Hello Parents, Colleagues, and Friends!
In the manner that we encourage growth and change in your daughters, we are engaging in some of our own. Over the last month, all of our staff have been reading The Anatomy of Peace, a book written collectively by the Abridger Institute. Today, I have given each student her own copy of the book to read. Girls that come in the future will be bringing copies as well. We would like to invite and encourage each of you to join us in this journey of growth as well. The book may be purchased on Amazon here.
There are a number of reasons that we are engaging in this process. The first, and more general, reason is that like you and your daughters, our staff are coming from diverse backgrounds. By having the shared language of a common experience we are able to engage with each other in meaningful conversation with a precision of language that is imperative when trying to communicate about internal states. The girls are coming from a number of different environments that would use a specific set of words to describe these states. Because each program does it slightly differently, there is sometimes miscommunication. Building a consent framework and language will help staff better identify and support students. This will also give students a common language and provide them a clearer way to communicate their internal experience. Every staff member on campus has been reading this book so that we can be consistent in our communication with the girls. A second, and perhaps more foundational reason for reading this together, is to create a shared experience together. This will be an opportunity for us to learn together, evaluate our patterns and relationships together, and to ultimately, resolve the heart of our conflicts together. By engaging in this process yourselves, you will find an increase in precision in the communication between you and your daughter. It is also our hope that this will provide an opportunity for you and your family to build deeper connections as you walk this path together.
So, now that you have an idea of why we would ask everyone to read the same book, why this particular one? The pragmatic reasons are that it is a simple, quick read that gives a number of tools to its readers that are accessible to people with varying degrees of skill in working with their emotions. The language within the book clearly lays out ways to recognize our place in relationship to someone else, then gives the reader an understanding of how to use that knowledge to change their approach to creating a more positive relationship. The approach in The Anatomy of Peace centers around each of us owning our part within a relationship and is a great way for us to approach personal responsibility with your daughter.
By joining us in exploring this material you will acquire language with which to engage your daughter in talking about your relationship with her and her with you. It also sends a message of investment in her journey and trust in our decision to implement this strategy. Our goal on campus is that we have finished reading the book and are implementing its principles by the Family Workshop coming up at the end of April. We invite you to set a goal for yourself to read along with us and be ready at this time.
Thank you for doing so!
Dave Schuster and Jake Sparks