In Non Violent Resistance (NVR) parenting, the parent is encouraged by the NVR coach to increase their parental presence in their child’s life. Parental presence is a core concept of NVR and in today’s blog I will explain its meaning. I will also look at some ways a parent might go about increasing their parental presence in their child’s life.
To begin and before you read any further please take note of the following very important piece of information about Parental Presence. NVR coaching takes place over 8-10 sessions for parents and covers 8 core concepts. Once the early concepts, such as de-escalation skills, have been mastered by the parents, the NVR coach will look at parental presence. Due to the fact that the parent will be acting differently, which in turn may lead to a higher risk of conflict, the process and timing in NVR is very important. For this reason, it is vital that parents are well versed and have mastered certain concepts of NVR, before working on increasing their parental presence in the child’s life.
This term literally refers to the presence of the parents in the child’s life. While it can refer to the proximity of the parent, it mainly refers to the parent being mentally present in the child’s mind. When parental presence is achieved the parent is active in the child’s mind. The child holds the morals and values of the parent in their thoughts and actions.
However, during times of conflict and aggression, parents usually pull back from the violent and/or aggressive child and become absent parents. Usually there is little to no parental presence in the child’s life. If the parent is present, they tend to be negative and fraught interactions. This leads to a fractured parent/child relationship where the child does not have the parents or their morals and values in their thoughts and actions.
Increasing Parental Presence
By increasing their parental presence in their child’s life, the parent is giving the message “I am your parent and I will always be your parent, even when you behave in a violent and/or aggressive way”. This anchors the child and gives them a sense of belonging once again. When the child has the parent and their morals and values in their mindset, they are encouraged to behave better.
Increasing parental presence means being close to the child and not pulling away. It means showing concern as well as vigilant care. It is not expected that the child will stop their violent and/or aggressive ways immediately when the parent increases their parental presence in their child’s lives. It will however, when used in conjunction with the other core concepts of NVR, have a powerful impact on the behaviour of the child. Furthermore, it empowers the parent to step back into the child’s life and become a parent once more.
Tips on Increasing Parental Presence
• Text/call the child to check in on what their plans for the day are
• Check up on these plans to see if they are where they say they are going to be
• Take an interest in their hobbies an activities
• Ask them where they have been when they come home
• Regular contact with the child should become the norm
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