One of the devastating fallouts of living with child to parent violence/abuse, in the often very fractured relationships, between parent and child. Communication, if any at all, is usually tense and laced with anger and resentment. When things are difficult between you, it can be hard to let your child know that you still love them. In fact, you may worry that you do not love your child as you do not like them very much.
Reconnecting with your child
In NVR, we coach parents is reconnecting with their child and reminding them of their continued love for them. Re-establishing your connection with your child means reminding them that you love them and will be there for them no matter what, however, you will resist their unacceptable behaviour.
Usually parents tell me that when they are not arguing the child is locked away in their bedroom playing video games or watching TV. The temptation for the parent to leave the child be, is quite high. They are enjoying the peace and quiet and are perhaps still angry from the last outburst. However, it is in these moments that healing can take place.
In NVR, we encourage parents to make offers of treats/activities by way of repairing the relationship. Usually parents will worry that they are rewarding bad behaviour if they do so, but these offers are not linked to any behaviour. They are ways that the parent can show the child that they are loved and that they matter, even when things are difficult.
So, the next time the child has locked themselves away in their room, perhaps offer them a hot chocolate or a treat you know they will like, let them know you still care. But don’t force them to accept the offer, simply make it. Over time, these seemingly small interactions have a big impact of the quality of your relationship.
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