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Heart to Heart Families: Foundations Series

Course Title:

Parenting with Nonviolent Communication

Description of Basic Approach

The Heart to Heart Families Foundation Series brings a holistic approach to understanding your child’s behaviors and gives you the tools and awareness to address situations with far more clarity about what’s important to you and what’s a fit for everyone involved. This pilot program is based on Marshall Rosenberg’s Nonviolent Communication (NVC).

Join Heart to Heart’s Steve Tumolo and Chris Hartstein as they guide you through the process of building relationships based on compassion, connection and trust with your child. You will also develop an awareness of language that builds connection, collaboration, empathy, and empowerment.

"Nonviolent Communication completely shifted the way I connect with my children and my family.  It's helped me to understand the needs beneath my children’s behavior and my own! And it's helped me to develop a deep,connected relationship with my children and my partner." - Parent of a 5 year-old and 8 year-old 

“Parenting with Nonviolent Communication helps me to accept my kids’ emotions, all of them. When they're jealous, when they're scared, when they're angry. And I'm not here to fix that, to fix their emotions.  Just listening to them is enough." - Parent of 2 teenageers

“Parenting with Nonviolent Communication has given my family a clear path through conflict and big emotions.  I’m more relaxed about other people’s choices and more calm and compassionate when someone is upset. I feel more seen and understood because I share more of my feelings and needs.  Nonviolent Communication makes my time with my young-adult daughter really enjoyable.  I get to watch her move through her love relationship with curiosity and without criticism.” - Parent of 3 young-adult children

You'll Experience

  • Support in developing important skills for yourself and your family.

  • Reduced parenting stress and a sense of satisfaction in your parenting choices.

  • Greater cooperation, harmony and enjoyment in your family!

  • Learning in a supportive community with opportunities to continue skills practice

Course Dates:

  • 8 consecutive weeks on Tuesdays from 7-8:30pm EST.

  • February 23 - April 13, 2021.


$225 for one parent; $150 for second parent.

***We want this class to be available to every family.  Please contact Heart to Heart to inquire about scholarships if the cost is prohibitive.

Full Course Details 


What does the course cover?

In this course, you will learn practical tools that, used together over time, will build closeness and cooperation with your child while developing and modeling skills for life.

You will learn tools to:

  • Look beyond behaviors to respond your child’s needs rather than react to their behaviour

  • Increase ability to handle stressful situations with a calm presence

  • Create an environment where children feel heard, valued and supported, even when you’re saying ‘No’

  • De-escalate conflict while building trust and connection

  • Cultivate internal motivation to encourage cooperation rather than developing dependency on rewards or compliance to avoid punishment

  • Develop your child’s emotional intelligence

  • Respond to self-disappointment with understanding and care rather than inner criticism - growing the ability to model empowering self care

  • Understand and communicate limits with confidence and empathy

  • Say ‘No’ without feeling guilty

  • Cultivate an empowering relationship with all emotions and new confidence to support intense reactions.

  • Balance your needs with the needs of others

  • Move from reactivity to responsiveness

  • Discover blind spots in the use of language that keeps us trapped in habitual stereotypes, bias and limiting beliefs.

About the Facilitators:


Steve Tumolo is Executive Director of Heart to Heart. He is a trauma-responsive educator who specializes in accompanying learners through transitional and transformational moments of their lives. His unique approach brings together Marshall Rosenberg’s Nonviolent Communication, the body’s natural capacity for healing, and a holistic understanding of life. Steve is a Somatic Experiencing Practitioner (SEP), T’ai Chi Chih instructor, and a certified trainer with the Center for Nonviolent Communication. Steve has a bachelor’s degree in Management from Boston College, a master’s degree in theology from the Maryknoll School of Theology and is a Ph.D. candidate in leadership at Gonzaga University.  He is the recipient of the Elizabeth Ann Bogert Memorial Award for the Study and Practice of Christian Mysticism and the OPUS Vision Award from Pacifica Graduate Institute. His work in correctional facilities has been featured in the Philadelphia Inquirer and NBC News and commended by the New Jersey State Legislature.


Chris Hartstein is a Parent Educator and Coach as well as the co-author and illustrator of An Inside Story:  A Children’s Book for Grown-Ups Too!.  Chris is the mother of three adult children.  She has over 400 hours of training in Nonviolent Communication and has facilitated a weekly NVC empathy group since 2013.  She co-facilitates the Baltimore area workshops, and serves on the board of Capital NVC.

The first time Chris used the Nonviolent Communication model during a high stress situation, she realized the potential this method had to transform relationships and create peace. Chris wrote An Inside Story because she was frustrated that the simple concepts of NVC - which brought immediate relief to her relationship with her teenage daughter -  not more widely known or taught.  She is confident that children will learn and embrace these teachings more easily than adults who have been educated away from the simplicity of their hearts and confused into believing that fighting is just human nature.


What is the Foundation Series?  How is it presented? 

  • This is the starter parenting course for Heart to Heart Families.  Through this 8-week class you will learn skills and awareness with: Communication that enhances understanding and connection, and the habitual use of language creates disconnection and stimulates reactivity. Delivered live online via Zoom, the classes are presented in 90-minute sessions. Once you have registered and paid you will receive an invitation to the Zoom calls.


What do I need in order to access the class?

  • You will need high speed internet access to participate in the Foundation Series, as well as access to a printer for printing handouts and pen and paper.  It helps if you can organize some dedicated child-free time for the 90-minute sessions. We ask that you keep your cameras on during these experiential sessions.  We know there may be distractions and things happening in your homes.  That’s ok!  We want to be able to get to know each other and part of that is being able to see and interact with you.

How much does it cost?

  • $225 for first parent; $150 for second parent. 
    (Repeating participants will receive a 50% discount.)
    ***We want this class to be available to every family.  Please contact Heart to Heart to inquire about scholarships if the cost is prohibitive. 

Who is the class for?  

  • Fathers, Mothers, and other caregivers of children.

What ages of children does it apply to?  

  • The Heart to Heart Families tools work with all ages of children as well as adults.

How long is the course?

  • The Starter Course runs for 7 weeks.​

  • Dates: Tuesdays, February 23 - April 13, 2021.  7-8:30pm


Will there be opportunities to further learning after the course?

  • YES! Opportunities to continue learning include:

    • Creating or joining an ongoing practice group for mutual support among parents and caregivers​.

    • Additional classes and learning opportunities are available to those who complete the Foundation Series. 

**Additional details on continuing your learning will be provided during the class. 


How do I register?

© 2020 by Heart-to-Heart Comienzos East Inc.

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