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Founded in 1998, CRJI aspires to build a tolerant, responsive and inclusive community by providing restorative justice services to local areas. 

Festive themed piece from our very own Andrea McLoughlin..

Have a Restorative Christmas

Most of us recognise and accept that Christmas will be different this year, whilst celebrating the festive season in a health pandemic seems contrary, it is equally important to take some much-needed time out to decompress, slow down, exercise self-care and spend time with our nearest and dearest.

There has been much talk about learning to live with Covid-19, with 2020 being the year of change and adapting… So, whether you will be spending time with family via zoom, doing socially distanced gift drops or wearing thermals in the garden munching on turkey sandwiches and requesting mulled wine top ups as the perfect excuse to warm up, we hope you stay safe and look out for one and other.

Christmas can be a fun and joyful time; however, it can also be a challenging and stressful time. Kids sugared up on chocolate and sweets, increased government restrictions and more family time (which yes can be beautiful and magical) can also lead to blow ups over monopoly!

So here are a three restorative communication tips to help you survive the season:

1. Pause

Our frame of mind can determine what direction our interactions go, so beforeyou even start communicating with someone, explore your internal lens and perspective. If you are in a negative or hostile state, reset your mind frame as it is unlikely you are going to effectively listen when you feel this way. Before you approach the situation, have some internal positive self-talk with yourself to create the desire that you want to not only listen to the other person but to understand or relate to them.

2. Focus on the good

Look for the positives firsti.e., the qualities, traits, and characteristics that we love and appreciate about that person. Sometimes we forget and become so caught up in the mess they have left in the living room or how they haven’t bothered to do the dishes, we can easily become caught in a downward spiral. When we actively search for the positives of that individual, it can help put the negatives into perspective and help us to collaboratively problem solve with them. Separating the person from the act.

3. Listen to hear and not to respond

We are all guilty of formulating a response in our own head before someone has even finished talking, we are already thinking up our own retort. Truly effective listening could change your communication and help resolve conflict, when you are talking with the individual, shush! Quietyour own mind, listen to what they are saying, and this allows you to hear and see things from their perspective, walk in their shoes. This can help us become more open-minded and steer us away from a locked-in perspective in “being right or wrong”.

Through the STARS project, CRJI are offering restorative families workshops in the New Year, these cover a range of topics including:

· Restorative thinking

· Creating and building positive relationships

· Preventing and managing conflict

· Reducing stress

· Communication

If you are interested in finding out more please contact the STARS coordinator, Andrea McLoughlin for upcoming Restorative Family Workshops and Restorative Parenting Training, you can do so via email at


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