One of the amazing elements of my work is to personally share the NVR journey the parent / carer undertake whilst I work with them. I am explicitly involved in areas of their world that perhaps no other is permitted, the highs and lows, the tears and joy that each family embrace whilst embedding NVR into their world.
I witness how these changes challenge their thoughts and actions, I witness their personal struggles that may prevent them from moving forwards, I witness their reactions in seeing violent and destructive behaviours by their child being reduced, I witness the moments when parent/carer reconnects with the child in a way that has not been seen for some time and see how this empowers them to continue with this struggle.
Then are moments when parents/carers become “stuck” in the two worlds of traditional parenting and NVR parenting and thus relying on their support network to keep them strong… but the support network are rejecting this new way of parenting and so the supporters “voice of reason” interjects with the parents voice of becoming “non-violent and peaceful”. Now the doubt sets in, “is this worth it”? “Am I doing the right thing”? “How can I continue when my family don’t support NVR”?
When I have witnessed change it has come from a place of love, a place of forgiveness and acceptance. Parents want what is best for their child and with this, they power through despite of the ongoing obstacles and criticism from others.
I spoke to an adopter this week and we discussed, what was it that made her continue with NVR (20 months later)? She replied that everything else she had tried didn’t work, that NVR gave her space from her child to reconnect and repair in a way she had not considered. She expressed how she gave her heart and soul to NVR and it hurt, as emotional pain sometimes does, that she embraced change and stood tall when all about her felt like it was falling apart, that she knew in her heart she would gain the necessary presence to keep her child safe, to help her child grow and develop into a young adult. Her continued struggle has now helped her develop a relationship with her child that she only imagined, she has faced the highs and lows, the tears and upset, the pain and anguish to come through to the existing relationship she now has. She pledges that NVR saved her and her child. She felt at times she did this alone, despite being surrounded by family and friends.
Wow ….. gives me goose bumps hearing a parent share a story like that. NVR continues to WOW me, 12 years into my practice. What is clear is that parents / carers undertake a pledge to embrace this pain and emotional heart ache to reach the other side, to understand what being peaceful and non-violent means, to refrain from “control” and replace this with “authority” and “presence”. That continued struggle is necessary and rebuilding a relationship that was lost/ broken/ corroded was the ultimate goal.
Rachael Aylmer – Advanced NVR Practitioner