My posts over the last few months have been focused on the pillars of NVR (Non Violent Resistance) and how to put it into practice in your home. It’s all very well blogging in a theoretical way about NVR, but, what is it about this methodology that makes it special? Why does it work? Where’s the proof?
Well, I can’t speak for other people who have tried it, but what I can tell you is that it has saved my family, and brought us back to (relative) normality when I thought there could be no return.
After my son moved in, he was incredibly violent towards me. It wasn’t his fault; he simply wasn’t equipped to handle his emotions. He had a huge amount of pent-up anger which had built up over years, caused by a whole series of different events and situations. He was really struggling, he felt highly anxious just being in my home.
I feel so lucky that I found NVR. My social worker suggested a one-day course and at that point I was ready to try anything. I had low expectations. What I experienced was an education about where I was going wrong and a real sense of connection between the teaching and how things could change for the better. This training allowed me to join the dots and I realised that the way I was handling the situation was perpetuating the bad behaviour.
NVR works because it focuses on ways of parenting that build strong, safe relationships, rather than trying to ‘manage’ the child’s behaviour. Through building these strong, safe relationships your child’s feelings of insecurity and of being unsafe will diminish. Once that happens they can start to let go of the need to control – often the source of disruptive behaviour – and the behaviour will reduce.
From day one, I started implementing some of the things I’d picked up on the training – mainly around parental presence and a few reconciliation gestures. As I started to put these in place, I also dropped the punishment and rewards approach that I’d been trying since my son arrived.
I started to see improvements very quickly. I’m not saying we didn’t continue having the bad days, but we were making progress and it gave me the confidence to continue.
If you decide to give this a go, I highly recommend that you focus on delivering with consistency. Even when we have seen dramatic improvements in behaviour, I try to avoid complacency and continue implementing the techniques every single day. And, yes, things are still difficult, and yes, there are still issues, but actually we are a much, much happier family now.
I started applying some of the techniques eighteen months ago after the one day course. For the last ten months there has been no violence in our house. Now my son and I have lots of fun together and we really enjoy life. That is what NVR has done to help us.
You can read more about our story in my book Adopting Solo, which is available on Amazon.
This fast and lasting success is the reason why I’m so passionate about spreading the word to other struggling families. Over time I started to see how beneficial it could be. I trained as an NVR practitioner, so now I can share what I know with other families. Get in touch if you need help, it’s never too late to start focusing on building a strong relationship with your child. And it made all the difference for us.