Why non-violent dentistry?
According to many doctors a small table, crayons, books and teddy bears in the waiting room are enough to convince the young patient to cooperate in the chair. They can make the waiting for a visit more pleasant, but not eliminate the internal doubts. Children are not naive, and their emotions are stronger than adults’. Does poster with a photo of Pamela Anderson or George Clooney convince adults to overcome their fear? Will fresh press in the waiting room convince you to trust your doctor? It can control the fear because we, adults, are “tainted” by advertising. Children are not yet sensitized to it. They feel atmosphere of the visit with whole self.. They want to know who they are dealing with and see any attempt of deception. They want to be taken into account and to feel safe. And for that you need a person who can watch, listen, and knows how to talk to your child in the office, in a very uncomfortable situation for him.
Communication without violence (Non-violent communication, NVC) is a particular attitude in the way of communication (speaking and listening) to people. The name refers to the term “non-violence” in a sense that Mahatma Gandhi used – “behavior which excludes any violence and pushing. It is a natural state of compassion which is achieved when the violence has left our hearts. “
Contact between a doctor and a patient in the office is new and unusual situation for each of them. It cannot be repeated. Two people (an adult person and a small person) start a dialogue and contact at level of emotions. It is a moment that requires much attention and feeling. As a doctor and a mother I cannot imagine that in such a delicate situation there will be any kind of violence.
I am talking about verbal abuse where our words often hurt and cause pain in others or in ourselves. Verbal violence is psychological violence. The NVC approach is nothing new. Its mission is to constantly remind us of something we already know – about how we, the people, should originally relate to one another. Our words are to come only from the awareness of what we see, what we feel and what we want. With NVC we learn to clearly recognize and externalize our own needs and expectations in every situation. In each exchange, we can hear people’s deep needs and expectations, as well as our own. We can avoid many conflicts with it.
The main factor is the attitude of openness to the feelings and needs of a child. It is important to give him the right to these needs. This does not mean agreement to strategies/ways that your child has chosen to meet these needs. The fact that we recognize and call this needs does not mean that we will fulfill them because a child just needs to be noticed, to be taken into consideration. Then he gets what he needs most – attention and respect.
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