NVR was originally used in political arenas to instigate change. Many great figures in history, including Gandhi, Rosa Parkes & Martin Luther King, have used NVR principles to object to problems occurring 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 just that, then developed NVR for use by families.
Unlike many other parenting approaches, NVR does not try to change the child/young person. The ultimate goal of NVR is to improve and develop relationships between parents/carers and their children/young people. Where there is challenging behaviour, these relationships are highly likely to suffer.
NVR teaches parents new and effective ways to react to their children/young people. We teach parents and carers to develop a safe, calm authoritative presence. As parents change their reactions to their children/young people's behaviours, so their children/young people's behaviours change in response.
Parents and carers often come to NVR when they are depleted, drained and exhausted by living with challenging behaviours. They find it impossible to be present and to parent properly. We therefore emphasise that self-care is not an indulgence or a luxury. It is an obligation.
Recognising when they are escalating a situation and learning to de-escalate is a critical step for parents/carers. We help them to reduce their part in escalating situations, which can quickly reduce conflict in the family
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.
We support parents/carers to prioritise which challenges need to be addressed first. In other words, we help them to pick their battles. Many parents/carers feel a huge sense of relief that they do not have to fix everything at once.
All too often, parents/carers facing challenging behaviour find their support network has vanished. An important component of the NVR programme is to help parents/carers create a robust network of supporters. This ensures that once the NVR programme is complete, the family are left with a functioning and hopefully growing support network.
The NVR Announcement is a formal statement written by the parents/carers to their child/young person about the priority behaviour(s). The aim of the announcement is to resist the behaviour(s), but not the child/young person. It puts the child/young person on notice about the changes parents/carers are making to their parenting, in a firm, clear, unequivocal way, whilst also being caring and supportive.
The NVR Sit-In is the firmest principle in the NVR approach. It is the parent/carer's active protest against the priority behaviour(s). If the behaviours in the announcement reoccur, parents stage a 'sit in'. This reinforces the message delivered in the announcement and creates a reflective space for both parents/carers and children/young people to find a way forward together. It is a powerful and effective tool.
The whole NVR approach is applied to each sibling in the family, if required. Sibling relationships can be challenging in many families. Children who have lived together in a dysfunctional family may have jointly witnessed and/or experienced chaos, violence and neglect, which can create a trauma bond. Parents need to step out of the situation, think about what history is being played out and be kind to themselves as this is exhausting, Olympic-level, parenting.