As an NVR practitioner, I’m always interested in new ways to give a taste of NVR to parents and supporters. Recently I’ve had a lot of success with using an Aesop’s Fable, which with a little artistic licence I’ve augmented, to simplistically illustrate some of the fundamental principles of NVR.
The Sun and Wind get into an argument about who is more powerful and finally they agree that the only way to settle to matter is to have a competition. The wind suggests that the winner should be the one who can remove the cape from the lonely shepherd, tending his flock on the nearby hill, the quickest.
The wind goes first and violently blows with all his might, howling from the North to bring icy blasts to forcibly tear the cape from the man.
The shepherd responds by gripping hold of his cape and stubbornly wrapping it tightly around himself, pulling his hat over his ears, finding a little shelter behind nearby rock, and waiting it out.
The wind finally gives up, frustratedly out of breath, having achieved nothing.
The shepherd then cautiously resumes his previous behaviours tending his sheep, but with his cape wrapped a little tighter than before, and suspiciously checking the horizons for more unpleasant weather to come.
The sun, in contrast, gently shines down beams of sunlight, which lovingly warms not only the shepherd, but warms the grass to help it grow. The sun summons birds to sing sweetly from the trees and bees to buzz happily in the colourful meadow flowers.
The effect is not immediate, but with the sun’s persistence, the shepherd gradually trusts that the bad weather is over, starts getting dozy and a little uncomfortably hot and, in time, chooses to respond to this beautiful safe environment by relaxing, taking off his own cape, and happily sunbathing on the lovely soft warm grass.
By consistently being the parent we want to be, loving our child unconditionally, calling in support, persisting in our resistance of the behaviours we will not tolerate, we intend for the child to respond to our New Authority by choosing for themselves more favourable behaviours.
Tom Jane, PartnershipProjects Associate
NVR Practitioner & Accreditation Module Participant (2022)
Illustrations by Huxley Jane, aged 10