After an interesting session with an adopted parent, who has spent 20 months committing to her relationship with NVR and developing presence with her 14 year old son. She shared an amazing story, which involved many NVR elements: presence raising, de-escalation, reconciling and being non-violent.
I shall call her “Mom” and her son “Boy”… Boy was loudly playing his music in the family area when Mom asked him if he could lower the sound so they could watch TV. Boy ignored this request so therefore Mom felt confident and able to attempt to lower the volume control independently, which indecently created annoyance in Boy, he glared at her, his face and body language was irritated he then told her through gritted teeth “LEAVE IT”… Mom continued, (being disobedient – something we have worked on for many months) the sound was lowered and Mom began to eat her dinner in silence. Boy, feeling quite upset that Mom had disobeyed him, threw a carton of milk across the kitchen area and over the floor. Mom continued to eat her food. A few moments passed then Boy asked Mom if they could watch a film later, to which Mom replied “think we might need to clear up the milk first”. Again, some silence passed before Boy asked if Mom was walking the dog later, Mom nodded and replied she was, Boy said he would clear the milk up then.
As time passed, both Mom and Boy ate and Mom, as promised, walked the dog to find upon her return the milk had been cleared up, they settled down for the evening and watched a movie together.
Wait …… there’s more ……. If this wasn’t a wonderful example of presence and de-escalation, listen to what happens next.
Boy came down the next morning and said to Mom “I think I have anger management”, Mom smiled and asked what that meant, he replied “I have anger Mom, last night I did all that and you did nothing”!!!
Perfect example of a young person processing change, developing the skills to process his anger, recognising that how his mother chose NOT to escalate and by doing so remained calm and peaceful. This incident would have created much anger in the past and perhaps violence may have been the end result. Mom might have got into battle with Boy, demanding he clears up, demanding an apology, demanding he has a consequence for such behaviour etc etc etc. Boy ended his night perhaps thinking about the incident, thinking about how Mom remained calm but present, how she continued to spend time with him not to punish or change the way he sees life!!!
Presence being developed – NVR being embodied.
By Rachael Aylmer