a condemning accusation. It immediately raises defenses. And you’re likely to hear an equally pointed rebuttal. “NUH-UH it was my sister!” or, “I didnt forget! I was about to!”. The conversation can quickly escalate. But the other phrasing is not pointed towards the listener. It’s all about you. There’s nothing to argue with. The listeners is thinking: “You see it’s dirty? Ok… You don’t like that smell? Ok… You wish I would do something? Can’t argue with that.” If you practice speaking like this, and see how effective it is, then you might find yourself using this technique more often than not. It softens your speech. Instead of saying “Beans are good for you” you could just add “I think beans are good for you.” or “I’ve read that beans are good for you”. Suddenly you’ve switched from a hard-line position that can be refuted to the opposite. But this technique isn’t just about hedging and plausible deniability. We don’t like weasel-words. Instead, “I” statements are often the most honest thing you can say.  “I CAN’T STAND it when you hit your sister. I feel so angry!” is direct and honest. It tells the listener exactly how you’re feeling. Even if the feeling is irrational or entirely based on subjective experience, “I hate the sound of Barry Manilow!” is honest and direct. But “Barry Manilow sounds awful” is a very different kind of statement, and is devoid of emotional content. When children hear “I CAN’T STAND it when you hit your sister. I feel so angry!” they are hearing an adult who is unashamed and honest about their emotions, but still in control of their behavior. Neither passively hiding their anger, nor aggressively unleashing it in an uncontrolled way. We should want our children to follow that example we are modeling. We want them to be honest about their feelings with us, without “dumping” them on us or being overly accusatory. It’s a beautiful thing to hear a child say “I think my brother stole my candy and I’m sad and angry about it! I want your help figuring out if he did, and I wish we could come up with a way to make it stop.” There’s so much in those two statements a parent can work with, compared to  “He stole! He’s so mean! You should punish him!” I’m posting some external links here (and under the Links > Solutions menu) to what experts have to say about “I” statements, and strongly recommend them. You’ll find more great reasons to use them, examples, and videos. https://www.goodtherapy.org/blog/psychpedia/i-message http://www.communicationandconflict.com/i-statements.html