Just wanted to drop you a message to let you know how the NVR is going… It’s going exceptionally well! It’s completely changed my life and my children’s lives. I’ve been practising for almost 3 months now, and the changes are very noticeable. Tom (the 10 year old) has come on enormously. He is actually able to be self-reflective about his behaviour when he does lose his temper, and explain how he could have reacted differently (this was previously unheard of – his anger was always justified, and always someone else’s fault).
He’s currently in the process of beginning to accept when he has behaved inappropriately and then make decisions about how he could possibly react in the future in a similar situation. He still occasionally kicks off, but it’s gone from daily to once every 3 or 4 weeks. He still annoys the 2 year old and his brother, but he is able to stop doing this when I raise my presence. He has started APOLOGISING when he’s done something like this and always without prompting! Literally never happened before!
Dan (the 11 year old) has just started senior school and has now taken over from Tom as being the one who acts out the most and seems hell bent on pushing Tom’s resolve and trying to get him into a physical fight. He does have a lot on his plate dealing with a big change, and clearly feels insecure about his place in the world. His behaviour has made me realise they are always – and have always been – competing with each other to either be the best child or the worst child.
I’m spending time with him in the evenings after Tom has gone to bed talking through his feelings and doing kind of ‘mini announcements’ about violence of any form being unacceptable. He is very self-aware and feels more empathy than Tom so this is working at the moment. I also whatsapp him messages of reconciliation throughout the day when he’s at school.
Amy (the 2 year old Tasmanian Devil) is now staying in bed at bed time AND sleeping through the night in her own bed. This is beyond a miracle. We negotiated an agreement where I sit in her room by the door for 5 minutes after I say good night, and then come back to check on her every 5 minutes – provided she stays in bed.
It’s changed everything and we are now both getting a lot more sleep and are consequently a lot happier. She is also trying really hard not to shout and scream about what she wants but to ask nicely, and think about how shouting upsets other people. But she’s 2 so, you know, this doesn’t always sit well with her, and she still has the occasional meltdown and makes herself sick. As I can’t even remember when the last one of these was, I think it’s safe to say she’s getting there.
I read a quotation by Haim Omar where he said Presence and Prevent Escalation are really 2 sides of the same coin. I asked a friend of mine who is a jeweller to make me a silver bracelet with a small disc on it engraved with a P on one side and PE on the other. I wear this every day and rub the disc frantically as if it’s a talisman on days when it’s all going wrong and I want to scream at them all (fortunately these days are now few and far between).
Sorry this was longer than I intended, but I just wanted to let you know the difference it has made to our lives. I even got my mother to just sit quietly and raise her presence with them instead. She loved how effective it was! Thank you for the enormous change in myself, which has brought about such a welcome change in my children and our lives.
(*names have been changed to protect identity)