I came on the NVR parenting course in May 2016 with a desire to help my youngest son who was raging and angry every day. We had been in a wait for therapy for 6 months already and were very near to breaking point as we didn’t know what else we should do.
I found the NVR course very challenging as I’d come hoping to change my son, and realised in the first instance I needed to change myself. In particular I began to learn how to regulate my own emotions and not escalate as my children did, I also began to look after myself better, seeking to find ways to replenish my batteries.
NVR has built on what we had already begun to learn through PACE parenting (Dan Hughes) but it was more revolutionary. In particular we have learnt how to prioritise which behaviour is truly the problem, and then to focus on building the relationship with the child rather than trying to change the behaviour. I have found one of the most liberating aspects of NVR is to seek to reconcile quickly through a small act of kindness to my children, quite often when I’ve responded badly, as well as their own behaviours. I have found this to be quite extraordinary in mending our parent to child relationship. Parenting our boys continues to be a major challenge but we now have better resources to help us on our journey.
Finally I help now to lead a parent support group which has helped me continue in my NVR journey, it is a very special space in which to be honest about both the good and bad in our families. NVR has helped us build a safer, more emotionally aware family, recognising what does and doesn’t matter. I don’t know what we’d look like without it, but I don’t think we’d be in a place where we have grown in our love for each other in the way we do now.