NVR was originally used in political arenas to instigate needed and wanted change. All great figures in history that we admire, have in truth used this approach, in one way or another, this includes Gandhi, Nelson Mandela and Martin Luther King. They used the NVR principles to object to problems occuring and to continue to object and bring about change without getting caught up in violence.
Haim Omer, a Psychology Professor in Israel, took the NVR philosophy and started using it within family settings. He describes that as a parent he himself felt helpless, as if his children were in charge and he wanted to change that and take back his parenting role. Using NVR he did that and has since developed NVR for use by families.
NVR prioritises improving and developing relationships and this is the ultimate goal. Every aspect of NVR has it's own role to play in rebuilding the relationship, however they are interlinked and using them together will lead to the desired outcome.
Some key aspects of NVR explained.
A first and critical active step in implementing NVR is to recognise the occurrence of escalation and the importance of de-escalation. NVR identifies that the way the parents react during a time of escalation can exacerbate or improve the outcome of that moment of escalation. Within NVR there are two kinds of escalation that can occur, joint escalation and giving-in escalation. Joint escalation is where the parent is caught up in the conflict and is upset, what we would normally consider escalation. Giving-in escalation is less obvious but it is what happens when the parent for the sake of peace, or when feeling intimidated, gives in to the child. Both of these lead to an atmosphere of ongoing conflict in the home. NVR recognises this occurrence and considers ways to help parents reduce their part in the escalation with a resulting de-escalation of the conflict.
Looking After Yourself
This is also recognised as a key principle in NVR, alongside many other parent programmes. A parent who is exhausted and depleted cannot parent properly or effectively. This area is consider essential within NVR and ways in which parents can begin to look after themselves are explored.
One component of the NVR programme is to create a support network, even when the support network seems to have dissipated or disappeared entirely. This ensures that once the NVR programme is complete the family are left with a functioning and hopefully growing support network. It takes a whole village to raise a child and it seems unrealistic to have the expectation that nuclear families can raise children in isolation, particularly when there are additional problems.
Reconciliation gestures are acts of loving kindness done on the part of the parents towards the child to remind all concerned of the love and care within the family.
A final principle to touch on in this forum is the prioritising of target behaviours (pick your battles). Parents are supported and assisted to consider which challenges need to be addressed first. Many parents experience a huge sense of relief that they aren’t trying to fix everything at once.
Whilst these principles are relatively easy to understand they are difficult to implement but they are worth the effort. Parents should consider gaining correct support and help through a trained practitioner to do this.